Apple Crisp Recipes: Comparison of Old and Modern Recipes

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:    

Saturday, August 24, 1912: We’ve been expecting company for the last several days, but it seems to be as if they aren’t coming. It seems to be the luck around here.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Did they make food in anticipation of the company that didn’t show? Since apples are in season, maybe they made an apple dessert..

I tried two Apple Crisp recipes to see which was the best.  First I made the recipe that was in an old Pennsylvania Grange Cookbook; then I made the recipe on the Betty Crocker website.

Old Pennsylvania Apple Crisp Recipe

1 cup flour

1/2 cup sugar

3/4  teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/3 cup butter, melted

1 egg, slightly beaten

5 medium apples

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together flour, sugar (1/2 cup), salt, and baking powder; add melted butter and egg. Stir together until crumbly.

Pare and slice apples, and place in an 8” X 8” baking dish. Cover with the flour mixture. Bake approximately 45 minutes or until the apples are soft.

Then I made the apple crisp recipe on the Betty Crocker website:

Betty Crocker Apple Crisp Recipe

4 medium tart cooking apples, sliced (4 cups)

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats

1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Cream or Ice cream, if desired

Heat oven to 375ºF. Grease bottom and sides of 8-inch square pan with shortening.

Spread apples in pan. In medium bowl, stir remaining ingredients except cream until well mixed; sprinkle over apples.

Bake about 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown and apples are tender when pierced with a fork. Serve warm with cream.

The verdict—Both recipes were good and I’d recommend either recipe.

The oatmeal made the Betty Crocker recipe was crunchier. And, the flavors were a little more subdued with the Old Pennsylvania recipe because white sugar (rather than brown sugar) and fewer spices were used.

16 Responses

  1. I think that the Pennsylvania recipe is the closest to the one in my Grandma’s cook book, and what I grew up with. Probably because of the Amish influence in our families recipes.

    • I also think that the Pennsylvania recipe is the closest to the recipe that my mother made–though I think that she may have used f mixture of brown and white sugar.

  2. I have not met an apple crisp I did not like!

  3. I have the Betty Crocker recipe and I know that is good. They haven’t changed it much since their 1952 cookbook. Thanks for sharing.

    • The Betty Crocker one is also the one that I usually use. I use the recipe in the 1973 cookbook–which is almost exactly the same as the one that is online.

  4. I guess if you are waiting for people to come that never do, apple crisp is a good remedy to disappointment! I’d probably adapt the grange recipe to include a bit more spices, use brown sugar not white, but never margarine! All natural butter, and where’s that home-churned vanilla ice cream? :)

  5. Well that’s fun to bake both and compare, look out Rachel Ray. I have a old Betty Crocker Cook book and use it alllll the time. Even though I prefer cook books with pictures, you just know it’s going to turn out every time. Plus I love oatmeal in baking. Yum.

  6. I thought was interesting that oats were not used in the PA grange cookbook. Both do look delicious…can’t wait to try them, I love apples, raw, cooked or baked and the smells that fills the house can put any Yankee Candle to shame!! :) Blessings!

  7. I would like some apple crisp, from either recipe, right now!

  8. [...] Saturday, August 24 Grandma had written: We’ve been expecting company for the last several days, but it seems to be [...]

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