Apple Pecan Crisp
My 4-year-old daughter brought home her field trip permission slip for the farm today, which means it’s officially fall and I’m on the hook for chaperone. Truth be told, these autumn school field trips really aren’t my thing: the hayrides are itchy, the pumpkin patches are muddy and prickly, and the farm animals…ehh. Thank heavens at least they have apples!
So what am I planning to do with all my hard earned apples, once I’ve cleaned my boots and picked the hay off my jeans? One thing’s for sure: I won’t be rolling dough or fussing over fancy lattice patterns for apple pie. I’ll be taking the easy route with this old-fashioned Apple Pecan Crisp – a dish of warm baked apples bubbling away in their own syrupy juices, topped with a streusel-like mix of toasted pecans, old-fashioned rolled oats, sweet butter and brown sugar. Served warm out of the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, it’s the ultimate fall dessert.
Begin by peeling and slicing the apples. Be sure to use firm baking apples that will hold their shape when cooked. For this recipe, I used a blend of Empire and Sun Crisp because that’s what was available at the farm. You might have different options; just be sure to buy varieties that are suitable for baking, otherwise you’ll end up with applesauce. I always like to use a mix of different varietals for a more nuanced flavor. Some readily available options include Granny Smith, Fuji, Honey Crisp and Golden Delicious.
Next, in a food processor, pulse the flour, brown sugar, ¼ cup of the granulated sugar and salt until combined. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
Transfer the crumbs to a bowl and stir in the toasted pecans and oats.
Toss the apples with the remaining 6 tablespoons granulated sugar and transfer the apple mixture to a buttered baking dish. Cover with the topping and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until the apples are tender when pierced and the topping is toasted. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream and enjoy.
Apple Pecan Crisp
- 1 cup pecans
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- Pinch salt
- 6 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 2-1/2 pounds tart baking apples (about 5 large), peeled, cored and sliced 1/4-inch thick
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a food processor, pulse the flour with the brown sugar, ¼ cup of the granulated sugar and salt until combined. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer the crumbs to a bowl and stir in the toasted pecans and oats. Set aside.
- Generously butter a shallow 2-quart baking dish (I use a 12”L x 8”W x 1” deep ceramic oval). In a medium bowl, toss the apples with the remaining 6 tablespoons granulated sugar. Transfer the apple mixture to the prepared baking dish and cover with the topping. Bake in the middle of the oven for 40-50 minutes, or until the apples are tender when pierced and the topping is toasted. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream if desired.
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