Saturday, October 8, 2011


Have I mentioned that October is my favorite month of the year?  Here in Maine it means apple-picking, cider, trees with leaves the color of lit matches, crisp nights of the open-the-window-a-crack-and-pile-on-the-blankets variety, and chilly days of the pack-up-the-picnic-basket-and-dress-warmly-to-share-lunch-by-the-sea (or the pond, or the stream, or on top of the little mountain just up the road) variety.  

To be honest, we're having a bit of an Indian Summer this weekend, but that is lovely, too.  And it doesn't keep me from baking.  So, here's my Apple Crisp recipe.  It's one I sort of made up as I went along several years ago.  I've tried many varieties of apples for making crisp, but I usually come back to a blend of Granny Smiths for tartness (always, always, always) with Cortlands and/or Macouns for sweetness.  I love McIntosh apples for eating, but I never use them for baking, because I like the apples to hold a little of their shape in a crisp, tart, or pie, and McIntoshes simply don't.  They turn to applesauce instead.  Cortlands and Macouns were bred from the McIntosh  crossed with other varieties to make the best of their traits and eliminate some of the mealiness that McIntoshes can have.

Now, I know many folks are very choosy about accompaniments for their apple crisp.  Some insist on whipped cream, others like ice cream, and others like caramel sauce and ice cream.  I say, to each her own.  I don't care for caramel sauce on mine because I like the apple flavor to be the highlight, but I do love a scoop of either vanilla bean or coffee ice cream served alongside the warm crisp.  Another fantastic accompaniment, especially if you love combining savory with sweet, is some very sharp cheddar cheese.  When I was a girl, my dad would often slide a slice of cheddar under the "lid" of a slice of apple pie.  I thought it was a strange thing to do until the first time I tried it, and then I understood.  Oh, boy, did I.  The same principle applies with apple crisp.

The Magpie's Apple Crisp   
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Butter a 2-quart baking dish
  • Peel, core and slice about 8 apples (I use 4 Granny Smiths and 4 Cortlands or Macouns to achieve a blend of sweet and tart)
  • Fill the baking dish with the apples and squeeze the juice of half a lemon over them.  Toss to coat the apples with the juice.  Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, toss together: 
1/2 cup white flour
1/4 cup wheat flour
1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup brown sugar 
a handful or two (to taste) of chopped pecans
  • Blend into the topping ingredients with a pastry blender or fingertips:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • Sprinkle the topping over the apples.
  • Bake at 375 for 50-55 minutes.
NOTE: I jotted this recipe down in 2006 as I went along.  It was one of those special recipes that came together like a dream.  At the end I wrote: "Serve warm with ice cream. Give Todd extra!"  Reading this makes me smile every single time.  Enjoy, my friends.

P.S. A special thanks to Maureen Nichols for including my Cinderella pumpkin photo in her post at The Inspiration Studio today!


  1. So true............othing says autumn better than apple pies or crisps. Just finished baking a few for our Thanksgiving celebration this weekend here in Canada. We are having ones of those warm, gorgeous weekends and with the pies baking and filling the house........perfect. XO

  2. I am not generally an apple crisp fan, but considering how amazingly delicious your blueberry cake is, (so delicious that I've made it about 5 times since you posted it last) I will give this recipe a try. I like the sound of using apples that don't turn to mush, as that's my biggest dislike with most crisps. And the fact that you understand the happy marriage between apples & cheddar is a sign of great taste indeed!


  3. my husband has been asking me to make an apple crisp recipe that i hadn't made for many years. i made it this afternoon. we still have tons of i think i'll make yours tomorrow.

    thanks....i think it will be marvelous.

  4. Perfect for today perfect, I have put your recipe on my daily click...Thank you for the inspiration...xv

  5. Perfect! Perfect description of fall. What could be a better way to honor it than with this great crisp.

    It's Indian Summer here to, yet I a moving forward with a soup making and now crisp making day. Sweating over the hot stove on Columbus Day Weekend! Bring back the crisp fall days!

  6. So much easier to do than to make a pie:) I am jotting this down to try real soon...I bet the pecans make it just right!

    Thanks Gigi!!

  7. I made one today too, using all Courtlands, and it wad too sweet! Scoop of vanilla was on mine. Yum! Nice weather we are having!!!! xo

  8. Oh there is nothing like autumn, its smells and colours! Apple crisps are one of my favourite home cooked treats of all time!

  9. So delicious, Gigi... mmm... I love me some apple crisp in autumn. And I've been playing with apples too--both baked form and with camera. ;o) We were drinking mulled apple cider this weekend... *sigh*... I love these apple days! Happy Week, my friend ((HUGS))

  10. I am definitely an apple girl and this recipe sounds delicious. I usually make apple pies this time of year with Gravenstein's. Now I must try your crisp recipe. My family is asking for me to make your blueberry recipe you shared a while back, we loved that one.

  11. Oh I love this month too. In Colorado, it is pretty much perfect! And it makes me want to bake, to...i'm thinking hedgehog-shaped bread rolls ;)

  12. I plan to try this one this week. I'm on a quest to find the perfect apple crisp for Jeffrey, you know. Thanks for sharing this.


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