This time of the year, in the heart of the U.S. Midwest, a visit or two to the apple orchard is always in order. My grandparents operated a wonderful peach and apple orchard in southern Illinois (Berthold Orchard) so I grew up with strong opinions about varietals. My favorite apple is the Jonathon and this has never changed. I use either Jonathons or Granny Smiths for this recipe, because they have the perfect texture and tartness. I leave the skin on because this is where the good stuff is and I think it adds flavor & a little "al dente" to the dish. My family likes things a little light on the cinnamon but you can safely double the amount of cinnamon in this recipe if you think you'd like a heavier cinnamon taste. Jonathons are the perfect eating apple so be sure to pop a slice into your mouth while you're baking. Drink some orchard apple cider for the full effect.
• 2 cups brown sugar
• 2 cups rolled oats
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 sticks butter, softened
• 6 cups apples, cored and sliced (about 6-8 large Jonathons)
• 1 cup white sugar
• 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease large oval casserole dish or 9" x 13" pan.
2. In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, oats, flour and butter. Mix until crumbly. Place half of crumb mixture in pan. Stir up sliced apples with white sugar and cinnamon. Spread the apples evenly over crumb mixture. Top with remaining crumb mixture.
3. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown.