[Photograph: Carolyn Cope]
Every November, I inadvertently put the innermost workings of my mental and emotional states on display for the public in the form of our Thanksgiving menu. Am I feeling restless, maybe a little bored with life? Here's turkey mole and a sweet potato salad with chili-lime dressing. Getting all ambitious and secretly trying to take over the world? May I present you with blue ribbon Roast Turkey with Prosciutto-Hazelnut Crust? Feeling slightly unhinged and craving the comforts of home? (Who, me? What, now?) Then it's pure American tradition all the way.
This Thanksgiving we'll be doing our best to replicate a bustling American family gathering from across the Atlantic, in a city which, for all its charms, possibly does not contain a single residential oven large enough to accommodate a heritage turkey. Once again, the contents of my soul will be on display at the table.
The stuffing will be from the Silver Palate. The green beans will be cooked just the way Grandma makes them. And dessert will be the most perfect, uncomplicated apple crisp for which you could ever give thanks. Whether or not your own Thanksgiving table has psychoanalytic implications, if you're searching for classic apple desserts to please a crowd, this is the one.
- Yield:Serves 8
- Active time: 20 minutes
- Total time:85 minutes
- For the Filling:
- 3 pounds apples peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4 inch slices
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Pinch of salt
- For the Topping:
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup light brown sugar (lightly packed)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup cold butter, cut into small dice
Preheat the oven to 375°F with a rack in the center. To make the filling, combine the apple slices with the lemon juice in a large mixing bowl and toss to coat. Add the sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt, and toss gently until apples are evenly coated with other ingredients. Set a deep-dish pie plate or 2-quart casserole on a baking sheet and pour filling into pie plate or casserole.
To make the topping, combine the oats, brown sugar, flour, and butter in a small bowl. Pinch all ingredients together with your fingers until it forms a coarse crumble with no loose flour, oats, or sugar. Distribute topping evenly over apple mixture. Bake until topping is browned and filling is hot and bubbly, about 65 minutes. If topping starts to brown too much, cover it loosely with aluminum foil for the duration of baking. Let cool for 10 minutes or so and serve warm.