By TERRI WINDOVER, Connect Columnist
My Gramma was awesome. She was sweet, a great cook and managed to outlive two husbands – all while running a working farm complete with cattle, pigs, chickens, crops and a massive garden. Thanks to weekends at the farm, I learned the value of hard work, how to sling hay bales and how to sneak eggs out from underneath cranky chickens. She always had something good baking in the stove and a well thought out tidbit of advice when I needed it (never leave the house without lip gloss and a quarter was a real gem). My favourite thing about her was when she’d whack my brother with a willow switch when he picked on me, which was all the time.
When she fell ill, my mom called me and I packed up my life in Toronto and headed north to Thunder Bay thinking that I wanted my daughter to get to know her better. Of course that tough old lady hung around for a few more years. I swear she planned it just to get me out of that city. But life has a way of moving forward, whether we like it or not, and we finally had to make the move to the dreaded “old folks home”. My mom and I did our best to see her as often as possible as her health deteriorated. She had diabetes, as well as, a rare form of blood cancer – we knew our time was limited. I still remember the day she asked me to make her my apple crisp and for a cold Crystal beer. I was like… “Hell yes! I’m on it Grams.” I made it my mission to whip up my very best crisp ever in the history of crisp making that night.
The next day I brought that crisp and beer to the dining room for her lunch. Man, you should have seen her eyes light up! As she started digging in an “attendant” came by and suggested that the crisp and beer were not appropriate as she had diabetes. I politely asked her to step outside (Relax, I didn’t hurt her. Although, it did cross my mind). I then explained to her that my Gramma was dying of cancer far before her diabetes, so if she wanted apple crisp with a side of beer she would damn well get it. Honestly, if she wanted a triple fudge sundae and a bottle of whiskey I would have made that happen too. So in honour of the best lady I ever knew here’s the best crisp I ever made.
Cherry Pecan Apple Crisp
Ingredients: – Filling:
2 Granny smith apples, cored and chopped small
2 Gala apples, cored and chopped small
¼ cup dried cherries, chopped (or cranberries)
¼ cup toasted pecans, chopped
½ cup brown sugar
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp whole wheat flour or almond flour
Ingredients – Topping:
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
¼ cup almond flour
¼ cup quick oats
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves (optional)
¼ cup chilled butter, cut up into small pieces
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Spray small casserole dish or 4-6 single ramekins with Pam.
- Mix all filling ingredients in medium bowl, let stand ten minutes, stir occasionally.
- Pour into dish and bake 20 minutes.
- While apples are baking mix all topping ingredients in small bowl except butter.
- Rub in butter wit fingertips until coarse meal forms.
- Crumble topping over hot apples.
- Bake for an additional 20-25 minutes.
- Let stand for 10 minutes before eating unless you want third degree burns on the roof of your mouth.
For more free recipes, fitness tips or my rants and raves visit my website and blog at www.terri-windover.com