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Old fashioned apple crisp

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching I thought I would share my favorite, most scrumptious old fashioned apple crisp recipe.  Honestly I can’t think of anything better than being curled up on the sofa with a warm bowl of apple crisp topped with vanilla ice cream.  It’s true happiness!

I love a good apple pie but let’s face it, pie crust isn’t exactly fun to make or work with.  To me, apple crisp will hands down always win because of how easy it is to throw together and the delicious crunchy chewy topping.  It’s happiness in a bowl.  Warm melty good happiness and so worth the calories.

the best apple crisp recipe

When it comes to baking with apples it’s crucial to use the right kind.  You’ll want to choose an apple that holds its texture in the oven and one that isn’t too sweet.  Many apples are great for baking, such as granny smith, braeburn, gala, and honey crisp to name a few.  I’m partial to honey crisp because of their crisp, juicy texture and versatility.  They cost more at the grocery store but they taste delicious, fresh or baked.

How to slice apples

For easy sliced apples start by peeling them and slice into four quarters.  Slice each quarter into slices about 1/4 inch thick.  Sometimes I’ll cut my apples a little thinner or thicker but 1/4 inch is a good rule of thumb.

the best apple crisp recipe

Slicing all the apples can feel tedious but once you’ve sliced all your apples everything comes together fast.  From there I mix the apples in a bowl with a little flour, sugar, and spices.  The crumb topping is also oh so easy because we add melted butter.  Yep, no cutting in cold butter.  Just melt it, pour it into the crumb mixture, and stir until combined.  You’ll know it’s done when the butter starts to clump together with the mixture.  Those clumpy bits taste so good out of the oven.

If you’re wondering why no baking powder or soda that’s a great question.   Many apple crisp recipes will call for baking soda or powder even though there is nothing to rise.  This has always baffled me, so I leave it out.  As I’ve researched why this is done it seems that baking powder or soda can raise the pH level of the topping which can enhance browning, but even that’s debatable.  So I’ve never used it.

Old fashioned apple crisp

Apple Crisp


For the apple filling:

  • 6-7 baking apples, I use honey crisp
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup water

For the topping:

  • 2 cups quick cooking oats
  • 2 cups flour
  • cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup melted butter
  • a pinch of salt


  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • Peel apples and slice into 4 quarters. Slice each quarter into thin slices.
  • In a bowl large enough to hold the apples, mix together white sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add the apples and mix until the apples are coated in the mixture.
  • Place the apple mixture into a greased 4-quart baking dish or a deep 9x15 casserole dish.
  • In a seperate bowl combine 2 cups flour, brown sugar, and melted butter. Crumble evenly over the apple slices.
  • Bake for about 45 minutes and cool slightly. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Old fashioned apple crisp

You can store the leftovers covered at room temperature for up to three days or in the refrigerator for up to a week.  If you do refrigerate your crisp you can reheat it in the oven, however you may loose a little crispness.  Cover with foil so the top won’t burn and reheat it for 15 minutes at 350.

the best apple crisp recipe

Funny story, a few months ago we had some perfect fall days, so of course I had to make the family an apple crisp.  Not long after the crisp was in the oven I started smelling something that reminded me of enchiladas.  As the apple crisp cooked the smell kept getting stronger and stronger.  To my horror I realized I had accidentally used cumin instead of cinnamon!

My husband the trooper ate a lot of it, but the rest of use couldn’t get past the strong cumin flavor.  So I guess I should say there isn’t anything better than a bowl of warm apple crisp topped with ice cream… unless you put cumin in it!