Peg Bingham

Research confirms this to be the best apple crisp recipe ever conceived.

My mom made the best apple crisp in the whole wide world. It’s a dessert made of baked chopped apples topped with a crispy crust. My sister and I learned to make it and we had it all the time. We took it for granted.

Somewhere along the line I decided I was going to be healthy and I quit making it. I got over that but when I went to make it again a few years later, I had lost the recipe. 

I called on my sister for help. She had lost it too.

I tried many different combinations from many different cook books, and after talking with my sister I reconstructed the recipe below from my memory of what Mom’s tasted like. 

Back then I sometimes ran the kitchen at the Longbranch Improvement Club, and when it came time to do something for the very first Fiber Arts Festival, in 2008, we wanted to use fall fruit. I decided to make this crisp. We had a team prep it the day before and we started baking that morning, so when the festival opened the whole place smelled like fresh-baked apple crisp. 

That first year we made eight pans out of 36 pounds of apples; it takes about five pounds per pan. We sold out every year until I stopped in 2015.

So, here it is for you to try.

For the filling:

2½ pounds Granny Smith apples, washed, cored and chopped
2½ pounds Yellow Delicious apples, washed, cored and chopped
4 tablespoons lemon juice
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg

Mix in a bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight.

For the topping:

2¼ cups sugar
2¼ cups flour
1½ teaspoons salt
1½ teaspoons cinnamon
¾ teaspoon nutmeg
3 sticks of cold, unsalted butter

Cut butter into flour mixture with pastry blender or two knives and mix with the topping ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Do not use a food processor, as that will change the texture of the topping. It’s best to make it a day ahead and refrigerate overnight.

Place filling into ungreased 9 by 13 inch pan. Sprinkle topping over apples. Tap pan on the counter once or twice to settle in the crumbs. 

Bake in 375 degree oven until topping is golden brown, juices are bubbling and apples are tender, about 50 to 55 minutes. Serve warm. A scoop of whip cream wouldn’t hurt.

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