It’s the plump sweetness of ripened melons and winter squash that make farmers fall for another season each October. Yet as much as I’ve been looking forward to pumpkin pie, turning leaves, and the distinctive chill of autumn, what I’ve most eagerly awaited all season long is the moment we strip the tomato branches of their unripe green fruit. At last, the time has arrived for fried green tomatoes, green tomato pickles, chutneys, and of course, the legendary green tomato pie! I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard that green tomatoes could be swapped for apples in a lip-smacking spin on the classic American dessert, and have waited all year to try it.
I suppose I’ll have to wait another year, since in the scramble to wrap up the season, I couldn’t quite find the time or energy for pie crust. But I figured if green tomatoes could take the place of apples in a pie, why not throw them in a crisp?
Admittedly, I didn’t find the texture or taste quite as appealing as an apple crisp. (But I should have expected as much, considering my life-long love affair with apples.) Also, for some reason, no matter how long I baked it, the topping remaining stubbornly pale. Nonetheless, it was a huge hit with my adventurous friends, and even I had to admit it was pretty delicious, especially after a night in the fridge. The perfect farewell treat! Beautiful mountains and souls of Santa Fe, I will miss you… and will no doubt be back ere long.
Green Tomato Crisp
4 cups chopped green tomatoes (or use half apple if you want)
1/3 to 1/2 cup maple syrup, or sweeter of choice
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons vinegar (I used apple cider)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup melted butter or oil
Mix together filling ingredients and place in a small baking dish. Combine topping ingredients and press evenly over the filling, then bake at 375º for 35-40 minutes. Let cool a few minutes, then enjoy! The leftovers are arguably even better, reheated or right out of the fridge. Yum!