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 375º F. 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 in the Betty Crocker recipe made that Apple Crisp crunchier than the other one. 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 thoughts on “Apple Crisp Recipes: Comparison of Old and Modern Recipes

  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.

    1. 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.

    1. I also have never met an apple crisp that I didn’t like. It’s wonderful that this blog gives me an excuse to make not just one, but two, apple crisps. :)

    1. 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.

  2. 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? :)

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

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