½ cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1 ¾ cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed (divided usage)
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour (divided usage)
1 ½ tsp. apple pie spice (divided usage)
¼ cup bacon, cooked crisp and finely crumbled
½ cup finely chopped walnuts
8 Michigan Apples*, peeled and cored
¾ cup chopped dates
Bacon in the streusel adds a taste sensation of sweet, spiced apples and unexpected salty flavors.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
Prepare streusel by combining the butter, ¾ cup of brown sugar, 1 cup of the flour and ½ tsp. of the apple pie spice in a bowl. Work together with fingertips or pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal; add crumbled bacon and walnuts, blending well. Reserve.
Slice each apple into 8 wedges. Place into a large mixing bowl. Combine remaining 1 cup brown sugar, remaining ¼ cup flour, and remaining tsp. apple pie spice; sprinkle over the apples, tossing thoroughly to blend. Add chopped dates, distributing evenly, and place mixture into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle reserved streusel mixture evenly over apple mixture. Bake in preheated oven for about 45 minutes, or until apples are tender and bubbly and streusel is golden brown. Yield: 8 servings.
*Suggested varieties: Golden Delicious, Rome, Ida Red
Recipe, submitted by Janice Elder of Charlotte, North Carolina, was a winner in the 2009 Michigan Apple Committee online amateur recipe contest.,