Saturday, November 22, 2014

Sustainable Saturday - A Crisp Thanksgiving

 In the United States, this Thursday is Thanksgiving.

Today, our local newspaper had a front page article on buying local food this Thanksgiving, which I hope to blog about more before Thanksgiving.

Today, though, I wanted to share with you a special apple crisp I made a couple of weeks ago.  I know I blogged about apple crisp earlier this year, but I love it so - and crisp is an easy make ahead recipe during the busy Thanksgiving cooking season.  So, this is one of the several crisp variations I make each fall.

What I used for this latest crisp is something called a Thornberry apple.  This is not a common commercial variety, so you can use any commercial baking apple.  We are so fortunate in upstate New York to live in apple growing country.

And yes, this is the true color of the apple.

Our local pears mostly failed this year, so I can not make a true apple/pear crisp with all local ingredients.  Also, I used blackberries (yes, blackberries) from a local supermarket.  I think either blackberries or blueberries add to the flavor and color of the crisp. 
Apple/Pear Crisp (9 inch square pan, serves 9)

2 pounds baking apples (I will use a Thornberry and some Crispins, a heirloom apple grown locally, when I make this for Thanksgiving).  In the recipe above, I used a pound of apples and a pound pears.  For all my metric readers, two pounds is just about one kg.

4 tbsp brown sugar (you can also use 1 tbsp sucralose as an alternative) (that's about .59 ml)

2 tsp lemon juice (about 10 ml)

1 cup frozen blackberries (I don't thaw them)  This might be 128 g but I really don't know for sure, because I am using cups in a volume sense, not a weight sense.  Sorry, my dear metric readers, you are on your own here and going forward. And as for my British readers. there is this.

Anyway, back to my recipe:
Thornberry apple slices. Trust me, this is the real color.
Peel and slice cored apples and (if you use them), pears. Mix all ingredients together.  Place in a 9 inch square baking dish that has been oiled or buttered.

For the topping, I use this recipe, which is an adaptation of a low-cal topping.  If you prefer, substitute your own topping.


1 cup quick oats
4 tbsp brown sugar
4 tbsp light butter
1/2 tsp freshly ground cinnamon (I used allspice last time - this time I made sure I had cinnamon on hand.  I buy the sticks and grind in a mortar and pestle.  It's worth the extra work.  Wish there was such a thing as smell o'blog).
1 tsp vanilla

Mix all ingredients together and blend well. Top crisp with mixture.

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.

I couldn't wait.

The brown item at the lower right is some leftover chocolate pumpkin cake.  I'm tempted to post that recipe Monday as it is the Easiest Cake Ever, except I know my blogging friend Amy in Nebraska will never read my blog again if I post the recipe.  (When she sees said post, she will know why, especially after all my whining on her blog about how I don't like pumpkin.  And actually, I still don't.)

I think apple crisp is even better the second day, so I will make this the day before Thanksgiving.

And now, dear blog readers, I must get crackin' on my NaNoWriMo novel. I am so seriously behind.

Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving (or other fall celebration) dessert recipe? Please share!


  1. The crisp looks so delicious! I had never heard of the Thornberry Apple before. Crazy question - do they have a bit of a berry taste to them?

  2. Wow, I've never even heard of that variety of apple! I have a question, too--what is the texture like? Are they juicy and crisp, or soft and pithy? And Alana, you are a tease! Now I really want to know that cake recipe . . . c'mon, post it in time for Thanksgiving . . . ?? I'm not as . . . um . . . possibly . . . as food elitist as you might imagine!

  3. Haven't made a crisp for ages. One thing my hubby and I like is a pear pie. This year my hubby birthday fall on Thanksgiving...Thinking of doing a combo and carrot.
    Got plenty of both....Coffee is on

  4. The apples look so gorgeous!
    I'm very jealous that Americans get Christmas and Thanksgiving!


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