A lot of people will tell you that their favorite fall flavor is pumpkin. But, you know what? I'm not one of them. It's not that I have anything against pumpkin, or any other seasonal fall food, for that matter. I just prefer to be selective in terms of what I put it in rather than to go into pumpkin overload.
If you were to ask me what my favorite fall flavor was, then I'd enthusiastically answer with "apple". I love the crispness of a fresh apple, and I love that the taste of an apple can range from sweet to tart depending on which variety you choose. I love how tremendously versatile apples are and how they can be used in any number of dishes, both savory and sweet.
I think my love for apples developed when I was a child. Before the landscape of my hometown transformed due to suburban sprawl, the rolling hills leading up to our neighborhood were filled with apple trees. The coming of fall meant trips down the road to the orchard stand to buy bags of apples and gallons of fresh cider.
Once we were home, my mother would turn those apples into applesauce and cobblers and crisps. And, right around Thanksgiving, my father would roll up his sleeves and make his world-famous (or so he said) apple pie. We even put apples in our apple chestnut stuffing.
No, no. I have nothing against pumpkin whatsoever. But, in my book, the food that can transport me back to another time or to another place will always be my favorite.
What's your favorite fall flavor?
- 6 cups apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon, divided
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2/3 cup light brown sugar, divided
- 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus some for the pan
- 3/4 cup rolled oats (not instant)
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly butter an 8" x 8" square baking pan. Set the pan aside.
- In a large bowl, toss the apples with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, the lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Spread the apple mixture evenly in the baking pan. Set the pan aside.
- Place the remaining ingredients, including the remaining cinnamon and brown sugar, in the bowl of a food processor. Place the cover on the food processor and pulse the mixture a few times until everything is well incorporated but not uniform.
- Crumble the topping evenly over the apples. Bake until the topping is browned and the apples are tender and bubbling, 30-40 minutes.
- Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.
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