The good news is that they are tart, delicious, and make wonderful baked apple dished since they get nice and almost gooey when they are cooked. Apple pies made with them are wonderful. Apple sauce is superb. For a very quick treat, an apple crisp made with Gravensteins can't be beat.
Although you certainly can make this dish with peeled apples, I left on the peel for ease of preparation (my focus was on the trim in the dining room that I was giving a fresh coat of paint, so time was at a premium), and because it keeps a lot of the nutrients in the dish. The maple syrup added sweetness in a mellow way, and the crisp benefited from the old fashioned rolled oats that I used. That kind seem to get crisper when baked than the quick cooking kind of oatmeal. Butter, raw brown sugar, flour and some cinnamon and allspice are the easy ingredients that combine with the oats for the topping. Try it topped with some vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt. It's a late summer delight. Glad that apple season has begun.
Gravenstein Apple Crisp
4 cups sliced apple - Gravensteins preferred, but any tart cooking apple will work
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon, divided
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter, cold
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup raw brown sugar, or light brown sugar
1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1/8 teaspoon allspice
In a shallow cast iron skilled or shallow baking pan, mix the apples, syrup and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Spread the fruit out in the pan.
In a medium bowl, place the butter, cut into tablespoon sized pieces, the flour, brown sugar, and oats. Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon and the allspice over all. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut the butter into the remaining ingredients until well mixed. If you prefer, you can use you hands, although the results will be clumpier.
Distribute the crisp mixture over the fruit and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20-20 minutes or until the fruit is cooked and juices bubble and the topping is golden brown and crisp.
Serve warm or cold. This dish is great with the addition of a scoop of ice cream, or frozen yogurt.