Cynthia Steffe's Apple Crisp

As a general rule, I avoid the kitchen. I can’t stand cooking. Really, I can’t. But even I felt the tiniest quiver of excitement when we got the CFDA’s American Fashion Cookbook at work. After a few of my fellow writers borrowed and returned it with glowing reviews, I was determined to give at least one of the recipes a whack. I settled on designer Cynthia Steffe’s Apple Crisp. Fruit crisps are my favorite thing in the world, and it was – dare I say – kind of fun learning how to make crisp from scratch.

(OK, it was fun. But let’s just keep that between you and me!)

Cynthia Steffe’s Apple Crisp
From the American Fashion Cookbook

  • 8 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 9″ × 12″ baking dish
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease the baking dish.
  2. Place a layer of apple slices in the pan and sprinkle with some of the lemon juice. Repeat the layers until all the apples are in the pan. Lightly press down on the apples to even them out.
  3. Mix the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the butter and process, using repeated pulses, until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
  4. Transfer to a bowl and toss together with coconut, Panko breadcrumbs and oats.
  5. Press the crumb mixture evenly over the apples, making sure the edges are well sealed.
  6. Bake at 350°F until the top is golden brown and the apples are tender, approximately 1 hour.
  7. Serve warm with ice cream.



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  1. Avatar
    Pam 02/01/2010 at 6:23 pm #

    I’m going to veganize this.

  2. Avatar
    Julie (ModCloth) 02/01/2010 at 6:32 pm #

    An apple crisp a day.. belongs in my bellay!

    This looks awesome.

  3. Avatar
    Jennifer (ModCloth) 02/01/2010 at 6:38 pm #

    I love eating apple crisp, and making it is fun, too! My favorite part is using the apple/corer/peeler/slicer!

  4. Avatar
    Johanna 02/01/2010 at 6:44 pm #

    This looks really yummy.

  5. Avatar
    Maya 02/01/2010 at 6:48 pm #

    The best thing about apple baked products is all the apple skin you get to eat once you’ve peeled them.

    Granny Smiths are all sour and tart right near the skin. NOMNOMNOM

  6. Avatar
    Susie 02/01/2010 at 7:50 pm #

    Apple Crisp is manna from heaven. I love apple crisp day at my school!

  7. Avatar
    laina 02/01/2010 at 9:23 pm #

    apple crisp is the best food ever invented.

  8. Avatar
    melanie 02/01/2010 at 10:05 pm #

    sounds good:D

    I am going to gluten free that puppy

  9. Avatar
    Pam 02/02/2010 at 1:23 pm #

    does anyone know where I can get a cheap decent apple corer/peeler/slicer?

  10. Avatar
    Kit 02/03/2010 at 10:24 pm #


    Jenn, you don’t like cooking?! Is it because you feel you can’t cook very well? Or the impossible…you just don’t like it? I for one LOVE it, because,1:there are SO many delicious things you can make that you can’t get in the shops 2:Things magically taste better if you make it yourself and you know that there isn’t anything artifial in it.3: It is a great way too spent time with someone.

  11. Avatar
    Jenn (ModCloth) 02/04/2010 at 2:47 pm #

    @Kit — I wish I loved cooking! I love the end result, but every time I try to cook I just can’t wait for it to be over. Probably because I’m absolutely hopeless in the kitchen, haven’t got the patience, and usually don’t have to feed anyone other than myself. I’ve noticed that I do have fun cooking with or for other people, though, so I should try and do that more!

    Do you have any recipe recommendations for a rookie cook?

  12. Avatar
    Kit 02/06/2010 at 2:48 am #

    Hi Jenn!
    I think one of the main reasons I like to cook IS because I love to see the enjoyment people get from eating it. And I love cooking with my mum, she thinks she isn’t that great at it, but really she is.
    Recipes for rookies? Hmmm…well, muffins are great for beginners, because they usually are just the fun parts of cooking, just mix in the ingredient together and bake. I think the main thing is don’t set your goals too high, don’t make your first attempt Christmas dinner or some fancy French dish with 50 ingredients and 100s of step. The baking side of cooking I find easier. The old grandma style recipes seem to be the best, they are tried and tested, no fuss, and cheap. Here is one of my favourite recipes that my mother used to cook for me and my brothers and would make with my cousins who didn’t know how to cook:

    Pineapple Carrot Cake:

    2 cups of plain flour
    1 cup of sugar
    2 teaspoons of cinnamon
    1 ½ teaspoons of baking soda
    1 teaspoons of salt
    ½ of chopped walnuts
    2 cups (250g) of grated carrot
    3 large eggs
    1 cup canola oil
    1 teaspoon of vanilla
    225g can of crushed pineapple

    Preheat oven to 160C or 150C fan-bake. In a large bowl, mix the first 7 ingredients. In another bowl, beat the eggs, oil, vanilla, and pineapple (including liquid) with a fork. Stir both mixtures together just until all the ingredients are mixed. Pour into a 23cm square baking pan lined with baking paper. Bake for about 45 minutes until the centre feels firm and if you stick a skewer in the centre it comes out with no uncooked batter on it. Leave for 5-10minutes before turning out. When cool you can ice it, but it isn’t necessary.

    This recipe tastes really good, though it might sound a bit strange. I’m sure if you’ve got any brothers close by they would appreciate it or any male for that matter! Food is the key to a man’s heart! 🙂

  13. Avatar
    Kit 02/06/2010 at 2:59 am #

    Oh, I forgot! Here is the icing recipe:

    Beat together until creamy 2Tbsp cream cheese, 2Tbsp room temperature butter, 1/2 tsp vanilla and 2 cups icing sugar. Spread over cooled cake and sprinkle with chopped walnuts.

    I Hope you’ll want try it. And if it doesn’t work, don’t worry! Keep trying, I still have a few duds, even if I did nothing wrong. It could be a bad oven or the ingredients weren’t great. I hope you keep trying, you seem to be quite good at it already. 🙂

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