Cheddar Apple Crisp

Sharp cheddar and crisp apples? Well, our taste buds have spoken. This is the BEST dessert or side dish you’ll make all fall, ya’ll! Try this cozy recipe from Alabama homesteader, cook and entertainer Trace Barnett and learn about the fabulous cook who inspired it. Don’t forget to tag Trace (@thebittersocialite) and APT (@alpublictv) in the final product.

The Story

“In the heart of Birmingham, there lives a fabulous cook, entertainer, and gardener named Barbara Harbin, a name synonymous with photographic artistry. For decades, her lens captured the laughter, innocence, and boundless spirit of the city’s children. Each photograph was a testament to her uncanny ability to freeze moments in time, preserving the fleeting magic of youth. 

Her creative spirit stretches far beyond her studio. It dances and flourishes in her kitchen, where she weaves flavors together with the same finesse she brought to her photography. When she welcomes friends and family into her home, they are met not only with the warmth of her hospitality but also with the promise of culinary delights that will linger on their taste buds.

One creation, in particular, stands as a testament to her culinary prowess—a cheddar apple crisp that can only be described as pure magic. The marriage of sharp cheddar and crisp apples is an unexpected yet perfect union, a symphony of contrasting flavors that harmonizes in every mouthful. When Barbara makes this dish, the scent of sugared apples and sweet, earthy nutmeg wafts through her kitchen, mingling with the laughter and chatter of her guests, creating an atmosphere as comforting as it is joyful.

Barbara’s recipes are a testament to her artistry. They are born from a desire to not only delight the palate but to bring people together, to create moments of shared joy around the table. Her cheddar apple crisp, simple in its essence, holds the power to transform an ordinary meal into a celebration. Whether served as a dessert or a side, it stands as a versatile masterpiece, equally at home beside a succulent roast chicken or a tender cut of pork.”

– Trace Barnett

Photo of Trace Barnett in his home holding a plate of his freshly made cheddar apple crisp fall recipe.

Cheddar Apple Crisp (Serves 6 – 8)


4 – 6 medium apples, sliced into 1/4 inch slices

2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

8 tablespoons butter, room temperature

1 cup All-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups sugar, plus approximately 1 tablespoon to sprinkle on the apples

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Pinch of nutmeg


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  1. If desired, peel the apples. I leave the peelings on for a nice pop of color. Core the apples, and cut them into 1/4 inch slices. Place in a thin layer along the bottom of a lightly buttered casserole dish. Pour lemon juice over the apples and toss to prevent browning. Sprinkle with nutmeg and sugar.
  2. Put the butter, the flour, one and one half cups of sugar, and the shredded cheese in a food processor. Process until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs and is well combined.
  3. Sprinkle the mixture over the apples, and place in the oven. Cook uncovered for 30-45 minutes until golden brown, bubbly, and apples are tender. Can take up to an hour depending on size and oven. Remove from oven and serve warm or at room temperature as a dessert or side dish.

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