CA GROWN Blog
Discover. Learn. Connect.
Apple Pistachio Crisp – Cheryl of Bakes by Brown Sugar
Apple Pistachio Crisp – Cheryl of Bakes by Brown Sugar
This Apple Pistachio Crisp by our friend Chery Norris from Bakes by Brown Sugar is everything you want in a fall dessert – sweet/tart California apples, warm spices, and and a buttery, crunchy pistachio topping. It’s special enough to serve at a holiday meal, but easy enough to throw together on a weeknight (why not?). Serve it warm or at room temperature. Either way top it with vanilla ice cream or freshly whipped cream. If you’re lucky enough to have any left over, we wouldn’t judge you if you had it for breakfast.
I’m a native Oregonian – born and raised. Being here in Oregon just north of California I have the best of both worlds with the great produce in both states, both of which are known for their natural beauty, great coastline, and beautiful mountains. While Oregon has great produce, California has the advantage because of the ideal climate that allows fruits and vegetables to be grown year-round.
California grows a third of the vegetables in the entire nation and two-thirds of the fruits and nuts, including the pistachios I use in my Apple Pistachio Crisp recipe. And the figs are amazing, both fresh and dried. California produces 98% of fresh figs and 100% of dried figs. Dried figs are so amazing and I love to snack on them. Fresh figs come in multiple varieties and are absolutely delicious.
My favorite California export, however, is the citrus. Every January I look forward to the amazing variety of citrus that comes from California. One of my perennial favorites is kumquats. I only recently learned that there are multiple varieties of kumquats, and Meiwa kumquats are a great combination of sweet and tart. My other favorite citrus variety is Meyer lemons. When they’re in season, I buy them every week and am constantly thinking of new desserts to make with them!
We think you’ll love some of Cheryl’s other delicious recipes with fresh, California grown goodness!
This delicious apple cake with pistachios is full of Granny Smith and Fuji apples and crunchy pistachios. The cake is moist and dense with a hint of lemon that pairs really well with the sweetness of the cake and the tart apples. If you’re looking for a recipe for all the apples you just bought or picked, this is the one you need.
There aren’t enough words to describe how delicious this Meyer Lemon Upside-Down Cake is. The brown sugar and butter combined with the lemons create a topping that tastes like lemonade, and the sharp citrus goes perfectly with the sweet spiced cake. You know you’ve done this cake right when the lemons glisten like jewels after being removed from the pan.
Baking is my first love, but I love a good salad. They’re easy to make, and it’s easy to be creative and create good flavors. During fig season, I decided to combine figs with some of my favorite flavors in this fig, avocado, and prosciutto salad. The sweet figs taste great with the salty prosciutto, creamy avocado, and the toasted hazelnuts. This salad is tasty and the lemon vinaigrette is a great pairing.
Clafoutis is an amazingly easy and tasty dessert and prunes are perfect in taste and texture with this creamy base. The apple cider caramel adds a nice tart contrast to the sweetness and creaminess of the clafoutis. If you’ve never made a French dessert before, here is your chance. This Prune Clafoutis couldn’t be easier and it is so good.
Kumquat and rosemary are an amazing combination. The citrus taste of the kumquats combined with the floral essence of the rosemary hits all the right notes. For this curd, I used a combination of Meiwa and Centennial Kumquats. Kumquats are usually very tart, but both the skin and the pulp of the Meiwa kumquat are sweet. They almost taste like candy.
Cheryl is an engineer by day and a baker by night (and lots of weekends). A self-described baking science geek, she believes that engineering and baking go hand in hand as both are about getting the basics right. Cheryl was featured in season four of the Great American Baking Show and she credits her mom for her love of baking. From pies and tarts, to muffins and cookies (and yes, this Apple Pistachio Crisp), Cheryl focuses on a seasonal approach to her recipes which she shares on her blog Bakes by Brown Sugar.
Apple Pistachio Crisp
- 9×1 inch round baking dish
For the Streusel Topping
- 1 cup all-purpose flour 125 grams
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar 100 grams
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar 100 grams
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 8 tablespoons butter 114 grams, room temperature
- 1/2 cup raw pistachios 80 grams, toasted and roughly chopped
For the Apple Filling
- 1-3/4 pounds Granny Smith Apples 780 grams, chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar 37 grams
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon tapioca flour 8 grams
Make the Streusel
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the raw pistachios on a sheet pan in a single layer and toast for about 7 minutes until the pistachios are slightly browned. Remove the nuts from the oven, allow them to cool and then coarsely chop.
- Place the flour, both sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a medium size bowl and whisk to combine. Cut the butter into small pieces, add it to the dry ingredients and rub the butter with your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the chopped pistachios and toss to mix them in.
Make the Apple Filling
- Lightly butter a 9 x 1-inch round baking dish.
- Peel the apples and cut them into 1/2-inch chunks. Place the cut apples in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the apples with lemon and toss gently to coat the apples. Sprinkle the sugar and the tapioca over the apples and gently stir with a large spoon to mix in the sugar and tapioca. Allow the apples to sit for 10 minutes.
- Pour the apples into the prepared baking dish. Cover the top evenly with the streusel by pressing it together into large clumps and then breaking it into smaller pieces as it is sprinkled over the top. Bake the apple crisp for 30-35 minutes until the apple juices are bubbling.
- Remove the apple crisp from the oven. Allow it to cool for 10 minutes and then serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.