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This easy Apple Crisp recipe comes together in quickly with the help of a super simple topping recipe. Tender, warmly spiced apples are crowned with a crisp and buttery topping loaded with toasty walnuts and oats. Served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, it's an irresistible dessert.
I grew up thinking that if you wanted a delicious apple pie or crisp, you had to use Granny Smith apples. But a few years ago, my friend Beth showed me the error of my ways. (You may remember Beth from her Perfect Granola recipe.) She told me that Golden Delicious are wonderful baking apples. I admit that I wasn't convinced, until this...
In addition to defying gravity, her Dutch Apple Pie (pie crust bottom and crumble top), was absolutely wonderful. And made with Golden Delicious apples. But no matter how good the apples are, it's really the streusel that makes this dessert so alluring. And this version is the only one you'll ever need.
Ingredients You Need to Make Apple Crisp
- Apples: Golden Delicious apples or your favorite variety
- Butter: salted butter or unsalted butter (see recipe note #1)
- Rolled Oats: old-fashioned rolled oats
- Flour: all-purpose white flour
- Brown Sugar: light brown sugar or dark brown sugar for a deeper flavor
- Granulated Sugar: plain white sugar
- Kosher Salt: or half the amount of fine sea salt
- Ground Cinnamon: or a combination of cinnamon and nutmeg
- Walnuts: pecans would also be delicious
The Easiest and Best Streusel Recipe
What makes the streusel recipe so easy is that you simply pour melted butter over the dry ingredients and stir until combined instead of the typical method of cutting cold butter in with a pastry blender. And it tastes better and has a superior texture to any other streusel I've tried!
- There are endless apple varieties; sweet apples, tart apples and everything in between! So feel free to use your favorite apple or a combination.
- If you prefer a tart filling, add a teaspoon or two of lemon juice to the apples along with the sugar and spice.
- Substitute part of the cinnamon in the apples with nutmeg or a more complex apple pie spice that includes spices like cardamom and ginger.
Make Ahead Options + Freezing and Reheating
- Assemble the crisp up to 1 day in advance before baking. Store in the refrigerator, tightly covered.
- Freeze assembled, unbaked crisp OR baked and thawed crisp, covered tightly with 2 layers of aluminum foil, for up to 3 months. Thaw unbaked or baked crisp in refrigerator the night before you plan to bake. For unbaked crisp, bake per recipe instructions. For previously baked crisp, arm, covered, in an oven preheated to 350˚F for 15 to 20 minutes (or until heated through). Uncover and continue to bake 5 to 10 minutes more to crisp topping. Serve warm.
Golden Delicious apples are my favorite, but you can use any variety you prefer or a mix of varieties. Do note that some apples are better for baking than others. Gala, Granny Smith, Braeburn, Fuji are all good choices.
Choosing whether or not to peel your apples is a personal preference. Your apples will have a stronger flavor and chewier texture with the peel and a softer texture and milder flavor without it. Leaving the peel also means more nutrition and fiber.
A crumble topping does not include oats.
How to Make Apple Crisp
Make the topping by stirring the dry ingredients and melted butter together in a medium bowl.
Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over sliced apples and toss well to coat. Spread apple mixture into a buttered baking dish and top with an even layer of streusel. Bake until apples are tender and streusel is golden brown. Serve warm, topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream if desired.
Easy Apple Crisp
For the Topping:
- ¾ cup butter 1 ½ standard 8-tablespoon cubes of butter (see recipe note #1)
- ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup old-fashioned oats
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¾ cup chopped walnuts
For the Filling
- butter for greasing baking dish
- 6 large Golden Delicious apples
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon (see recipe note #2)
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Butter a 9 × 13-inch baking dish.
- To Make Topping: In a medium bowl, stir together remaining topping ingredients (flour through walnuts) until well combined. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat and pour over flour mixture; stir well until no dry flour remains.
- For Filling: Peel apples (if desired). With a paring knife, cut into quarters and remove core. Cut quarters in half lengthwise, then slice crosswise into ¼-inch thick pieces. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon and stir to coat. Transfer to prepared baking dish, spreading into an even layer.
- Tip bowl of topping over apples and use a fork to distribute evenly, breaking up any large chunks.
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until apples are tender and topping is crisp and golden brown. Serve warm.
- If using unsalted butter, add another ¼ teaspoon fine salt or ½ teaspoon kosher salt.
- For a more subtle spice, reduce the cinnamon in the apples to 2 teaspoons.
- Store leftovers tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
- This recipe makes ample crisp topping - if you like a thinner layer, reduce the topping ingredients by ⅓.