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Use more than one kind of apple in this dessert

Bowl of red and green apples
Mix and match for this dessert. In this bowl are McIntosh, Rome, Granny Smith and Baby Royal Gala apples. (Photos: Debbie Arrington)

Recipe: Mix and match apple crumble

Apple crumble with whipped cream
Some whipped cream and an apple slice garnish add
a delicious touch to this apple crumble.

So many varieties; what do you do?

It's apple season with literally dozens of different kinds of apples available at farmers markets, apple farms and our own backyards.

It can create a little challenge in the kitchen. Different apples cook at different rates. Some get soft in a hurry; others hold their firm crunch.

Most recipes call for using the same variety of apple throughout; that way, they'll cook more evenly.
But this recipe allows you to mix and match what apples you have on hand. The result: The filling has some chunks that are a little firmer than others, adding some texture.

Use all one kind or two or more. (For this recipe, I used a large McIntosh, two Romes, two Baby Royal Galas and a Granny Smith.)

Another plus: This crumble uses less sugar than many apple desserts, allowing the true apple flavor to shine, too.

Apple chunks
The filling cooks before the crumble is assembled and baked.

Mix and Match Apple Crumble

Makes 5 to 6 servings

1-1/2 pounds apples (about 6 to 8, depending on size and variety)
1/2 cup sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Butter for baking dish

For topping:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup quick rolled oats
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, chilled
Whipped cream (optional)
1 small apple (optional garnish)

Peel, core and chop apples into 1/2-inch pieces. (A mixture of apple varieties can be used for this recipe.) In a heavy pot, combine 1/2 cup sugar, lemon juice and water. Stir to combine. Add apple chunks.

Bring mixture to boil, reduce heat and cover. Let apples simmer until chunks are fork-tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in cinnamon. (Note: Some chunks will get softer than others, depending on variety.)

Apple crumble in baking dish
The apple crumble is baked and ready to serve.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter a 2-quart casserole dish; set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar and rolled oats. Cut butter or margarine into cubes; add to dry ingredients. With a pastry blender or two knives, cut butter into flour mixture until crumbly.

Put apple filling into prepared casserole dish. Spoon crumble topping over apple mixture until top is covered. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Bake at 400 degrees F. until top is golden and filling is bubbly, about 35 to 40 minutes.

Cool on a rack. Serve warm, topped with whipped cream and apple garnish if desired.


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For week of Sept. 24:

This week our weather will be just right for fall gardening. What are you waiting for?

* Now is the time to plant for fall. The warm soil will get these veggies off to a fast start.

* Keep harvesting tomatoes, peppers, squash, melons and eggplant. Tomatoes may ripen faster off the vine and sitting on the kitchen counter.

* Compost annuals and vegetable crops that have finished producing.

* Cultivate and add compost to the soil to replenish its nutrients for fall and winter vegetables and flowers.

* Fertilize deciduous fruit trees.

* Plant onions, lettuce, peas, radishes, turnips, beets, carrots, bok choy, spinach and potatoes directly into the vegetable beds.

* Transplant cabbage, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower as well as lettuce seedlings.

* Sow seeds of California poppies, clarkia and African daisies.

* Transplant cool-weather annuals such as pansies, violas, fairy primroses, calendulas, stocks and snapdragons.

* Divide and replant bulbs, rhizomes and perennials. That includes bearded iris; if they haven’t bloomed in three years, it’s time to dig them up and divide their rhizomes.

* Dig up and divide daylilies as they complete their bloom cycle.

* Divide and transplant peonies that have become overcrowded. Replant with “eyes” about an inch below the soil surface.

* Late September is ideal for sowing a new lawn or re-seeding bare spots.

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