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!


Annie on 207 Monday night, February 25th at 7pm

Hey gang, don’t miss how to make Carrot Banana Cake.  Rob Caldwell and I will laugh and joke our way through the making of this cake schooner-style – that’s a one bowl cake.  When you have as many dishes as we do on the schooner, ya get smart about how to make a good cake without tons of bowls.

Rob keeps eating the frosting… Check it out.  Set your dvr, recorder or your alarm so ya don’t miss it.  WCSH6, 207 with Rob Caldwell and Cindy Williams.

Carrot Banana Cake

Hanging with Rob in the kitchen

Cook the Book – Chocolate Mint Bars

Chocolate Mint Bars

This is one that my family would make every Christmas.  My brothers and I could eat a pan of these in no time flat.

2/3 cup shortening
4 squares chocolate
2 cups packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) softened butter
2 tablespoons milk or cream
3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract

2 squares unsweetened chocolate
2 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Melt the shortening and chocolate in a double boiler.  Cool. Beat in the sugar, eggs and vanilla. Sift in the dry ingredients and mix well. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a fork inserted in the bars comes out clean.  Cool in the pan. Beat the frosting ingredients together until light and creamy then frost the bars. Melt the glaze ingredients in a double boiler, cool slightly then pour the glaze over the frosting.  Tilt the pan to spread the glaze. Cut into bars.

Makes 24

Maine Lobster Bake part 2 – S’Mores

The next important step for your backyard lobster bake is dessert. Once everyone has had their fill of lobster, the watermelon is sliced and the makings for S'mores are laid out. There's always a lively discussion over how to make the best S'more, and the proper way to roast a marshmallow.

We've tried these on the propane burner before and wouldn't you know, it's just not the same. Give it a miss unless you've got a campfire.

1/2 Hershey bar
1 full graham cracker, broken in half
2 marshmallows
Place the Hershey bar on top of one of the halves of graham cracker and move it close to the fire so the chocolate can get warm.

Place two marshmallows on a metal roasting stick (not driftwood) and slowly turn it over the hot coals until it becomes golden brown. It's important to take your time here as the impatient folks end up with a burnt marshmallow. Some poor souls actually like them this way – go figure.

Makes 1

Anne Mahle
Slowly roasting marshmallows

Bananas Foster

When my husband and I worked in the Caribbean running a yacht as captain and chef, something we did for three years, this was a stand by and always a big hit.  I constantly changed the fruit and the liquor depending on what was at the market that day (my absolute favorite place to be on the islands), always serving it with my own ice cream.  It’s easily increased or decreased depending on the number of folks you are serving.

Bananas Foster

4 bananas, peeled
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 stick of butter (1/4 cup)
juice from 1 lime
1 cup brown sugar
1 oz. crème de banana
2 oz. light rum
vanilla ice cream

Cinnamon or freshly grated nutmeg

Cut the bananas into 4 diagonal pieces each.  Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.  Melt the butter.  Add the sugar and cinnamon and swirl the pan until the sugar is melted.  Add the bananas and coat with the sugar.  Add the lime and then the crème de banana and rum.  Let it flame and then die out.  Serve immediately over ice cream.  Garnish with cinnamon or nutmeg.

Serves 4

Kinda dreaming about those warm Caribbean winter nights when we could sit out on deck without bugs or sweaters and soak up the amazing starlit sky.

© 2009 Anne Mahle

Apricot-Ginger Pound Cake with Rum Glaze

This recipe is one that never fails to satisfy.  It’s a good one for a crowd, but I often make it just for the family too.  I love that it goes into a bundt pan and comes out looking all pretty.

Apricot-Ginger Pound Cake with Rum Glaze

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, very soft
3 cups sugar
7 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup milk
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup coarsely chopped crystallized ginger
1/2 cup coarsely chopped dried apricots

2 tablespoons dark rum
2 tablespoons orange juice
3/4 cup sugar

Have all ingredients at room temperature.  Preheat oven to 325°.  Butter and flour a bundt pan.  Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Cream them together at medium speed, then add the eggs, vanilla, sour cream and milk.  Add the flour, salt and baking powder.  Gently fold in the ginger and apricots.  Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan and bake until the cake springs back when lightly touched in the center, approximately 1 hour 10 minutes.  Cool the cake upright on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes.  Tap the sides and invert the cake onto the cooling rack.  In a small bowl, blend together the rum, orange juice and sugar.  Use a pastry brush to brush the surface of the warm cake with the glaze. 

Allow the glazed cake to cool completely before serving (approximately 1 to 2 hours).

Makes 12 large or 16 smaller servings.

Chef Annie
Baking with a gas stove instead of a wood stove

© 2008 Baggywrinkle Publishing