Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Cheap Bastid's Scrumptious Apple Crisp

OK folks, Cheap Bastid hasn’t been around in a couple of weeks. That’s because I am now employed again as a bastion of the automotive industry fleecing people of their hard-earned dollars by selling cars.

Anyhow, before I have to hit the shower and get my game face on, I thought I’d post a recipe. It’s one I’ve “developed”, “synthesized”, “plagiarized” or created this past year and made enough times to finally start getting it “right”.

If you’re looking for a tasty dessert that’s quick and easy to prep and which meets the Cheap Bastid budget criteria (in a word—cheap!), give this Apple Crisp recipe a try. Have some vanilla it ice cream on hand to plop on it while it’s still warm too.

Cheap Bastid’s Scrumptious Apple Crisp
6 or so apples (Granny Smith, Gala, or Fuji)
1 cup water (or ½ cup water and ½ cup apple juice or cider)
1 ½ cups brown sugar
1 ½ sticks butter or equivalent amount (12 tbsp) margarine
1 ½ cups flour
1 ½ cups oatmeal or multi-grain raw cereal

Take out a 9x9 baking dish and 2 medium mixing bowls. Lightly grease the baking dish. Core and cut the apples into wedges and put into the baking dish.

In one bowl you’re going to make the “juice” for the apples and in the other you’re going to make the “crisp” topping. So for the “juice” combine the water or water/juice, ¾ cup brown sugar, ½ sick butter or margarine (melted), 2 tablespoons flour, salt (about ½ tsp), cinnamon (1 tsp or so—I use more because I like the flavor and aroma) and ½ tsp nutmeg (I use more). Whisk it all together in the bowl and pour it over the apples.

Then in the other bowl add the rest of the brown sugar (3/4 cup), ½ tsp cinnamon, ¼ tsp nutmeg (both of those more or less depending on taste), 1 ½ cups flour, oatmeal and 1 stick butter at room temp (or equivalent amount of margarine). Mix all this together really, really well with a spoon or with your fingers until it resembles a coarse, crumb-like mixture. Make sure to incorporate the dry stuff really well with the butter/margarine. Dig deep to the bottom of the bowl to make sure you get everything mixed.

Cover the apples with this mixture. You can use your fingers or glop it on with a spoon and use the back of the spoon to spread it out.

Bake at 350 in a pre-heated oven for 1 hour or until the apples are tender and crust is golden. I like to put the broiler on for 2-3 minutes at the very end to get the “crisp” topping crispy/crunchy but that’s up to you. One hint, put the baking dish on a cookie sheet in the oven just in case there’s a spill-over of the filling. That can help you avoid a gooey, messy clean-up in the oven. It’s easier to scrub a pan than the oven!

Serve this with some vanilla ice cream or by itself. You’ll love it. Like anything you bake, it may take a couple of times to get it “down” and you may find yourself fine-tuning the amount of apples and amount of “juice” you use. But this is old-fashioned, tasty-good stuff!

The Cheap Bastid Test: Here we go on the budget thing again. The apples were on special for $.77 per pound and I bought 2 lbs. So that’s a buck and a half. The next priciest thing was the butter/margarine. Margarine is cheaper/healthier and get it for $1 for 16 oz and used about 1/3 of a container. I get butter at the dollar store for a buck for a half pound. So using margarine, I spend about $.35 and about $.75 for butter. The cup and a half of oats costs about $.50. The rest of the ingredients will set you back about $.50. Total budget for this adds up to about $3! And, it makes 8 servings sized like the picture.

Give it a try. It’s tasty. It’s homemade. It’s “old fashioned Christmassy”. It’ll make your house smell good.

That's the Cheap Bastid Way: Eat Good, Eat Cheap, Be Grateful!

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