CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Northwood Apple Crisp

One of the harbingers of summer is the blooming apple trees of spring. The sight of a fully blossomed-out apple tree with the morning sun shining upon it is one of the more spectacular and pleasant views in nature.

I’ve been enjoying this experience daily on my two to three neighborhood walks with my dog, Sweetie, all the while wishing it would be like this all summer

applecrisp1But alas, there’s only a window of one to two weeks when the apple trees are flowering in the spring. After that, they are just another tree to a lot of people.

But don’t count me in that group. I can hardly wait until fall to harvest some of my neighbors’ beautiful apples, some of which are enjoyed just as they are, while others find their way into vacuumed-seal bags to to be used during the winter in number of desserts. And lest I forget, a half-dozen sealed jars filled with a premade apple pie sauce mixture.

One of may favorite desserts to make with apples is apple crisp. And I have a sure-fire recipe that’s simple, tasty and brings back many memories.

The Northwood Apple Crisp recipe, which was given to me by my friend and former co-worker, Marsha Gunderson, is a family favorite. Marsha told me that the recipe was one that was used by cooks at her school in Northwood, N.D. If I recall correctly, they gave it to Marsha as a gift when she married.

The apple crisp reminded me a lot of the dessert that I had as a schoolkid when growing up in Crookston, Minn. My aunt, Helen Tiedeman, who was head cook at the Cathedral School, told me the recipe was one that came from the government, which supplied a lot of commodities to school lunch programs back in the 1950s and 1960s. I believe Northwood had the same recipe.

Aa few years later, Lois Durkin, the mother of another former co-worker, Jim Durkin, told me her recipe was exactly the same as mine. She says he mother, also a school cook, gave it to her.

Regardless, it’s a recipe that is a winner.

Northwood School Apple Crisp
6 cups apples
1 cup flour
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup butter
½ teaspoon salt
Cinnamon to taste
Put apples in a 8-by-13-inch baking dish sprayed with  cooking oil. Cover with white sugar and sprinkle on some cinnamon.
Mix the remaining ingredients for the topping and put  on top of apple mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes to 1 hour. Serve with ice cream.

2 thoughts on “CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Northwood Apple Crisp”

  • Marsha Gunderson May 11, 2015 at 9:23 am

    Thanks, Jeff. This remains one of my favorites. Tastes great, plus it’s so easy to make.

  • CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Mom’s Apple Bars – UNHERALDED.FISH January 19, 2019 at 9:31 am

    […] first foray into baking was making apple crisp with a recipe that was given to me by a former co-worker at the Herald, Marsha Gunderson. After that, Mom taught […]


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