Pink Pearl Apple Crisp – a perfect autumn recipe from Chef Serge Madikians

One of my favorite restaurants is Serevan in Amenia, NY. Chef-owner Serge Madikians can transform locally sourced ingredients into works of art for the eyes, palette, and soul.

For my birthday last August, my husband, daughter and son-in-law treated me to a memorable dinner at Serevan. It was a meal to behold!

When I came across Chef Serge’s apple crisp recipe recently, I contacted him to ask if I might share it with all of you, after all, it is apple season. He graciously said ‘yes’.

Thank you, Chef!


Pink Pearl Apple Crisp

A perfect autumn dessert recipe from Chef Serge Madikians.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes


For the Apples

  • 8 medium Pink Pearl Apples Peeled, cored and sliced in sixths. Note: If Pink Pearl apples are unavailable, substitute with any apple with a sweet-tart flavor, such as Honey Crisp.
  • 8 Medjool dates pitted and sliced in sixths
  • 4 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tbsp butter melted
  • ¼ cup Calvados or other apple brandy
  • ½ tsp cardamom ground
  • ¼ tsp cloves ground
  • ½ tsp cinnamon ground
  • ½ tsp salt
  • cayenne pepper dash
  • 1 lemon juice and zest
  • ½ orange juice and zest, optional

For the Crisp

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • cup dark brown sugar 
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp powdered saffron
  • ¼ tsp cardamom
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup walnuts or pistachios chopped
  • 20 tbsp butter chilled, cut into thin sheets


For the Apples

  • Toss the apples with all the ingredients except the melted butter. Make sure each slice of the apple is coated evenly.
  • Add the butter and toss well to combine.
  • Place in the prepared crisp containers and refrigerate for 15 minutes while you make the crisp batter.

For the Crisp

  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • Using a low-speed setting, combine all the ingredients except the nuts and the butter in a bowl of a mixer with a paddle attachment.
  • Add the chilled butter slices and mix until the crisp becomes crumbly, then add the finely chopped nuts and mix just until it combines evenly.
  • Place an ample amount of the crisp batter (we like ours with a lot of crisp) on top of each apple mixture and bake in the oven for at least 30 minutes, or until the apples begin to bubble a bit.
  • Raise the temperature to 375°F and bake for another 5 to 8 minutes, or until the crisp has taken on a light brown color.
  • Serve hot with whipped cream or ice cream.

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