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Pinay Cook Book: Lori's Apple Crisp |

Pinay Cook Book: Lori’s Apple Crisp
Pinay Food Recipes: Lori's Apple Crisp
Tish Leizens

This recipe is part of the conversation we had with Lori Baltazar, author and blogger, of “Dessert Comes First.” Read about her in our Blog Count series.

Lori’s Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp, crumbly with streusel, sour cream tang

Yield: one 11 x 2 oval ceramic baking dish, one 9½ x 2 deep dish pie plate, or one 8½ x 2½ springform pan; whatever has a 7-cup capacity

Crumbly Streusel

  • 1 cup / 4.25 oz / 121 grams all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup / 4 oz / 114 g dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup / 1 oz / 28 g coarsely grated queso de bola (Edam), or similar hard, sharp cheese
  • ½ cup / 2 oz / 57 g pecans, toasted till fragrant and chopped coarsely. (I use a food processor).
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons / 3 oz / 85 g unsalted butter, melted

Fragrant Apple Filling

  • 6 ripe apples weighing about 2¼ lbs or a little over 1 kilo, unpeeled. (Use the varieties you have or prefer). Peel, core, and slice apples to ¼-inch thickness.
  • Juice of 1 calamansi (Philippine lemon) or 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup / 2 oz / 56 grams white sugar
  • ¼ cup / 1 oz / 28 g coarsely grated queso de bola (Edam), or similar hard, sharp cheese
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp freshly grated or ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • ¼ cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray chosen baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside. Make the streusel. In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, queso de bola, pecans, and cinnamon until combined. Gradually pour the butter into the mixture, using a fork to fluff up the mixture. The mixture will slowly darken and start to form unevenly sized clumps. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap and set aside.

Make the apple filling. Put apples in a large mixing bowl and pour calamansi juice over the fruit. In a small bowl mix sugar, queso de bola, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, sour cream, and heavy cream. Pour over apples and use your hands to ensure fruit is well-coated. Pour coated apples into a pot, wider than it is deep. Cook the apples partially covered for 10 minutes on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally as apples may stick to the bottom of the pan. Your mouth will water as the apples’ juice and the cinnamon-sour cream mixture collide and caramelize. The air will be suffused with spiciness. At this point, apples should be soft but not limp.

Pour the par-cooked apples and the resultant spicy juices into the prepared baking pan. Scatter the streusel over the apples making sure the surface is evenly covered, and break up any large chunks. If you’re anything like me, clump up sections of the streusel with your fingers to make large streusel nuggets that once baked, you can surreptitiously “steal” and nibble on when no one’s looking.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until streusel has browned and apples are just tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife. You might even see thickened, fragrant juices bubbling from the fruit and caramelizing on the sides. Good sense dictates that I tell you to let this crisp cool to a manageable warmth before serving, but heck, I don’t wait so why should you? Serve generous mounds with dollops or drizzles of more sour cream; thick Greek-style yogurt is especially lovely; and naturally, vanilla ice cream is killer.

Notes: You may use any nut you wish, of course, but one thing I insist on is that you toast the nuts; my toaster oven does a superb job of this and I pull the nuts out when the air is redolent with their cozy, toasty aroma, usually 3-5 minutes. You can also toast the nuts in the pre-heating oven. Again, the nose knows. Take out the toasting nuts when you can smell them. Apple crisp is best on the day it’s made; chill any leftovers, they’re wonderful for breakfast or an unplanned midnight snack. A spin in the microwave will bring this dessert halfway back to its hot glory.

Pinay Food Recipes is where you can share your cooking recipes. Are you a good cook? Do you have great food recipes to share? Email our Chief Editor Tish Leizens at

Tish Leizens

Tish Leizens is a great believer in asking lots of questions. That was how she was trained as a business journalist for newspapers and magazines. That was how she survived trying moments in her personal life and how she navigated a successful career and business in media. In 1997, she asked, “Why not?” And so, she moved from Manila to New York City. It was and continues to be a great adventure. After stints as a reporter for Manila Chronicle and Manila Times; correspondent for The Straits Times and Gulf News; Tish worked as editor for Conde Nast, and later edited and published her own regional magazines, OurHouse and Excursions. OurHouse, sold in bookstores chains in the East Coast, was nationally recognized for its innovative approach to magazine publishing. Tish has lectured at the New York Public Library on how to launch a magazine and other topics related to publishing. She was featured in CNN Money in 2010.

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