Apple crisp is made with a gooey apple filling topped with a buttery, crumbly cinnamon oat topping. It’s easy to make and perfect for holidays, special occasions, or for those cold fall days when you need something sweet and comforting.
Apple crisp is the perfect cozy fall dessert to enjoy curled up next to the fireplace. It tastes similar to an apple pie but is much easier to make because you don’t need to worry about a fussy pie crust or a lattice topping. The topping is buttery and crisp and adds the perfect crunch to go with the tender apples. Apple crisp is best served warm along with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and if you really want to take it over the top, try making some homemade caramel sauce to drizzle over the top!
Best Apples for Baking:
Very crisp, vibrant apples are best because they hold up during baking. I love using Granny Smith apples because their tart flavor pairs perfectly with the sweet filling and crumb topping. Any apple that is very crisp, such as Pink Lady apples, Golden Delicious, Braeburn, or Jonagold will also work.
Ingredients for Apple Crisp:
- 2 pounds of apples: Peeled, cored, and sliced ¼” thick. Try your best to slice them as close to the same size as possible so they cook evenly.
- Lemon juice: The lemon juice brightens the flavor and is also a natural preservative, which keeps the apples from turning brown.
- Brown sugar: Just a little bit of sugar is added to the apple filling and then more is mixed in with the crisp topping.
- Unsalted butter: Helps thicken the filling and make it extra gooey and delicious.
- Salt: Just a small amount to bring out the flavor.
- Cinnamon: Cinnamon + apples is always a winning combination!
- Flour: To thicken the filling.
- Old-fashioned oats
- Brown sugar
- Unsalted butter: Cold and cut into cubes.
How to Make Apple Crisp:
- Preheat oven to 375° and grease an 8″ square baking dish with butter.
- Peel, core, and slice the apples into ¼” slices. Peeling and slicing apples is SO tedious. If you have a mandolin slicer now is the perfect time to use it!
- Add the apples to a large pot and stir in the lemon juice and brown sugar. Over medium heat add in the unsalted butter and stir until melted. Stir in the flour, cinnamon, and salt. Cook and stir until the filling is slightly thickened and the apples are starting to soften. About 5 minutes.
Make the Crisp Topping:
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, old-fashioned oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Use a pastry blender or a fork to cut in the cubed butter. Continue pressing down until the mixture is evenly coated with the butter.
Pour the apple filling into the prepared dish and cover evenly with the crisp topping.
Bake for 35 minutes until the topping is golden brown and the apples are fork-tender. Allow it to cool slightly before serving. If the topping seems to be browning too quickly you can cover it loosely with aluminum foil.
More Fall Dessert Recipes:
- 8" square baking pan
For the Apple Filling:
- 2 pounds Granny Smith apples*, peeled, cored, and sliced ¼" thick
- 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- ½ cup brown sugar, packed
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 tbsp. flour
For the Crisp Topping:
- ½ cup flour
- ¾ cup old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
- Preheat oven to 375°F and grease an 8" square baking pan with butter.
Make the Apple Filling:
- Add the sliced apples to a large pot and stir in the lemon juice and brown sugar.
- Over medium heat, add in the butter and cook and stir until melted. Add in the cinnamon, salt, and flour, and cook and stir until the filling is slightly thickened and the apples are beginning to soften. Remove from heat and set aside.
Make the Crisp Topping:
- In a medium bowl combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Use a pastry blender or a fork to cut the butter into the mixture until evenly coated with the butter.
Bake the Apple Crisp:
- Pour the apple filling into the prepared pan and cover evenly with the crisp topping.
- Bake for 35 minutes until the top is golden brown and the apples are fork-tender.
- Allow the apple crisp to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. The filling will get thicker the longer it cools. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and homemade caramel sauce*.