Accidental Apple Crisp

When you cook, it’s important to be flexible. Quite a few of my favorite recipes came about because of poor planning and the need to make emergency substitutions. This weekend, we were invited to Howard’s cousins for dinner. I said I’d bring dessert.

I decided to make an apple tart I’d made once before. It’s a simple recipe with puff pastry, sliced apples, almond paste, and sliced almonds. A few hours before we needed to leave, we stopped at Trader Joe’s to get the puff pastry. I couldn’t find any. When I asked the helpful man, he told me this year, they are carrying pastry crust instead of puff pastry. Bummer. I didn’t have time to go to another store, and I didn’t want to buy pastry crust. I can make my own pastry crust, but didn’t have enough time. What to do?

I had the apples, and I had the almond paste. I make a marzipan crumble topping that I use on sour cherry pie. I thought I’d try to make an apple crisp with the marzipan topping. It was a success! Seven people polished off the entire dish.

Marzipan Apple Crisp
(Serves 8 to 10)

  • 2 lbs. apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • ½ c packed brown sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp cloves

Marzipan Crumble Topping

  • ¾ c flour
  • ½ c packed almond paste (about 5 oz)
  • ½ c packed brown sugar
  • 6 Tbsp chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • ¼ c sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 350F.

Prepare the Marzipan Topping. In the food processor, blend flour, almond paste, & brown sugar, until almond paste is finely ground. Add butter and pulse until coarse crumbs form. Transfer to a bowl, and stir in the almonds.

Toss the apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, and cloves. Mix one-fourth of the topping into the apples. Fill a 3-quart baking dish with the apple mixture.

Sprinkle the rest of the topping over the apples.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until the topping is browned and the apples are bubbly.  Serve warm.


I get a smug satisfaction when I can make something extra from the scraps of a recipe. I compost, so most scraps have a second life in the garden. If they can be used to make something to eat, that’s when I feel like I won a mini-lottery.

My friend Karen taught me to make applesauce from the scraps of an apple dessert. Just make sure to wash the apples before peeling them. Put the peels and cores of the apples for the apple crisp (or any other apple dessert) into a small saucepan. Add enough water to cover about half of what’s in the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes or until the apple cores are soft. Run through a food mill using the plate with the medium holes to remove the seeds and catch the peels. This should make about 1½ cups of applesauce. Add a spoonful of sugar and some cinnamon and cardamom. Voila!


Posted on 18 November 2009, in General and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Humh, this sounds rather interesting…..

    Next time try to remember to take a photo of the result for us so we can all see the before and after.

    So we will be waiting for your cookbook to be published soon.

  2. I love reading your cooking “journal”. I like the entry on making something out of scraps. I like to make kitchen sink dishes too. keep it up, I’m reading….

Thanks for visiting! Leave me a comment to let me know what you think. I love comments!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: