So I’m back home in Wisconsin. That’s a thing. No longer in Nashville with it’s bustling, vibrant, music-infused atmosphere. It’s pretty quiet, especially since the J’s are at home and the parents are at work.

What to do, what to do….

For one, take some pictures of the farm that’s right by my house. Coming back and seeing old things with fresh eyes is really interesting.

Note to self: Don’t try and take pictures while driving. Just pull over and take them like a normal person. And if people question your sanity by pulling over to the side of the road with your iPhone, ignore them.

Second note to self: get a better camera.

This morning it was too cold to go out and I was in the mood to do something that took time, effort, and apples.

Joy The Baker’s Apple Crisp? I think yes.

Even though we’ve never met, Joy is one of those people that’s always inspired me. Her blog contains not only great food but also heartfelt stories and life advice. She’s the reason that I started a blog and I try to channel her awesomeness as best I can. Probably one of the greatest days in my life was when she tweeted me on Twitter this Thanksgiving. Almost cried. Almost.

Anyways, let’s get back to this Apple Crisp. I’ve always been more of an apple pie person but after having our college apple crisp, which was the closest thing to decent, I knew I wanted to make one while I was at home. It’s something you can take an afternoon doing and not feel bad about at all.

Shall we begin?

Apples are cored, peeled, and sliced.

Then they get to know each other in a buttered 8×8. I used Honeycrisp and Granny Smith because that’s what I had on hand, but feel free to use your favorite!

In the meantime, flour, cinnamon, brown sugar, and quick oats get together in a bowl. Then it’s time to get down and dirty…

Butter gets added and then you knead that sucker up. I have the best smelling hands in the world.

Get those apples in there with cinnamon and sugar, toss ’em up, and put the crumb topping on top. Set it in the oven for 55-60 minutes.

What to do with 55-60 minutes?

Paint your toes a pretty shade of blue. Take a selfie with your freshly cut bangs that you can’t seem to get out of your face.

Catch up on some blog writing. Call up an old friend. Listen to Pandora’s Christmas station. Adore your Christmas tree.

Or, if you’re like me, all of the above.

This apple crisp tastes simple and fresh. It doesn’t overpower the apples while still adding plenty of sweetness. Tragedy of all tragedies—we’ve run out of vanilla ice cream at my house, but this was just as good with a glass of cold milk. Wisconsin girl at heart!

From Joy The Baker:

bake in an 8×8 baking dish or double the recipe and bake in a 9×13 dish

Filling:
5 to 6 medium-size apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch slices. (About 7.5 cups)
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1.5 tsp cinnamon

Topping:
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups lightly packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 stick unsalted butter, well-softened
2/3 cup finely chopped pecans (optional)
1/3 cup quick oats

Preheat the oven to 350. Generously grease an 8×8 baking pan with butter.

Place a layer of apple slices in the bottom of the pan and dust with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Continue layering apples and dusting with cinnamon/sugar until done. Toss the apple mixture until evenly coated in cinnamon sugar. The apples should be just about to the top of the pan (they will cook down).

For the topping, place the flour, brown sugar, nuts, cinnamon and oats in a large bowl and stir well with a wooden spoon. Work the butter into the mixture with your fingertips until evenly distributed. Take one full handful of the topping and toss it into the sugared apple mixture. Spread the rest of the topping evenly over the apples. (I usually end up with a dough-like topping that I just lay on top of the apples).

Bake the crisp in the dish on a baking sheet on the center oven rack until the topping is crunchy and the apples are bubbling, 55-60 minutes.

Serve hot; it’s excellent with vanilla ice cream.

Love,

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