Most of you know by now that I have a weakness for weird ingredients in desserts. Tomato soup? Bring it on. Sauerkraut? Hello. Pork fat? Done it. Pinto beans? Please.

But this week I picked something a little unusual. The mystery ingredient this week is peanut butter, which isn’t a strange ingredient in the world of desserts at all.

Unless you are making apple crisp.


This is P-Nutty Apple Crunch, from a promotional recipe from Peter Pan Peanut Butter. This specific recipe is from an advertisement from 1970, but I’ve seen incarnations of this recipe as far back as the 1930’s in magazines and pamphlets.

P-Nutty Apple Crunch
Author: Peter Pan Peanut Butter, 1970
  • 1/4 cup Peter Pan Peanut Butter, smooth or crunchy
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup AP flour
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6-8 medium-sized apples
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 3 T water
  1. With pastry blender or two knives, cut peanut butter and butter into combined oats, flour, sugar and salt.
  2. Peel, core and slice apples into buttered shallow baking dish. Sprinkle with lemon juice and water.
  3. Spoon peanut butter mixture over apples, and bake in moderate oven, 375 degrees, for about 40 minutes, until apples are tender. Serve hot or cold with cream, whipped cream or softened ice cream.


I have to admit I was very intrigued by this. While not a usual ingredient in apple crisp, apples and peanut butter do go together awfully well. I was VERY interested to see if their affinity for each other translated to the world of crisp as well.


So, here’s the deal: I actually LIKE some skins on my apples when I am making apple crisp. Weird, huh? I usually pick out some of the more thin-skinned apples to leave unpeeled and just chop them up. Bonus: It takes less time for the crisp to get into my mouth that way!


So, this recipe is also unusual because there is NO extra sugar added to the apples on the bottom. I normally toss mine with a bit of sugar, cinnamon and flour, but these went in naked!


And came out smelling amazing! Seriously, the smell of this thing was killing me! It was so hard to wait for dinner.

“So, what do we have this week?”

“A surprise.”

“Oh. Great. I love surprises. It’s cheese, isn’t it?”

“Actually, not this time.”



“Huh. So what is it?”

“You are just going to have to taste it!”

“I hate it when you say that.”

Tom TastingIMG_3716

“What the heck is in here?”

“Peanut Butter.”

“Oh, god. That’s what it is, isn’t it?”

“Is it horrible?”

“Actually…no. It’s really good. But it needs ice cream.”

The Verdict: Delicious, but needs ice cream

From The Tasting Notes:

Very unusual taste, very peanut-y, but not bad at all. Unexpected, but good. Topping was actually really, really, good. It was almost too strong for the apples, and would have overpowered them if we wouldn’t have left the skins on the some of the apples. A bite tasted almost like a caramel apple with peanuts on it. And a bite of the topping by itself tastes like the most crazy-amazing peanut butter cookie ever. We covered this with scoops of pumpkin spice ice cream and caramel sauce and pretty much went straight to heaven. It was the ultimate fall sundae!