Homemade Backyard Apple Crisp from Super Scratch

Making Apple Crisp

Inspired by a guest who posted about making apple crisp from my first cookbook, now affectionately called “The Red Book,” it didn’t take long for me to decide to do the same. We do, however, need to back up a bit to start from super scratch.

Step one, plant the apple trees. Step two, wait five years. Step three, make apple crisp. That’s all. No worries, right? No one will think worse of you if you buy your apples at the store like most normal people.

Homemade From Scratch Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp
As it was cooling on the counter, Ella came into the house after school with the phrase of the day, “Okay!  What is it.  Where is it.  And can I have some.”

12 tart apples
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon lemon juice

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter (2 1/4 sticks)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel, core, and slice the apples into 1/4-inch wedges.  Toss them with the rest of the filling ingredients in a large bowl and transfer to an ungreased 9 x 13-inch pan. In the same bowl, combine the topping ingredients.  Cut the butter in with a pastry knife until the mixture is coarsely blended; mixture should be crumbly. Transfer the topping over the apple mixture and bake for 45 minutes or until lightly browned and the liquid in the apples is dark and bubbly.

Makes 12 servings

Houses that smell like baked apples and cinnamon are the best!


Cook the Book – Black Forest Pork Stew

Black Forest Pork Stew

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds pork stew meat
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
3 slices bacon, diced
2 large onions, diced
4 large carrots, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
9 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh minced marjoram
6 ounces tomato paste
1 cup white wine
2 cups beef stock or water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 pound bratwurst, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 8-ounce package mushrooms, washed and quartered

Heat the olive oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat. Toss the pork, flour, salt, pepper and paprika together in a bowl to coat the meat. Add the pork to the pot and cook until lightly browned. Add the bacon and continue cooking until the bacon is done (about 5 minutes). Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic and spices and cook for another 10-15 minutes until the onions are translucent. Add the tomato paste, white wine, stock, salt, pepper and bratwurst.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until the meat is tender (about 2 hours). Add the mushrooms and cook an additional 15 minutes; serve.

Serves 6-8