How do you like them apples? Crisp, crunch or crumble? 

According to a certain joyful author, crisp is a mixture scattered over the top of the sliced apples. When the baker adds oatmeal to the mix, a delightful British “crumble” is created. The crunch is a layering of fruit and breadcrumbs, baked and cut into squares.  by: HILLSBORO FARMERS MARKET -  Fall is the perfect time to stock up on apples at Hillsboro's Saturday or Sunday farmers markets.

There is also the all American apple pie, but since my pie crusts are a bona fide substitute for concrete, I prefer the crumble.  

I recently shared this treat with my favorite kiwi family kids, Caleb and Elliot, ages 5 and 7. The first order of business was breaking up the frozen sliced Gravenstein apples that I put up a few weeks ago.  The boys enjoyed pounding and dropping the sacks to accomplish the break up, which, given their father’s prowess for martial arts, meant those “apples didn’t fall far from the tree.”  Then, set up with their own baking stations, the boys mashed flour, sugar, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and butter together and sprinkled it over freshly sliced Gravensteins. 

We baked at 350 degrees for 50 minutes, with the boys sitting “criss-cross apple sauce” in front of the oven to see if it was done yet. 

Caleb suggested topping with vanilla ice cream and of course we agreed!  The apples were not peeled and we all agreed that the extra vitamins in the peels allowed us to qualify the dessert as our “apple a day to keep the doctor away.”

The best apples for a crumble, crisp, crunch are tart and firm like Gravensteins, Braeburns, or Granny Smith. For a nice eating apple enjoy a Jonagold or Honey Crisp. 

No need to go to the Big Apple for your baking ingredients, all of these varieties are available at the Hillsboro Saturday or Sunday markets at stands run by Fairlight Farms, Kiyokawa Orchards, Pro Farm, VanDykes, Tualatin Valley Garden Club. The markets are open until the end of October. Saturdays 8 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. on Main Street in downtown Hillsboro. Sundays 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at Orenco Station near New Seasons Market. 

Come see us and you’ll be the apple of our eyes!

When she’s not baking apple crumble with kids in her neighborhood,

Laura Conroy is the manager of the Hillsboro Farmers Market. You can contact her and learn more about the market at

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