Easy Apple Crisp Recipe & The History Of Apple Crisp - The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures Easy Apple Crisp Recipe & The History Of Apple Crisp
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Easy Apple Crisp Recipe & The History Of Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp Recipe
[1] An apple crisp is the perfect solution for when you don’t want to roll out a pie crust (photo © Urban Accents).

Apple Crisp Recipe
[2] A serving of apple crisp is even prettier than pie when you serve it in dessert dishes. Here it’s served with custard sauce (here’s a recipe), but you could substitute a scoop of ice cream (photo © Finlandia Cheese).

Apple Crumble Recipe
[3] You can also make apple crisp/crumble in individual ramekins or pots. This one has an extra-thick streusel topping. Yum (photo © Between The Bread [now closed])!

Van Leeuwen Honey Ice Cream Pint
[4] For an apples and honey theme, add honey ice cream (photo © Van Leeuwen Ice Cream).

Plum Cobbler in Le Creuset Gratin Pan
[5] A cobbler is topped with biscuit dough, which resembles cobblestones. The handsome pan is the Le Creuset Heritage Stoneware Oval Gratin (photo © Williams Sonoma).

Individual Blueberry Crisp or Crumble
[6] Use ramekins to make individual crisps (photo © Driscoll’s Berries).


Our piemaker Mom was not keen on apple crisp. A cook and baker extraordinaire, she was beloved for all of her cuisine. But people raved about her pies with the “best crust ever.”

Rebel that we were, we weren’t into pie crusts. We preferred the thicker, cookie-like tart crusts; and with no crusts, crisps (sprinkled with streusel topping—photo #1) and cobblers (with biscuit “cobblestones” on top—photo #5).

Although we crimped many a pie crust when cooking in Mom’s kitchen, we learned to make the latter two when we had an apartment of our own.

This weekend, our baking project is Grandmother Bassett’s Apple Crisp.

For an apples-and-honey Rosh Hashanah dessert, we’re serving it with Van Leeuwen honeycomb ice cream (photo #3—other brands make honey ice cream, too). We’ve also enjoyed apple crisp with salted caramel ice cream, although your favorite—chocolate, coffee, vanilla, whatever) works, too.

This recipe was developed by the L.D. Bassett Ice Cream Company and shared with Melissa’s Produce, who shared it with us. Thanks to all three: Bassett’s, Melissa’s, and Grandmother Bassett.

> Do you know the difference between a cobbler, a crisp, and a crumble? Here they are, plus 10 more “cousins.”

> More crisp recipes and the history of apple crisp are below.

> The different types of pies and pastries.

> The difference between pies and tarts.
Prep time is 20 minutes, and cook time is 45-55 minutes.
Ingredients For 6-8 Servings

  • Butter for greasing baking dish
  • 5 cups* Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, or Mutsu/Crispin apples
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Ice cream flavor of choice or whipped cream

    1. PLACE an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter a 9-inch square baking dish.

    2. COMBINE the water and cinnamon in a large bowl. Peel, core, and slice the apples into 1/2 inch-thick wedges, place them in the cinnamon water bowl and toss well. Pour them into the baking dish.

    3. COMBINE the flour, butter, and brown sugar in another bowl. Work the mixture into coarse crumbs that resemble dried oats and sprinkle over the apples.

    4. PLACE the baking dish on a cookie sheet or in a roasting pan to prevent spills. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until lightly golden. Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream.

    The earliest print reference to apple crisp in print occurs in 1924, with a recipe in the Everybody’s Cook Book: A Comprehensive Manual of Home Cookery, by Isabel Ely Lord [Harcout Brace and Company: New York] 1924 (p. 239).

    Over time, the names have become used interchangeably; although that’s not correct. If it’s streusel, it’s a crisp, if there are rolled oats, it’s a crumble.

  • Crisps contain oats in the topping, which crisps up as it bakes (hence the name.).
  • Crumbles have a streusel topping: butter, flour, and sugar. Streusel form into large when the butter is cut into the dry ingredients; “crumbs,” hence “crumble.”
    We have seen references that both crisps and crumbles became more popular during World War II, “when food rationing limited access to pastry ingredients used for making apple pies” [source].

    However, the basic foodstuffs that were rationed were bacon, butter, and other fats, canned and processed foods, cheese, coffee, meat, and sugar.

    Crisps, crumbles, and pies all contain sugar and fats. While the topping of crisps and crumbles requires much less fat than pie crusts, the toppings require sugar, and pie crusts do not. We’re guessing that the extra sugar was easier to manage during rationing than the extra fats.

    Today, crisps and crumbles are made with all types of fruit. Like pies, they are equally beloved for their delicious selves.

  • Cherry Cobbler
  • Classic Apple Crisp
  • Cranberry Apple Crisp
  • Mango Blueberry Cobbler
  • Old Fashioned Apple Crisp
  • Peach Or Mango Cobbler
  • Summer Crisp Or Cobbler

    > April 13th is National Peach Cobbler Day.

    > May 17th is National Cherry Cobbler Day.

    > October 5th is National Apple Betty Day.

    > October is National Apple Month, October 21st is National Apple Day.

    *One medium apple yields about 1-1/3 cups sliced or cubed. So four apples should do it, but it never hurts to have extras [source].





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