Day after day, week after week, it sits on the shelf and gathers dust--this labor-saving device that I just had to have. Recently Hubby was my conscience. He observed me as I peeled, cored, and sliced an apple the cumbersome way--with a paring knife--as I practically diced off a finger in the process.
"Why don't you ever use that thingy we paid so much for? It would be a lot easier," he intoned.
The thingy was my apple peeler-corer-slicer by Pampered Chef--a delightful little object that sits on the counter, accepts an apple pushed onto a spear, and then (as the operator twists a handle) peels, cores, and slices the apple all in one sweep. Blame it on my being left-handed or something, but I've never exactly perfected the art of using it. My apples emerge less than desired; I end up having to use a regular knife on them anyway.
But Hubby's words piqued my conscience; I was being wasteful by not giving it another try. Onto the spear went one of the four apples I was saving for a fall dessert. This time, success!
The gadget worked perfectly. In seconds I had a peeled and cored apple sliced into skinny, perfect rounds--ready to be diced for my Apple-Raisin Crisp recipe. Three more apples quickly followed. The apple peels went into a separate bowl to become ingredients for one Hubby's upcoming smoothies. All I had to discard was the very slim core and stem--great stewardship of a fruit God provided. I was so-o-o glad I tried again.
Apple-Raisin Crisp is a recipe I clipped years ago from a Family Circle magazine. Normally I disdain raisins--never my favorite things to eat--but in this dish they cook up soft and inconspicuous and add to the flavor and texture. The crisp topping is to-die-for over the mellow, succulent apple filling. And as a perfect accompaniment for these blissful, cool days of this first week of October, this easy-to-prepare dish, as Hubby says, "just tastes fall."
2/3 cup packed brown sugar (1/3 cup if using brown-sugar substitute)
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 1/2 pounds Rome apples, peeled, cored, cubed
1 cup golden raisins
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup packed light-brown sugar (1/3 cup if using brown-sugar substitute)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a 7-inch-by-11-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
Filling: in a large bowl toss together sugar, flour, nutmeg, and cinnamon; add cubed apples and raising; toss again. Let stand 10 minutes while preparing topping. Topping: Melt butter. In medium-sized bowl stir together butter, flour, sugar, pecans, oats, cinnamon, and salt until mixture is evenly moistened and forms clumps. Transfer apple-raisin mixture to prepared baking dish. Top with crisp topping. Try not to break up clumps. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes until bubbly and apple pieces are tender. If browning too much, cover loosely with foil during last 5 minutes of baking. Let cool 15 minutes before you serve. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Makes 12 servings.