Easy Apple Crisp Recipe (With Make Ahead Tips)


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This easy apple crisp recipe is the perfect dessert idea to warm you up on a cold day. You’ll love this simple old fashioned dessert made with freshly sliced apples coated in cinnamon, and topped with a cinnamon, brown sugar, and oat topping for the perfect crunch.

Easy Homemade Apple Crisp

Apple crisp is the perfect apple dessert to me. I love that it’s so simple and easy to make and a great way to use up lots of apples.

It tastes similar to apple pie but without all the work and fussing with a pie crust.

The lovely smell of it baking brings me right back to my childhood and my grandma’s kitchen.

Made with sliced apples coated in cinnamon, with a sweet crunchy topping of brown sugar, cinnamon, oats, and butter. It’s almost like an apple streusel pie but even easier to make.

No wonder homemade apple crisp was a staple dessert in her kitchen.

Warm apple crisp with vanilla ice cream on top served in a white bowl. Overlaid text says Quick and Easy Apple Crisp.

What Apples Are Best For Crisp?

I like to use a mix of types of apples when baking because it gives your dish even more flavor.

Spy, Macintosh, Cartland, Honeycrisp, and Red Delicious apples all make great apple crisp.

If you want a tart apple to pair with the sweet topping then Granny Smith apples will be perfect. For a more balanced flavor, you can use an equal mix of tart and sweet apples.

How To Make Apple Crisp

Ingredients

This old fashioned apple crisp recipe uses simple ingredients in your pantry. You will need:

  • Apples
  • Cinnamon
  • Brown sugar
  • Flour
  • Oats quick or large flake
  • Butter

First, start by mixing the topping for your apple crisp. You can do this by hand but I find it so much easier to mix it in a food processor.

It’s much faster to cut the butter into the topping mix with a food processor than it is to use a fork or pastry blender and do it by hand.

Into the bowl of your food processor add the flour, brown sugar, 1 tsp. of ground cinnamon and the cold butter.

Topping for apple crisp in a white bowl.

Pulse until the mixture looks crumbly, then pour it into a medium-sized mixing bowl and stir in the oats. Set the topping aside until later.

Next, start working on the apple filling.

The first thing to do is to peel, core, and slice the apples. The easiest way to do this is to use a helpful apple slicer like this one, it saves so much time and work when we are processing lots of apples.

Sliced apples tossed with cinnamon in a mixing bowl.

Place the apple slices into a large mixing bowl and add 1 tsp. of ground cinnamon and toss to coat the apples evenly.

Sliced apples in a 9x13 glass baking dish.

Pour the apple filling into a greased 9×13 baking dish, spreading the apples out evenly.

Unbaked apple crisp with topping spread on top.

Then spoon the topping mixture evenly over top of the apples.

Homemade apple crisp warm out of the oven in a glass baking dish.
Homemade apple crisp warm out of the oven.

Bake your apple crisp until the top is a golden brown and the apple juices are bubbly.

How To Serve Apple Crisp

Warm apple crisp served with vanilla ice cream in a white bowl.

There are many ways you can serve apple crisp but my favorite way is to have it warm with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.

A drizzle of Carmel sauce or whipped cream are also yummy options.

Do You Need To Peel The Apples?

I prefer to peel the apples when I’m making apple crisp because leaving the skins on makes for chewier apples that my kids don’t like as much.

But if you like that taste you can skip peeling the apples.

What Type Of Oats Work Best For Topping?

You can make apple crisp with either quick cook oats or large flaked oats. Both will work very well, the main difference is that the large flaked oats will give you a flakier topping.

I use whatever type of oats I have on hand and quick oats work great in this recipe.

Tips For Freezing Apple Crisp

If you’re wondering if you can make apple crisp ahead of time and bake it for later the answer is yes! Apple crisp is an easy dessert to freeze and it can be frozen cooked or uncooked.

Prepare the recipe as directed in a freezer-safe baking dish. Cover tightly with a few layers of plastic wrap then 2 layers of foil and label then place in your freezer for up to 3-6 months.

If you are freezing a cooked apple crisp let if fully cool before covering and freezing.

When ready to bake you have 2 options. You can let the apple crisp thaw overnight in the fridge and then bake or bake it from frozen.

Baking from frozen is my favorite way as I find the topping comes out crunchier that way.

To do this remove the frozen apple crisp from the freezer and place it on a cookie sheet. Cover it loosely with foil and bake for 20 minutes.

Then remove the foil and continue baking until the topping is a golden brown and the apples are bubbling. This can take 25-40 minutes depending on the size of the baking pan.

More Easy Apple Recipes

Prep Time
20 minutes

Cook Time
45 minutes

Total Time
1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients

Filling

  • 7-8 apples medium sized, peeled, cored, and sliced (about 10 cups)
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Topping

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cubed

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9×13 baking dish and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor add the flour, brown sugar, 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, and cold butter cubes. Pulse until crumbly.
  3. Pour the mixture into a medium-sized mixing bowl and stir in the oats then set aside.
  4. Peel, core, and slice the apples placing them into a large mixing bowl. Add 1 tsp. of ground cinnamon and toss to coat the apple slices.
  5. Pour the apples into a greased baking dish then cover with the topping.
  6. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the apple juices are bubbling. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Notes

Make-Ahead Freezing Tips

You can freeze cooked or unbaked apple crisp but you may find that the unbaked gives a better result. Prepare the apple crisp as directed in a freezer-safe baking dish and cover tightly with a few layers of plastic wrap then 2 layers of foil. Freeze for up to 3-6 months.

To bake from frozen place the apple crisp on a cookie sheet and cover it loosely with foil. Bake for 20 minutes at 350F. Then remove the foil and bake until the apples are bubbling and the topping is golden brown, another 25 to 40 minutes.

Oats:

Use either quick oats or large flaked oats. The larger oats will result in a flakier topping but both work well.

Apples To Use:

Use good quality baking apples like Spy, Macs, Cortland, Honeycrisp, Red Delicious, or Granny Smith. Using a mixture of apples will give you the best flavor.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving:

Calories: 304Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 80mgCarbohydrates: 53gFiber: 5gSugar: 33gProtein: 3g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate, this information is for informational purposes only please consult a nutritionist for more information and guidance.


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