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Old Fashioned Apple Crisp – A Warm and Comforting Fall Treat

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Indulge in old-fashioned comfort with this easy apple crisp recipe. Loaded with sliced apples and a crispy, cinnamon oat topping, this nostalgic dessert comes together in just 10 minutes of prep. Baked to warm, fruity perfection in under an hour.

What type of apples work best for making apple crisp?

The best apples to use for apple crisp are baking apples that hold their shape well during cooking. Good choices are Granny Smith, Braeburn, Honeycrisp or Fuji. You want a tart, firm apple that will soften but still keep some texture and not turn to mush. Slicing the apples thinly, about 1/4 inch, also helps them hold their shape better in the oven. Stay away from Red Delicious or other soft, sweet apple varieties for crisps.

Can I use quick oats or old fashioned oats for the topping?

You can use either quick cooking oats or old fashioned oats for the crisp topping. Quick oats are cut smaller so they will be a little crunchier in the finished crisp. Old fashioned oats are larger flakes so they will give you a more rustic, hearty texture. It’s personal preference! You get great results with both. Just avoid instant oats, which are too finely ground down.

How do I get the perfect crisp topping texture?

To achieve a light, crunchy crisp topping, it’s important to not overwork the oat mixture and keep the butter very cold while cutting it in. Work quickly when cutting the chilled butter cubes into the dry ingredients using a pastry blender or two forks. Keep the topping loose and crumbly, not compacted down. Avoid melting the butter into the flour. Also, when topping the fruit, don’t press down on the crumble – keep it light. Follow these tips and your crisp will have fabulous crispy, crunchy texture.

What can I serve with warm apple crisp?

Warm apple crisp is fantastic served on its own but also pairs wonderfully with ice cream and whipped cream. Vanilla flavors work nicely and bring out the apples’ natural sweetness. For a delicious fall twist, try apple crisp with maple or butter pecan ice cream. The crisp can also be served with caramel sauce or drizzled with a bourbon hard sauce. Topped with vanilla yogurt or custard, it makes a great breakfast treat too!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35-40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes


  • 4 cups sliced apples (about 2 pounds), Granny Smith or Honeycrisp work well (peeled if desired, sliced thinly)
  • 1 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed

For the apple mixture:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1⁄2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1⁄4 cup all purpose flour


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking dish with butter or nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, flour, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and baking powder until well blended. Cut in the cold butter with a pastry blender or two forks until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, toss the apple slices with the melted butter, water, lemon juice, vanilla, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and flour until evenly coated.
  4. Transfer the apple mixture to the prepared baking dish, spreading into an even layer. Top evenly with the oat crumble mixture.
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the topping is lightly browned and apples are bubbling around the edges.
  6. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. Top with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream if desired.

Tips for Making the Best Apple Crisp:

  • Use firm, sweet apples that hold their shape well during baking. Granny Smith and Honeycrisp are great choices.
  • Toss the apples with lemon juice to help prevent browning while you prepare the other ingredients.
  • When cutting the cold butter into the flour, work quickly so the butter doesn’t melt into the flour. Keep butter chilled for best results.
  • For a crunchy topping, don’t pack down the crumble mixture before baking. Keep it light and fluffy.
  • If the topping browns too quickly, tent foil loosely over the crisp. Remove it during the last 5-10 minutes if you want more browning.
  • Let the crisp rest for 10 minutes before serving so the filling sets up. Serve warm with ice cream! Enjoy!

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