If you’re like me, you get a little tired of the ever-increasing practice of naming days, weeks and even months as “National ———- Day, Week or Month” (you fill in the blank). In any given 30-day period there are anywhere from 15 to 40 specially designated “events”. It’s gotten a little out of hand and I question the need for “Hug A Bear Day” and “Photographer Appreciation Month” to name just two.
However, there are certain designated months that make perfect sense. National Apple Month is held annually the entire month of October. The crops are in, and the harvest is generally what you’d consider abundant. Couple that with the cooler weather which makes baking a delight and you can see that apples indeed deserve their own month.
Apple displays explode in grocery stores around the country in October. They are designed to remind customers of just how many ways apples can be enjoyed; homemade apple butter, freshly-baked pies and desserts, or just the crunchy delight of biting into a perfectly round, red, ripe specimen.
My mother used to make a mean apple crisp, and I savored every bite. For the past 30 years though, my wife and I have had to rely upon my mother-in-law to supply us with tasty desserts. She makes so many things that are out of this world, but she really shines when it comes to using apples! Her recipe for “Apple Betty” follows:
|4 cups tart apples (Granny Smith)
|½ cup orange juice
|1 cup sugar (can substitute brown sugar)
|¾ cup all-purpose flour
|½ teaspoon cinnamon
|¼ teaspoon nutmeg
|½ cup butter
|Pinch of table salt
Mound the apples in a buttered 9-inch pie plate; sprinkle them with the orange juice.
FOR THE TOPPING: Combine sugar, flour, spices, and a dash of salt. Cut in the butter until mixture is crumbly then scatter the topping over the apples. Bake in a moderate oven at 375°F for 45 minutes or until apples are done and topping is crisp. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream. Yields about six servings.