Serves 6 to 8.

Note: Mark Campbell adapted this recipe from "The Joy of Cooking." It's one of his favorite recipes because he says it's so "forgiving." He often substitutes other fruit for some of the apples and adds chopped almonds or sliced candied ginger to the topping.

• 8 apples (about 21/2 lb.)

• 3/4 c. all-purpose flour

• 3/4 c. white or packed brown sugar

• 1/2 tsp. salt

• 1 to 11/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

• 1/4 tsp. grated or ground nutmeg

• 1/2 c. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Peel, core and cut apples into 1-inch chunks. Spread apples evenly in the bottom of an unbuttered, 2-inch deep 2-quart baking dish.

Combine flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut the butter into dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Scatter the topping evenly over the fruit.

Bake until the topping is golden brown, the juices are bubbling and the apples are tender, 50 to 55 minutes. Serve hot or cold.