Food & Recipes -

The Potluck: Apple Crisp


Taking a Midwest Tradition Local: Carry it on into fall!

Story and photos by Aryn Henning Nichols • Photo/Food Assistant Thea Satrom • Originally published in the Summer 2015 Inspire(d)

Getting together with friends is the stuff of summer  fall.

Getting together with friends, eating food grown by friends, is the stuff of a Driftless summer  fall.

When you live in a place like the Driftless Region, you sometimes forget that you’re even eating local…you’re just serving up the produce grown by farmers up the road! They might even be sitting across the table from you – ‘cause this is the Midwest, people. We’re friendly. And we like to potluck.

In case this is your first day in the Midwest, a potluck is “a gathering of people where each person or group of people contributes a dish of food to be shared among the larger gathered group.”

It’s a beautiful thing not just because it’s a great format for a party, but also because sometimes summertime livin’ isn’t so easy; it’s busy. Make it a little simpler by having your friends make all the food. Okay…you still have to make one dish, but that’s a lot better than a whole meal.

What goes into planning a potluck? Just an email, text message, or phone call with a loose “you do a main course, I’ll do veggie, they’ll bring dessert” sort of thing. Take it a step further and challenge potluck-goers to use local produce in their dishes. Buying locally is good for your environment, economy, and – most importantly – yourself. And shopping in season at your area farmers markets and food co-ops is also way more affordable than you’d think!

We put together our own potluck of local foods for this issue – from local shrimp (yep!) to bacon-wrapped dates to a beet and apple salad to cheese curd caprese skewers, we’ve got you covered. For this post, we’re featuring the perfect fall dessert: Aryn’s Apple Crisp (ed. note: Gah! I apparently just wanted to eat dessert and didn’t get amazing photos of the crisp! Will make it again this fall and update!).

In a pinch and don’t have time to actually cook something? That’s totally okay too! We looked to the bulk section of our local co-op for a few ideas…chocolate-covered ginger, anyone? Goes great with a mint julep, we think!

Make it a potluck-y summer FALL(!), friends, and enjoy!



Apple Crisp

5-6 medium tart cooking apples, peeled and sliced thin (5 cups)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Ice cream, if desired

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Grease bottom and sides of 9×13 pan with shortening. (Our family isn’t huge, so I actually like to split this into two smaller pans and freeze one. It does extremely well later – take it out, thaw in the fridge, and bake as directed!)

Spread apples in pan. In medium bowl, cut butter into dry ingredients until well mixed; sprinkle over apples.

Bake about 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown and apples are tender when pierced with a fork. Serve with ice cream (if you want)!


Looking for more potluck recipes? Check these out:
Finger Foods
Main Courses