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Easy Apple Crisp

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This Easy Apple Crisp has been in my repertoire for decades. Simply made of apples tossed in spiced sugar with a crumbly streusel topping, it’s a family favorite.

I’ve made this same apple crisp recipe for years and years. Then I started playing around with different fruit and it’s wonderful with peaches or even a mixture of berries! Just remember to serve this tasty Apple Dessert with a scoop of ice cream!

Easy Apple Crisp on a white plate topped with ice cream

Easy Apple Crisp Recipe

This apple crisp recipe came from my mom’s dear friend, Dee McConnell.  Dee was one of the gourmet influences in my mother’s life. She was the friend who subscribed to Bon Appetit back in the ’70’s and always has something marvelous to share whether via their CFM reunions, bridge club or ladies luncheons.

My mom’s recipe box was full of cards in her friends’ scroll, including this family favorite, an easy apple crisp without oats. Dee’s other memorable contributions to our family’s menu included egg rolls and wontons and the strawberry pie dessert she wowed us with at my bridal shower.

Easy Apple Crisp in a white ceramic baking dish with a serving spoon

How to Make an Apple Crisp

Fruit crisps, like this Easy Apple Crisp, are super simple and can be made with a variety of seasonal fruits like cherries, peaches, blueberries, raspberries and, of course, apples.  The toppings can also vary, but since my husband only likes his oats for breakfast, I tend to make a simple crumble topping.

  • The fruit you use will determine whether an additional thickening agent, like cornstarch, is needed. In this crisp, the apples produce pectin which helps gel the juices, plus some of the flour in the topping will filter down and also act as a thickener.
  • The fruit must reach a temperature where it’s bubbling to enable the juices to thicken. If your crisp is watery, it may have been removed from the oven too soon.
  • PRO-Tip: When making an apple crisp, use a knife to poke into the fruit to make sure it’s tender before pulling it out of the oven.
  • Use a variety of apples for the best flavor, usually a tart apple, like a granny smith and a sweeter softer apple like a Jonagold. In the fall, I love to use the best pie apples like Jonathan and Macintosh as well.
  • Peel and slice the apples into 1/2-inch slices. You can certainly leave the peels on and even cube the fruit instead of slicing. But keeping the pieces a decent size will prevent a mushy crisp.
  • Add your favorite spices. Think of what you’d add to a pie made with the same fruit. I like using cinnamon and nutmeg in my apple crisp.
  • My Apple Crisp Topping is simply sugar, flour, and butter. Oats and nuts can also be included depending on your preference.
  • Let your crisp rest for about a half-hour before digging in. The juices will gel, but the crisp will still be warm. Serve your Apple Crumble Recipe with a big scoop of vanilla (or any complementary flavor, like caramel) ice cream.
  • PRO-Tip: If you want a gluten-free apple crisp, just substitute a gluten-free flour like Cup4Cup for the all-purpose flour in the recipe.
Serving of Easy Apple Crisp in a small white bowl with a scoop of vanilla ice cream

What Are the Best Apples for a Crisp?

Look for baking apples like Jonathan, Jonagold, Winesap, Granny Smith or Cortland. If you’re lucky enough to live in Minnesota, Michigan or New York, try Northern Spys, my absolute favorite pie apple.

Using a combination of apples gives a variety of textures and flavors. Apples that bake up mushy are better suited for apple sauce than apple crisp or pie, so avoid those. Pair some sweet apples with tart apples for an exquisite depth of flavor.

How Long Will an Apple Crisp Keep?

An apple crisp can keep at room temperature on the day it is baked. Unfortunately, the apple crisp topping may start to absorb some liquid from the apples and this will hasten it spoiling. I recommend just covering the part of the crisp where servings have been removed with plastic wrap, not over the crisp topping. This will minimize the softening of the remaining crumble. It will keep 2-3 days in the refrigerator.

More Apple Desserts You’ll Love:

Yield: 6 servings

Classic Apple Crisp

Classic Apple Crisp

A Classic Apple Crisp with a streusel topping

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6-8 sliced and peeled apples (I use two or 3 different varieties)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • A few grates of fresh nutmeg, optional

Topping:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Gently mix the sliced apples with sugar and spices. Put in a greased 9 x 9-inch baking pan or equivalent casserole dish.
  3. In another bowl, cut together the topping ingredients with a pastry blender. Sprinkle over fruit.
  4. Bake 35-45 minutes till topping is golden and filling is bubbly. Poke a sharp knife into several apples to make sure they're soft. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or salted caramel gelato.
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