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Apple Crisp: a fall favorite for using up extra apples

Every time I opened the refrigerator, I saw them. 

About six or eight Gala apples, separated from the bag they came in, a bag that used to contain 10 apples. 

I had overestimated how many apples I’d want to eat, and now the ones I had rejected were staring me in the face, getting less and less appetizing as days (OK, weeks) passed.

They were clearly auditioning for a trip to the trash can.

But I couldn’t do it. 

I hate wasting food like some people hate picture frames hanging slightly crooked on the wall.

This is why I have between three and eight containers of leftovers in the refrigerator at all times. I’ll determinedly eat leftovers, a little at a time, for days before I’ll throw them away.

Back to the apples — I couldn’t just force myself to eat them; they weren’t crisp anymore and the reason I didn’t eat all of them in the first place is that these particular apples weren’t as pleasantly sharp tasting as I would have liked. 

They were boring apples.

Still, I had to make a decision. Also nagging at me was the one peach I hadn’t eaten yet from a collection of four I’d purchased at the grocery store recently.

The peach was a little mushy on one side and I grimaced without meaning to when I thought of eating it. 

When a solution popped into my head, I was instantly jolted out of my food-waste guilt and excited to begin one of my favorite pastimes: baking.

Apple crisp is a simple dish to make when you have plenty of apples and not a clue how to use them up. Crisp is usually featured heavily in any fall-time recipe collection, and its simplicity means most everyone will like to have a taste.

Plus, I figured it would be easy enough to add the off-putting peach to the mix of apples.

My only complaint about apple crisp is that it involves peeling, slicing and coring apples, which can be time-consuming. 

But if a little time is all it would take to relieve my guilt about letting food go bad, that’s a price I was willing to pay. (And in reality, it didn’t take that much time. It’s like so many other things, where the anticipation of a dreaded task is infinitely worse than the actual task.)

Here’s the recipe I used, adapted from the More with Less cookbook

Apple Crisp

Mix these ingredients together in a bowl, pour into greased baking dish:

Peeled apple slices or chopped apples

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon flour

1 tablespoon water

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Cut these ingredients together with a pastry blender or a fork in another bowl:

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup butter, softened

Pinch of salt

1 cup rolled oats

Sprinkle the rolled oats mixture evenly on top the apple mixture in the baking dish. 

Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes. 

Serves 4-5. 

Do you have any recipes for using up food that’s on its way out? Leave a comment below. 

Follow reporter Lydia Sheaks on Twitter at @LydiaSheaks

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