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Local recipe: Nanna’s Apple Crisp

There’s something rather satisfying about scrumping apples in early autumn. Even the name is satisfying to say and seeing as you don’t get much free in life, helping yourself to someone else’s juicy apples is rather thrilling (not that we’re condoning trespassing of course, just helping ourselves to those laden branches that hang over the pavement…). Ok, so maybe I need to get out more, but if you’ve foraged a massive bowl of apples like I have (or are lucky enough to have your own fruit-laden tree) and are now wondering what on earth to do with them, then help is at hand in the form of this delectable recipe from Pearson Farm in Cambridgeshire.

Heather Pearson, who owns the farm with her farmer husband Tom, is originally from Canada, so this recipe is the perfect combination of British ingredients and Canadian flavours.

This recipe is taken from a wonderful recipe book compiled by Jenny Jefferies, the wife of an arable farmer right here in Cambs. For The Love of the Land celebrates the stories and recipes of some of the UK’s finest farmers, including many in our region. 

For Love of the Land book cover
For the Love of the Land is a 224-page hardback and retails at £22. It will be available to purchase from Amazon, bookshops including Waterstones and online from

We’ve got five copies of this must-have recipe book to giveaway – check out our Reader Treats page to enter.

Nanna’s Apple Crisp recipe

I wanted to share a dish that was from my Canadian roots but full of British ingredients. We produce oats on our arable farm in Cambridgeshire and grow apples in our garden, so I knew this would be the perfect recipe. Both my British and Canadian families love this and I hope your families do too.” – Heather Pearson

apple crisp recipe

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes, plus 15 minutes cooling

Serves: 6-8


For the filling:

  • 720g apples (about 6 or 7 large apples)
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 125ml water
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest

For the topping:

  • 120g flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 200g brown sugar
  • 45g rolled oats
  • 115g butter


For the filling:

Peel and slice the apples, layering them into a 23cm ovenproof dish or casserole dish. 

Mix the cinnamon with the water, lemon juice and lemon zest then sprinkle this mixture over the apples. 

For the topping:

In large bowl, mix the dry ingredients together and cut in the butter. For an extra treat, you could double the topping measurements to add even more crunchy sweetness to this recipe.

Lightly scatter the topping over the apples, without pressing it down, then bake uncovered at 180°c for 45 minutes, then leave it to cool for 10 to 15 minutes.

To serve:

Top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and enjoy warm.

Find more ideas here


1 comment on “Local recipe: Nanna’s Apple Crisp”

  • Sue Sherman September 3, 2020

    The cover picture features Pork cooked by Northamptonshire’s Amanda Saxby from Saxby’s Cider in Farndish – the recipe and their Ciders are wonderful. They are a farming family who started making Cider on their Kitchen table, and have won all sorts of national and international awards. They do Farm tours too so you can see the Cider apples growing… and this year they’re doing PYO Pumpkins too.


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