Apple Crisp (the one I made nearly every Friday while my kids were growing up – )

 7-8 tart apples (like Gala, Granny Smith or Fuji) - peeled and sliced thin)
 Juice of about half a lemon
 1 tsp lemon zest 
 1 TBSP pure maple syrup
 ¼ cup fruity or berry liqueur or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
 1 cup chopped toasted almonds or pecans (or mix them together)
 2 cups quick oats
 ¼ cup whole wheat flour, almond flour, or gluten-free flour  
 ½ cup brown sugar
 2 tsp cinnamon
 Pinch of salt
 ¼ cup canola or coconut oil 
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  • Mix dry ingredients with oil in a bowl or a zip locked bag
  • In a large bowl, whisk syrup, lemon, zest, cinnamon, vanilla or liquor.
  • Add apple slices and stir gently with a large spoon to evenly coat apples
  • Spray square or pie glass pan and pour in apple mixture
  • Press nut mixture gently over the apples to cover the entire top
  • Bake covered with foil for about 40 minutes 
  • Uncover and bake an additional 20 minutes until browned on top

p.214 Battered: A Whipped and Sipped Mystery

“You were the one who told me about Hector-Schaf Electronics in the first place,” said Frank, chewing the crisp slowly and smiling the same way she did when she was eating something extraordinary, “but you neglected to say anything about Joan being blackmailed.”

“I’m sorry,” said Alene. “It was a long time ago.”

“Do you know if anyone else received a demand for money?” Frank asked. “Like your ex-mother-in-law?”

“Mitzi never mentioned it,” said Alene. “She is an honest person and she wouldn’t have tolerated illegally obtained money. I told Gary that she’d probably have tossed Patrick out of her bed and her life if she knew he’d done something illegal such as helping Joan embezzle money.”

Alene’s jaw had nearly dropped to the floor when Gary had asked if she thought Mitzi had tossed Patrick overboard on their cruise. Gary had also been on board when it happened. “She’d have called the police no matter what the blackmailer threatened her with,” Alene told Frank. “I once heard her rail against Neal when he couldn’t tell her what charities he supports.”

“What about Neal’s father?”

Alene said, “Well, you know that he died after falling off a cruise ship, right?”

“That was very unusual and suspicious,” said Frank.

“Yeah, it was weird, but the entire cruise industry changed their rules because of it,” said Alene

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