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Apple crisp served in antique Franciscin China

Apples! Nothing says fall better than a basket or bowl of apples.  They are delicious, healthy and beautiful. 

Apples are known for lowering blood sugar, blood fat, bacteria in the digestive tract and staving off hunger. What’s not to love about the apple? 

There are so many ways to enjoy apples aside from just biting into one. Cakes, pies, crumbles, crisps, salads, holiday sides and even pork and sausage casseroles are a few of the dishes made tastier by the addition of apples. 

Celebrating a birthday, my family and I dined at Blythe Beck’s new restaurant Pink Magnolia in Bishop Arts this week. Beck’s addition of Maker’s Mark bourbon to some of the timeless, home-style desserts, like the banana pudding and the cookies and milk, was heavenly. 

I decided that I might give a little “quaff” of it to my Apple Crisp — not enough to make it tipsy, but simply indulgent. Apples and bourbon combined produce an “old-timey” taste that makes you think of a Mason jar in Grandma’s pantry.   

Apple crisps are so easy and fail-proof because you don’t have to worry about a pastry crust. As delectable as a tender, flaky pie crust , making them is not everyone’s forte. 

I also decided to use the currently fashionable Honey Crisp apple rather than one more often recommended for baking. Bon Appetit Magazine rates Honey Crisp along with Granny Smith and Pink Lady for baking. Its firm texture will hold its shape. 

There are numerous tools available to make peeling, coring and slicing the apple an easy task. I used the apple divider by Good Grips. However, if you don’t have one, you can easily do it the old-fashioned way using a paring knife since there are only a few apples to prepare in this recipe. Using the apple divider allowed me to quickly slice the divisions into the thickness that I wanted with a chef knife. 

Follow these steps and you will have a delicious fall dessert to show off on your holiday buffet or to follow a cozy autumn supper. 

Old Fashioned Apple Crisp with Bourbon 


3 Large Honey Crisp Apples (peeled cored and sliced)*

3 T butter, melted

2 T flour

1 T lemon juice

¼ cup Maker’s Mark Bourbon

1 tsp vanilla extract

¼ cup brown sugar

½ tsp cinnamon

Combine all ingredients and set aside.

*I used organic apples so I left some of them unpeeled for color and fiber. 


½ cup quick cooking oats

½ cup flour

½ cup brown sugar

½ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

Dash of salt

1/3 cup unsalted butter, diced into small chunks

1/3 cup pecans

 Combine all ingredients.  Mixture will be crumbly


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8 x 8 baking dish (or similar size) with non-stick spray. Fill pan with apple filling mixture. Top with topping. Bake 30 minutes until brown and bubbly. 

Served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel topping turns this simple dish into a decadent dessert. 

For a little extra elan, dish it up into a wide-mouth Mason jar. 


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