I know it’s only early August and I’m supposed to be thinking about blueberry cobblers and strawberry pies, but for some reason this weekend an apple crisp sounded good. Part of it was the four Braeburns that had been sitting on the counter for a week or so, but I really think it was the short spell of cool, wet weather that had me thinking about fall. Whatever it was, I put together this simple recipe. I suppose, if you’re in a berry mood, you could substitute the sliced apples for five or six cups of black or raspberries and it would be just as good.

Crisps are easy to make, belying their complex flavor and crunchy bite. They taste even better when eaten around a campfire. Just pre-mix the dry ingredients ahead of time, then cut in the cold butter and use the resulting crumbly dough to top the fruit of your choice dumped into the bottom of a Dutch oven. Cook over a bed of hot coals or, using a heat diffuser, on top of a camp stove or grill for about 30 minutes or so.

Apple Crisp

– Four Braeburns, or other apple
– Juice of ½ lemon (about 3 tbsp.)
– 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, divided
– 2/3 cup brown sugar, plus 1 tbsp.
– 1 tsp. nutmeg
– ½ cup rolled oats
– 5 tbsp. cold butter, diced

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Peel, quarter and core the apples, then slice about 1/8 inch thick. Sprinkle the apples with ½ tsp. cinnamon, 1 tbsp. of brown sugar, and lemon juice. Toss to combine.

3. Roughly layer the apples into the bottom of a buttered or greased Dutch oven or similar-sized ovenproof pan.

4. In a medium bowl, combine the remaining cinnamon and brown sugar with nutmeg and rolled oats and stir well to combine. Using your hands or a fork, cut the cold butter into the dry ingredients until well-mixed. The resulting dough should be dry and crumbly. Pour the dough over the apples and spread into an even layer.

5. Transfer the pan to the oven. After 30 minutes, check to see if the apples are tender and the top has browned. Bake an additional 10 minutes, if necessary.