A timeless treat that’s both wholesome and indulgent, Easy Apple Crisp is the fall recipe of your dreams! The buttery oat topping and tender, spiced apple filling are a match made in heaven.
A Wholesome, Classic Dessert with Fresh Apples
All through fall and winter, the very best apples find their way to grocery stores and farmer’s markets. These apples are juicy, fresh, flavorful, and perfect for snacking and baking! Plus, they’re often cheaper than their summertime cousins, and because of it, you kind of have to buy way more than you need. Right? 😉
Well, maybe I do go overboard sometimes, but then again, having an excess of apples simply means that you have more reasons to make all kinds of goodies, like Apple Pie from Scratch, Homemade Apple Butter, and Blueberry Apple Baked Oatmeal. Oh, and homemade, meltingly scrumptious apple crisp! With a crunchy oat topping and warm, cozy spices, this recipe is about as comforting as can be – but still loaded with intense apple flavor.
Are Apple Crisp and Apple Crumble the Same?
Crisps and crumbles are very similar, with their sweet fruit filling and crumbly toppings. The main difference is that apple crisps have a granola-like topping, usually made with oats, while apple crumbles have a butter-and-flour topping that is more like a traditional streusel. The oats in a crisp topping give it a crispy texture, hence the name!
What You’ll Need
Like many old-fashioned desserts, this one only needs a few basic ingredients, like apples, flour, and butter. But, the result tastes like hours’ worth of work – so, so good!
For the Apple Filling
- Apples: Peeled, cored, and cut into chunks.
- Brown Sugar: Dark or light is fine – light will have a milder taste, while dark will have a more intense molasses taste.
- Flour: Plain, all-purpose flour is best here.
- Butter: Use unsalted butter, melted.
- Vanilla Extract
- Spices: Cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg add plenty of warm, cozy flavor.
For the Crisp Topping
- Flour: A bit more all-purpose flour for the crisp topping.
- Brown Sugar: Again, your choice of dark or light brown sugar is fine.
- Butter: For the topping, make sure the butter is chilled and cut into cubes.
- Oats: Old-fashioned rolled oats are key, because they’ll cook up with a crispy, chewy bite. Instant oats are okay but they tend to be more powdery, while steel-cut oats won’t soften enough.
- Ice cream
- Caramel sauce
What Is the Best Apple for Apple Crisp?
This depends somewhat on your personal taste. A lot of cooks recommend tart apples for baking, such as Granny Smith. Others aren’t so concerned about tartness and sweetness – instead, it’s about using crisp, crunchy apples like Honeycrisp or Pink Lady. There are bakers who swear by using that sweet standby, the Golden Delicious, and bakers who use a combination of sweet, tart, crisp, and soft to get a little of everything in there!
How to Make It
The fact is, making apple crisp is super easy – much quicker and easier than making apple pie. That’s one reason this recipe is such a favorite for busy cooks everywhere!
- Prep the Baking Dish and the Oven. To start, get out a 9×13 casserole dish or baking pan, and grease it with butter. Set your oven to preheat to 350°F. While it heats, you can start making the filling.
- Make the Apple Filling. Next, combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the peeled, cored, and chopped apples to this mixture, and toss to coat. Finally, drizzle in the melted butter, and stir again to make sure the mixture is evenly moistened and coated. Spoon and scrape the coated apples into your baking dish.
- Make the Topping. In a separate bowl, mix together the rolled oats, flour, brown sugar, and chilled butter. You may want to use your hands for this, because the butter needs to be crushed and broken to make a crumbly mixture. Once it’s crumbly (about the texture of sand with pea-sized lumps of butter here and there), sprinkle it evenly over the apples in the baking dish.
- Bake the Apple Crisp. Move the baking dish to the oven, and bake for 40 – 45 minutes. The apple crisp is done when the apples are fork-tender, the topping is golden-brown, and the juices are bubbling up around the edges.
- Enjoy! Serve warm or at room temperature, with ice cream and caramel sauce (if desired).
Easy Tips and Variations
This simple recipe is just about perfect as-is, but there are also a number of easy tweaks you can make – check these out!
- Add Nuts: Chopped nuts (or seeds) are great in this recipe, and add lots of extra crunch to the topping. Pecans, walnuts, and pepitas are all delicious.
- Chunks or Slices: How you cut the apples is up to you. I go with a chunky texture, but slices are fine, too. The thinner and smaller the pieces, the softer they’ll be.
- Pie Spice: Feel free to use apple pie spice in this recipe, if you prefer – either way, it will be amazing!
- Topping, Toppings, Toppings: While ice cream is a delight, you could definitely serve this on its own. Other options include heavy cream, vanilla yogurt, or plain yogurt with a drizzle of honey or maple syrup. Yum.
Storing and Reheating Instructions
- Apple crisp will keep in the fridge for up to five days, covered tightly with plastic wrap or placed in an airtight container. It can be helpful to lay a paper towel over the topping, to absorb excess moisture and keep things crispy.
- Reheat in the oven at 350°F until warmed through.
Does Apple Crisp Freeze Well?
Definitely! You can freeze this baked, or unbaked. Here’s how to do it:
- Baked: If you have already baked the apple crisp and just need to freeze the leftovers, first cool them down to room temperature. Next, scoop the apple crisp into an airtight container, mark with the date, and store in the freezer. It will keep for 2 – 3 months.
- Unbaked: Assemble the apple crisp, but don’t bake it. Instead, wrap the entire baking dish tightly in a layer of plastic wrap or press ‘n’ seal, followed by a layer of foil. Mark with the date, and freeze for 2 – 3 months. (Note: a disposable baking pan is great for this.)
- Either way, you can bake or reheat directly from frozen in a 350°F oven. Keep in mind that it can take up to double the time (in some cases even longer) to fully heat through when you bake from frozen. If the crisp topping gets too brown, just cover it loosely with foil while it finishes baking.
Easy Apple Crisp
For the Apple Filling
For the Crisp Topping
- Ice cream
- Caramel sauce
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13 baking dish with butter. Set aside.
- Combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl. Add the apples to the mixture, and toss to coat. Drizzle in the melted butter, and toss again.
- Transfer the coated apples to the previously prepared baking dish, and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, combine the rolled oats, flour, brown sugar, and chilled butter. Mix well to make a crumbly topping. Sprinkle evenly over the apples in the baking dish.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the topping is golden-brown and the fruit juices are bubbling around the edges.
- Remove from oven and let rest 10 to 15 minutes.
- Serve warm or at room temperature, with ice cream and caramel sauce if desired.