By Helen Chin Lui

I look for recipes everywhere I go. Yes, I confess, I am a recipe junkie. I am constantly looking out for recipes, main entrees, desserts, appetizers, soups, etc. that catches my eyes and gets the juices in my stomach flowing. While reading recipes, I can actually taste the end product, and at the same time make changes to the recipe to suit my palate or dietary needs.

Recently, while I was at the doctor’s office waiting to be seen, I picked up a Home and Garden magazine and one of the recipes that were featured was a yummy apple crisp recipe. Instead of tearing the recipe out of the magazine, I took a picture of it and off to the market I went with it to buy the ingredients to make it. One of the changes I made to the recipe you can make the recipe gluten free by substituting the wheat flour with gluten free flour. 

I have a lot of sentimental attachment to eating apple crisp dishes. I fondly remember eating apple crisp almost weekly, as a newly wed and weekly dinners at my in-laws. My sister in-law, would almost always bring a freshly baked pan of apple crisp to satisfy our sweet teeth after a consuming a five course Chinese dinner made lovingly by my mother in-law. Unfortunately we no longer have weekly dinners, but I still have cravings for apple crisp. The best thing about making apple crisp is that it is fairly quick to make since there is no piecrust involve. 

Here is my version of the Home and Garden recipe. By the way, you can cut the recipe in half or double it. This is a pretty healthy recipe with minimal amounts of fat and sugar. Of course you have to serve it with vanilla ice cream, (did I say minimal amount of fats?), but apple crisp doesn’t taste the same without ice cream. 

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4-6 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Filling Ingredients
In a large bowl mix together the following and place in a 8 or 9” pie pan or a 8×8 or 9×9 or 9×13 baking pan

6 medium size or 3 very large, peeled, cored, and very thinly sliced apples (about 2.5 pounds) of any variety of cooking apples.
    Note: I used – 2 Cortland, 1 Honey Crisp and 1 Granny Smith apples
              I used a Japanese Mandoline slicer to slice my apples. You can use a food processor or a kitchen knife. Slice as evenly and thinly as possible.
Grated zest of 1 fresh lemon
Juice from half of fresh lemon
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon all purpose or gluten free flour
¼ teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon of ground nutmeg 


¾ cup of all purpose or gluten free flour
4 tablespoon of light brown sugar
2 tablespoon of granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon of ground ginger
¼ teaspoon of ground clove
6 tablespoon of cold butter, cut in 6 chunks
1 cup of either whole pecans or walnut 

Lightly toast nuts on a cookie sheet in an oven at 350 degrees for 4-5 minutes until golden brown (keep your eye on it, nuts burn very quickly.) Once cool, place nuts in a food processor, with the remaining dry ingredients and pulse off and on for 30 seconds until nuts are somewhat chunky. Add butter pieces and pulse off and on again, until butter resembles large peas (about 2 minutes.) 

Note: If you don’t have a food processor, put nuts in a large clean bag, close bag and using the flat bottom of a cup, crush nuts. Pour nuts into bowl along with dry ingredients and mix. Cut butter in to the flour mixture with a pastry blender or with two knives. 

Once topping is mixed, pour over apple mixture and pat down firmly until topping makes contact with apples. Apples should be completely covered. Bake for about 30 minutes until the topping is golden brown and you can see the side of pan bubbling with sugar. Another indicator that it is done is when you smell a lovely, wonderful apple and cinnamon aroma. Take out of oven and let it cool for about 10 minutes. (You will be sorry if you don’t let it cool down, I have burnt the roof of my mouth a couple of times because I couldn’t wait. OUCH! ) Slice and top with your favorite ice cream.

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