Bewitched Apple Crisp

This easy seasonal favorite will warm your heart and fill your home with the scent of baked apples and cinnamon. Why bewitched? Well, it’s spiked with a tantalizing Italian liqueur of herbs and spices called Strega, which means Witch! Think golden velvet, sweet mint, anise, juniper, fennel, and many other herbs. It leaves a lingering honey-tinged saffron-juniper flavor on your tongue. I love its subtle overtones with baked apples, and the alcohol is completely cooked away. You could serve small glasses of Liquore Strega Italian Liqueur as a digestive beverage with dessert! Buy it online at Liquorama Fine Wines. You won’t be disappointed.

This recipe makes a large 9 x 13 pan, and it will be gone in no time! Enjoy it plain or with Instant Coconut Whipped Cream Topping. BTW, apple peels are loaded with phyto-nutrients. Just make sure they’re organic and Monsanto-free, because sprayed GMO apples are common. I don’t peel my apples, and this saves prep time. Just core and slice them very thin so the peels soften while baking. If your apples have a tough peel like Granny Smith, consider peeling them.

The liqueur is not required. Without it, this will just be a very yummy apple crisp. It’s your choice. I invented the recipe for a food seminar I taught in Italy, and the participants loved it! Yes, you can freeze leftovers (ha ha! there won’t be any) in a serving-size container for up to 3 months. Yield: 8 -10 servings.


Stir together the crispy topping, and set aside.


Slice the apples very thin. Drizzle them with Liquore Strega and cinnamon.


Sprinkle the crisp topping over the apples and bake.

Paleo Apple Crisp alla Strega



    Crispy Topping:
  • 2/3 cup medium-shredded unsweetened coconut flakes (not coconut flour)
  • 1.5 cups (190 g) old fashioned rolled oats, or any flakes such as millet or spelt
  • 1/3 cup mild gluten-free flour such as almond meal, barley, oats, etc.
  • 1/2 cup 1/2 cup sweetener to taste such as Just Like Sugar Table Top natural chicory root sweetener, or 4 teaspoons PureLo Lo Han Sweetener by Swanson, or 1/3 cup raw honey, or your favorite sweetener. (I suggest half brown sweetener and half white.)
  • 1/4 heaping teaspoon unprocessed salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped nuts, soaked and toasted if possible (See All About Nuts)
  • 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil (place jar in lukewarm water to melt oil)
  • Apple Filling:
  • 12 tart apples (such as Granny Smith, Fuji, or Pink Lady) about 1300 grams after trimming
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup Strega Liqueur
  • 1/2 cup sweetener you used above, or the equivalent.
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot flour or tapioca flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • Zest of 1 orange, finely grated
  • 1/4 heaping teaspoon unprocessed salt
  • 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil (place jar in lukewarm water to melt oil)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with coconut oil.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together all the Crispy Topping ingredients, and set aside.
  3. Peel the apples if you're gong to do that. Core them, and slice very thinly, about 1/8 inch thick. Place them into your largest mixing bowl, add ALL the remaining filling ingredients, and toss the apples to spread the flavoring evenly. The apples cook down a LOT, so I suggest you FILL the baking pan about 3/4 or almost to the top, and bake it on a tray t catch any drips.
  4. Sprinkle the apples into the baking pan. Spread the crispy topping over the apples and press it in firmly. You can poke holes with a spoon handle so it will mix with the apple juices while baking.
  5. Bake until topping is golden brown, juices are bubbling, and apples are tender when pierced, about one hour. Cool for 1/2 hour on a rack. Enjoy!


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