My Mother's Apple (or other fruit) Crisp (Martha Mattice)

There are many variations on this theme, but this is the best recipe! You can use any fruit in season, beginning with rhubarb, or rhubarb and strawberries in the spring, and in the late fall, apple slices with whole fresh cranberries mixed in is lovely. Or just whole fresh cranberries. If you use rhubarb and don't have strawberries, I give you this secret from the second-generation Finns from this area. Sprinkle 1/4-1/3 cup of dry, powdered strawberry Jello out of the package, over the rhubarb. Especially if your rhubarb type is very green, not much pink on the stems, this, as you can imagine, gives it instant color! And some extra flavor and sweetness.

If you use a 6 x 10 bread loaf pan, use the recipe as is. If you will be making a 9 x 13 cake pan of this, double all ingredients, and use a toothpick in the center to determine doneness. (Don't pile fruit above the gunwales of the cake pan. Leave freeboard for the crumbly topping, so the fruit doesn't boil over onto the oven rack.)

This is lovely as a dessert for lunch or supper, with whipped or whipping cream added to each serving. And welcome again as breakfast on a cold morning served in individual bowls with warmed milk poured around it.  You can substitute raw quick oatmeal for 1/4 of the flour.

I use a little more cinnamon than the recipe calls for, and often a little ground ginger, cloves, cardamom, or nutmeg.

Place in greased 6 x 10 bread loaf pan 5-6 cups sliced apples, unpared. (Do not overflow fruit. Leave room for topping where fruit does not boil over onto oven rack.)

Mix together with fork until crumbly, and sprinkle over the apples:

1 cup sifted flour

1/2 - 1 cup sugar (depending on sweetness of fruit)

1 tsp. baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

1 unbeaten egg

Pour over all 1/3 cup melted and cooled butter, and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Bake 30-40 minutes in moderate oven (350 degrees) until crumbly topping is nicely browned - not too brown. Serve warm, with cream or top milk or whipped cream: Makes 8 generous servings

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