Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9- by 13-inch baking dish.
In a medium-size bowl, combine 1/2 cup sugar, lemon juice, 1/2 of the lemon zest, water, vanilla extract, and cinnamon; whisk until all the sugar is dissolved. Pour sugar mixture onto the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
As you slice the apples, add the slices to the baking dish until all the apples are sliced. Thoroughly combine the sliced apples and the sugar mixture. Sprinkle the chopped pecans over the top of the mixture.
In another bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, flour, salt, remaining lemon zest, and butter until the dough is crumbly; sprinkle over the top of the apple mixture.
Bake approximately 40 to 50 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the apples are tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from oven.
Serve warm with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.
* Choose cooking apples on the tart side, such as Granny Smith, Jonagold, or Macintosh apples.
Lemon Pecan Apple Crisp Recipe: https://whatscookingamerica.net/KarenCalanchini/LemonPecanAppleCrisp.htm