One of my very favorite things about autumn is how the season lends itself to slowness.
Summertime is always harried in our house. Despite our plans to do “nothing” all season, our calendar is pockmarked with last-minute notations. It’s go go go, places to be and people to see. Come August, Jason removes his backpack from the hook on the inside of the office closet door. He asks me questions about lesson plans. We shop for clothing. We ask ourselves how it is that school is starting already. We pout a little.
Although I adore having my husband home all summer, fall is truly something else. There are long rainy mornings perfect for reading on the couch, or for building a boat out of pillows and the mop (topped with a pillowcase sail, of course). There’s apple butter to cook in the big Dutch oven, the warm spicy scent filling the house all day long. There are walks to take, burnished leaves fluttering onto the sidewalks, and scarves to wear. There are warm days with sunshine the color of honey, and dreary days with a stabbing wind. There are windows to open and Halloween costumes to make and potato soup to eat.
All of this is to say that I’ve been feeling quieter lately.
Farmhouse Apple Crumble – adapted from Love Soup
for the apples-
2 lbs apples, peeled, cored, and sliced into large chunks
3 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
for the crumble-
1/2 cup unbleached white flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup ground flaxseeds
3/4 cup rolled oats
6 Tbs cold unsalted butter, sliced
Pinch of sea salt
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and butter a 9-inch square baking pan. Inside, combine the apples with the lemon juice, 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In a food processor or stand mixer, combine the flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup flaxseed, oats, sliced butter, and a pinch of salt. If using a processor, pulse for 30 to 40 seconds. If using a mixer, mix on medium-low. The mixture should look like a coarse meal starting to clump together. There shouldn’t be large chunks of butter.
Push the crumble into a rough mass, then take a bit at a time and, well, crumble it on top of the apples. Bake for 40 to 55 minutes, until the topping is light golden brown and the juice is bubbling around the edges.