Saturday, October 11, 2014

Sustainable Saturday - Heirloom Apple Crisp

Early fall in upstate New York.
Many things say "fall" upstate.  For example, trees turning color.  We've had our first flush of color. The second will come now that many areas have had their first frost.

More early fall color for you.

Frost.  We haven't received one yet where I live near Johnson City, New York, but the outlying areas have received their frosts, and the trees will be bare all too soon.

For me, the best part of fall is the food.  So today's topic will be:  apples.

We are in apple growing country, and some of the apples grown here are heirloom varieties.

There is a farm near Ithaca, New York, that specializes in heirloom apples.  At least once a year, we visit their booth at the Ithaca Farmers Market to pick up some unusual varieties. 

But even in our local apple stores in the Binghamton area, we can purchase heirlooms such as 20 Ounce , a native NY variety from the 1800's.

There are many more apple varieties than you can find in your average supermarket.  Many of the older varieties don't ship well, or don't keep well, or don't bear reliably year after year.  But if you can find them, they are worth the effort.

Be sure, also, that you buy the right apple.  You must ask yourself:  How do you intend to use your apple?
Fresh eating? (my favorites are Honey Crisp, Autumn Crisp, and some of the eating heirlooms, especially the russets.)
Baking? (my favorite is Northern Spy, but they are just starting to come in, so I didn't have any on hand yesterday.)  You can also try Rome and Cortland.  And, Honey Crisps can be used in baking.
Tart Eating?  Empire is your pick. It used to be my favorite apple.

I, personally, am not a fan of Red Delicious or MacIntosh, but they have their fans.

At one you pick place in this area, here is today's schedule.
"Saturday 11th - 9 am to 4 pm Empire, Cortland, Red & Golden Delicious, Ida Red, Jonagold, Northern Spy"

Which brings me to one of my favorite desserts, apple crisp.  Last fall, I blogged about a Weight Watchers apple crisp recipe I was using.  This year, I am experimenting with a different Weight Watchers recipe.

Doesn't this look yummy?

I decided to experiment with adding frozen blueberries (which I picked from a U Pick farm in August).  At times, I've also put pears and/or blackberries into my apple crisps.  Yesterday, I decided to make an apple crisp with what I had on hand - 20 ounce apples, and frozen blueberries.

Sorry for my friends outside the United States - you'll have to do your own conversions into metric, oven temperatures, etc.
20 ounce apple and leaves from my yard
Fruit Crisp (9 inch square pan, serves 9)

2 pounds baking apples (I used 20 Ounce)

4 tbsp brown sugar (you can also use 1 tbsp sucralose as an alternative)

2 tsp lemon juice

1 cup frozen blueberries (I didn't thaw them)

Peel and slice cored apples. Mix all ingredients together.  Place in a 9 inch square baking dish that has been oiled or buttered.

Top with topping.  Keep in mind this is an adaptation of a low-cal topping.  It may not suit you.


1 cup quick oats
4 tbsp brown sugar
4 tbsp light butter
1/2 tsp freshly ground allspice (since I, amazingly, didn't have cinnamon on hand)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Mix topping together and top.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes or until the apple slices are the consistency you want.  Let cool, unless you can't wait to eat it.

How did it do? The blueberries dyed the apples nearby purple, but it tasted good.  The topping was "OK" (I'm still experimenting with getting these lower calorie toppings moist.) But next time, I may use Northern Spy apples.  The 20 ounce holds its shape well, but I would prefer a moister apple.

Do you have a favorite apple?  Do you have a favorite apple recipe?


  1. That recipe looks delicious! I think today would be a fantastic day to try it out. I love dried apples in my oatmeal on a cold morning too. Happy Autumn!

    1. Happy autumn. If you try the crisp, I hope you like it!

  2. I love fall, especially getting to see the trees change colors. Apples are one of my favorite fruits. I am going to have to try your recipe for the Apple Tart. I bet the blueberries with it are wonderful. As someone who has done Weight Watchers in the past, I have to say I look forward to using your recipe since it suits those needs. Thanks for shairng.

    1. Thank you, Pattipeanut - I hope it works well for you. Under the Pointplus system, the apple and blueberries are no points and I do use the Sucralose (Splenda) variation. The points are in the topping. I've tried various Weight Watchers toppings from their website (I subscribe) and don't like any of them. I got this from another "light eating" website. I am still looking for the perfect topping.

  3. I so love the changing of the colors in the Fall. It makes me think of hot apple pies fresh from the oven. And your WW Apple Crisp looks pretty darned delicious. Makes me wish I could smell it through my computer screen!

    1. Oh yes, I've wished many times for a Smell o'Blog plug in, especially for some of my flower pictures. Trust me, that crisp had a wonderful aroma.

  4. Simple but tasty. I'm going to have a bash at this tomorrow. Cheers!

  5. Alana, it is half past midnight where I live and this post got me drooling. Sigh. Fall is such a beautiful time of the year. Lovely photos!

  6. They look like such gorgeous apples!
    I can just imagine them baked, with cinnamon, raisins and brown sugar.

  7. I'm partial to Golden Delicious.
    We live in apple country too, in Virginia.

  8. The colors in your photos are inspiring. What a beautiful time of year. We have an old apple tree growing along a waste strip at the back of the property which divides off the horse paddocks. The poor tree growing amongst blackberries is withered and sick whereas others dotted along the boundary are doing well. It produces very few apples and those are snapped up by birds who love to hide amongst the brambles. So, I've never tasted one of the apples.

  9. Your apples look delicious!
    My favorite are Jonathan apples.

  10. I'll be making apple crisp today! The in-laws gave us a huge bag of apples they picked with our niece not long ago, so why not?

    Also, this season always makes me homesick. As beautiful as autumn is in Minnesota, nothing beats the season in upstate New York. (I spent a good chunk of my childhood just outside of Syracuse.)

  11. Looks and sounds great. Apples are such a great food and to add blueberries to the crisp makes this a desert I will be adding to the dinner table this thanksgiving. Thanks for sharing.


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