Prepare a 9-x-5-inch pan or small casserole dish with butter or cooking spray.
Toss apples with sugar and cinnamon. Add remaining filling ingredients. Place apple mixture in the prepared baking pan. If there’s too much apple mixture for the baking pan, put any extra into a small, buttered ceramic bowl for an individual serving.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and butter together with a pastry cutter or your fingers, until the butter pieces are about the size of small peas. Stir in the oats and pecans, then mix them in a little with the pastry cutter.
Spoon the topping over the apple mixture. Keep it loose, do not pat it down. If you have too much, as with the apple mixture, add it to the container with the individual serving of filling.
Bake for approx. 45–60 minutes. At 45 minutes, pull it out of the oven and check it to see how the apples are cooking and how the top is browning. Slide a fork or spoon down the side of the dish to pull out a piece of apple to see if it’s cooked through. Adjust your timer as needed. If the apples are firm, bake for another 10 minutes and test it again. If the topping is browning too fast, place a loose piece of aluminum foil over it for the last 10–15 minutes of baking.
Cool approx. 15 minutes before serving. Top with whipped cream or ice cream.
NOTES: If the raw apples are soft, dice them larger. If the apples are hard, dice them small.
Recipe and photo courtesy of Mary Kay Brevig, retired communications and public relations manager at Eau Claire Energy Cooperative, from her food blog “Angels Baking Memories.” Mary Kay is a celebrated past local page editor of this magazine, winning the N. F. Leifer Memorial Journalism Award for five consecutive years. www.angelsbakingmemories.com