My mom is always baking something and I get my love of baking from her. She has an amazing assortment of desserts she's always cooking up, but her crisps and crumbles and pies are quite memorable. This crisp recipe works for any fruit, which means this is a year-round staple in our house. Some good choices include: stone fruits, apple, rhubarb, and berries. Plus, the nuts in the topping give an extra crispy texture to this treat. Enjoy! —Jackie Stauffer
Shelled walnuts or pecans
Large apples, about 2 lbs (unpeeled Granny Smiths are preferable)
Toast nuts in preheated 325' oven for 3 minutes. Cool and chop coarsely in food processor or by hand into 1/4" chunks. (This is important: if the pieces are bigger, they could burn during baking.)
To make the topping, put flour, sugars and cinnamon in a bowl. Work the slightly softened butter in with your hands by rubbing the pieces of it lightly and quickly between your fingers, or use a pastry blender. When mixture starts to hold together and look crumbly, work in the cooled nuts.
Preheat oven to 375'
Quarter, core and peel the apples and slice into a bowl. There should be 5-6 cups. Sprinkle with a couple of teaspoons of sugar to taste. Add cinnamon. The topping is sweet, so don't over-sweeten the apples.
Put the sliced apples in a shallow unbuttered baking dish: 9" or 10" pie pan or a 9" square cake pan. Level the apples and cover them evenly with a layer of the topping.
Bake at 375' until the topping is golden brown all over and the apples are tender, about 30-45 minutes. If the topping has browned enough but the apples aren't cooked yet, turn the heat down to 350' and lay a piece of foil loosely over the top.
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or a pitcher of heavy cream.