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P. B. Apple Crisp

p. b. apple crisp | the hobby room diaries

I have said it before and I will say it again: I love peanut butter and will add it to just about anything.  Both times  I was pregnant, the thing I most craved was spoonfuls of peanut butter with dark chocolate chips on top. To be honest, I still do that every once in a while.  Most people put butter and syrup on their pancakes and waffles, but not me.  You guessed it: peanut butter on mine.  I stir spoonfuls into oatmeal, spread it on banana bread, and add it to soup and stir-frys and as you can see here, I add it to apple crisp.

p. b. apple crisp | the hobby room diaries


p. b. apple crisp | the hobby room diaries

A couple years ago someone told me that you can substitute peanut butter for some or all of the butter in some recipes, particularly streusel topping.  Light bulb!  I have been making my apple crisp with peanut butter ever since and love it.  Not only does peanut butter add the nutty flavor I love, but a healthy amount of protein.  All in all, peanut butter has a lot of nutritional value.

p. b. apple crisp | the hobby room diaries
p. b. apple crisp | the hobby room diaries

What’s that?  You don’t care for peanut butter?  That’s okay, I will still be your friend.  You might just like this recipe in spite of the “special ingredient.”  You can taste some peanut flavor, but it doesn’t taste like you dipped apple slices in peanut butter and baked them.  Why not give it a shot?

p. b. apple crisp | the hobby room diaries


p.b. apple crisp | the hobby room diaries

The real gold with this apple crisp is the streusel topping.  The fruit is going to be delicious no matter what (if you’re using good quality fresh or fresh-frozen fruit), but it’s the topping that really makes the dish something special.

If you follow the recipe, you are guaranteed to have leftover topping and I suggest that you pop it in the freezer for later.  My mom and dad make the topping just to have on hand and like to make single-serve berry desserts with it.  Here’s how: thaw some frozen berries (Costco sells a terrific frozen berry mix) in ramekins in the microwave.  Add topping and cook again in the microwave for five minutes or until the berries get bubbly.  The topping crisps even in the microwave and you have a hot, healthy-ish dessert in about ten minutes.  Perfect.

P. B. Apple Crisp

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

12 servings

P. B. Apple Crisp


  • 7 or 8 medium baking apples
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons brown sugar, divided
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Peel, core, and thinly slice apples. Place in a 9 x 13 baking dish and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.
  • To make the streusel topping, thoroughly combine flour, oats, remaining cinnamon, and 2/3 cup brown sugar in a bowl. Add butter and peanut butter to dry mixture and mix until uniform crumbs form.
  • Sprinkle the streusel topping over the apples evenly and to the edges. You will have leftover topping; see the Cook’s Notes for more on this.
  • Bake the apple crisp for 45 to 50 minutes.
  • Place cream in a cold, high-sided bowl and whip with a mixer until frothy. Add remaining brown sugar and whip until stiff peaks form. Serve dollops on top of warm apple crisp.


You will not use all the streusel topping. There is not enough for two entire desserts, but my suggestion is that you use it for several individual size desserts. The topping freezes quite well and you can make and quick dessert by thawing some frozen berries in a ramekin, adding the topping and broiling or microwaving until bubbly.


p. b. apple crisp | the hobby room diaries

My question to you: what ingredient substitutions do you use in your cooking?  Is it a different kind of flour or applesauce for oil or portobellos for steak?  I’m dying to know.


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  1. I have to admit, I'd never have thought to add peanut butter to an apple crisp (and still not quite sure about it) but I love the creativity! And this does look delicious… Thanks so much for sharing with Made with Love Mondays…

  2. Simply Tia says:

    Oh man this sounds like a treat treat. I love to eat peanut butter with apple slices as a healthy snack so I know it's flavorful. This dessert right here just took it up several notches though!! Well done.

  3. MyFudo™ says:

    Looks delicious. Somebody told me that apples dipped in PB will really blend perfectly. I have tried and I liked it. I bet this will be a perfect treat for my family. Thanks for sharing.
    I use wheat pastry flour a lot of times too…

  4. Oh yeah, I forgot about this substitution. Did you teach it to me originally, or did we learn it around the same time? In any case, i've done it and it IS good! I'll try it next time I make apple crisp, which is fairly often here in Seattle. 🙂 Thanks for the great reminder.

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