February 9, 2010

Bumper Crop Cooking

Bumper-crop recipes are those that focus on a large amount of one or more particular ingredients. As an avid gardener, I sometimes find myself in this situation: "Dang, I have twenty pounds of tomatoes that are going bad!"

Of course you could employ numerous techniques to preserve such bumper crops, like canning, freezing, drying, or giving it away. But my favorite remedy is just to cook some dish that features that ingredient.

There are plenty of dishes you might like to make but won't because it might be cost prohibitive to buy such a large amount at the store. A perfect example is pesto. It uses a lot of fresh basil, and this herb tends to have a premium price at the store. But if you have a basil plant or two that starting to suffer from the cold weather, why not whip up a batch of pesto?

For the recipe below, it's not that my apple trees suddenly matured in the middle of winter and dropped a load of apples. Rather, we bought a big bag of apples cheap, but they were getting a  little old.

So I found a recipe that called for 10 cups of chopped apples. In typical SAD fashion, this recipe had way too much sugar in it. It read like a candy recipe. So I toned down the sweetness by more than half, added some additional spices, and made gluten-free. This dish can be served hot or cold, and for any meal. It could be a dessert, but I actually eat it for breakfast.

Apple Crisp


10 c all-purpose apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1/4 c white sugar
1 T all-purpose flour, or gluten free flour blend
2 t ground cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
juice from 1 lemon

1 c quick-cooking oats
1 c all-purpose flour or gluten free blend
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1/4 t baking powder

1/2 c butter, melted


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degree C).

2. Place the sliced apples in a 9x13 inch pan. Mix the white sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, ground cinnamon, and nutmeg together, and sprinkle over apples. Pour lemon juice evenly over all.

3. Combine the oats, 1 cup flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and melted butter together. Crumble evenly over the apple mixture.

4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 30 minutes.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jes,
    I am not going to show that picture of your tomatoes to my husband :D
    No i am not, he will only be green with envy. The flavour/taste of homegrown toms are just uncomparable. Enjoy!