The second 'trick' is to make sure the apples are coated with some type of yummy, goodness before anything else, so that once you bite into that apple, you taste all the amazing elements of fall spices in that one bite.
Can't wait any longer? Here's the recipe.
(if you're not allergic to dairy, you may use grass-fed butter instead)
(or regular McCormick's if you don't have fancy)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease w/ bit of shortening a 13x 9 x 2 inch glass oven-safe container or something similar.
In a giant bowl, slice up the peeled and cored apples making sure to remove any of the surrounding hard membrane by the seeds. You might think this is insignificant, but its annoying to be on the receiving end of one of these 'seed cuticles' it imparts the same feeling as biting into a fishbone. Its not fun, so just take care not to leave them in or it can ruin the experience of your tasters!
Once all apples are sliced, squeeze both halves of a lemon all over the apple slices being careful to pick out any seeds. In a small bowl, thoroughly mix together the Chinese Five Spice and 1 cup of the brown sugar. Pour this mixture over the apples and mix it all up making sure the spice/lemon mixture coats all apples. Spread the apples evenly into the glass pan.
In a large bowl, combine shortening, then vanilla, 1 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup regular sugar, flour and then cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Sprinkle this mixture on top of all the apples and use a butter knife to scrape across the top so the height looks even.
Pour the olive oil over it all, then the orange juice. Bake for 30 mins then tousle the mixture (kind of like tilling soil) a bit with a fork; this way the dry bits on top fall to bottom and everything gets moisturized/oiled.
Remove from oven after 20-30 more minutes, using a toothpick or fork to check every ten minutes if apples are cooked soft and tender. That will tell you when its done!
And voila! I topped for people I was giving servings to with whipped cream or when I bring it to dinners, I also bring Breyers Vanilla Bean ice cream to top it off with, however, if you have dairy allergy, this is delicious on its own!
Enjoy! Comment below and let me know how it came out...and definitely share if you know anyone who could use a peanut-free, gluten-free, soy-free, egg-free, dairy-free apple crisp recipe!