World’s Easiest Apple Crisp

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One of our fav things about living in New England in the fall is apple picking!

It’s still pretty warm here in Salem, Massachusetts, but we go religiously every year, whether the weather calls for shorts—or sweaters.

We love Brooksby Farm up on Boston’s North Shore. (Check out pics from one of our trips way back.)

If you’re local, have you gone yet this season?

(Where do you go? If you have a secret place that doesn’t get completely mobbed, please leave a comment below and let us know where to go!)

And if you have hit an orchard, what are you doing with all your apples?

Me? I love to bust out a fresh apple pie. (If you have a ton of apples to use up, try my Mile-High Apple Pie Recipe! It’s so tall, you have to bake it in a cheesecake pan.)

But sometimes, just sometimes…I’m not in the mood to go all out with homemade crust, etc.

That’s where this apple crisp comes in.

This apple crisp is loaded with orchard-fresh apple flavor. It’s buttery and laced with ground cinnamon and clove.

The topping is dotted with oats, and gets golden brown with just the right amount of crunch.

The edges of the pan will bubble up with sticky, caramel apple goodness.

Seriously, it’s heaven in a pie plate.

AND, I swear: It’s the world’s easiest apple crisp recipe. Track with me below and you’ll see.

Let me start off by telling you my fav part: You can mix almost everything up in the dish you’re using to bake it.

No muss. No fuss. No extra dishes.

That’s my kind of baking.

The short version of the recipe goes like this

Peel and slice your apples. Toss ’em with a few simple ingredients.

Sprinkle generously with my quick, buttery oatmeal topping.

Pop the whole shebang into the oven and…VOILA!

About 40 minutes later, you’ll have the best apple crisp ever.

Scroll down for my step-by-step photo recipe, followed by a printable recipe card.

What kind of apples are best for apple crisp?

Good question. For my apple crisp, I like to use a mix of apples.

For this particular apple crisp, I used a combo of tart, Granny Smith apples and sweeter Gala.

Honestly, for a rustic apple crisp, you can use just about any kind of apple you like.

What kind of oatmeal should you use for apple crisp?

Another good question. There are a few different kinds of oatmeal at the grocery store.

For this apple crisp recipe, you want to use traditional, old-fashioned oats. I like this stuff here:

You DON’T want to use quick cooking oats or steel cut or any kind of prepackaged oatmeal mix, so take an extra second to read the labels carefully.

Scale this apple crisp recipe up or down

Feeding a crowd? Scale this recipe up to fit a larger dish, like a lasagna pan, etc.

Want to make apple crisp for two? Scale it down and make it in a small baking dish—or even individual ramekins.

If you mess around with the size of the pan, just keep an eye on it when it’s in the oven because your baking time will change.

How to tell when your apple crisp is done

Your apple crisp should be done when the top is nicely browned and crisp and the edges are bubbly.

To doublecheck, stick the tip of a sharp knife under the edge of the crust and poke a few apples.

If the knife slices through like butter, you’re all set.

(If it sticks and the apples aren’t cooked through, pop it back in the oven for a few and then check again.)

Alright, enough yapping!

I know, this is a long post to explain a simple thing, but I always get a ton of questions.

You can always skip to the bottom for the printable recipe card.

Let’s get cooking!

World’s Easiest Apple Crisp

For the topping
1/3 cup butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats (NOT quick cooking)
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of kosher salt

For the apple filling
3-5 large apples, peeled and sliced into small pieces
3 Tablespoons of butter, melted
2 Tablespoons flour
Juice from 1/2 a large lemon
3 Tablespoons whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
1/16 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional…some people love it, some people hate it!)

Yield
Makes one 9 1/2-inch pie plate / Serves 4-6, depending on how hungry your peeps are

Do a little prep

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.

Grab a 9 1/2-inch glass pie plate and a medium-sized bowl to mix up your topping.

Make the oatmeal topping for your apple crisp

Put all the ingredients for the topping into your bowl.

With a fork, mix everything together, mashing the butter with the fork so it breaks down into crumbs.

Continue until you have a coarse, crumbly mixture.

Don’t make yourself nuts with this. Just try to break up any large chunks of butter.

Set aside while you prep the apples.

Make the apple crisp filling

Grab your pie plate. Peel your apples, and cut them into small chunks right into the pie plate.

Try to get them roughly the same size but don’t make yourself crazy with it.

(You can prep all of this in advance, but honestly? Apple crisp is a super rustic business, so I try not to fuss too much over it.)

You want to fill your pie plate (or other dish) up about 3/4 of the way.

Everyone’s apples will be a little different in size, just eyeball it, you’ll be fine.

Once you have your apples peeled and sliced, toss in the rest of the ingredients for the filling (melted butter, flour, lemon juice, milk, vanilla extract, dark brown sugar, cinnamon, clove, and optional nutmeg and/or cardamom).

With a spoon or your (very clean) paws, mix the whole business around until your apples are evenly coated.

Assemble the apple crisp

Sprinkle evenly with your crumble topping.

Leave a little room at the edges if you want that extra, bubbly goodness to come up. (Totally up to you.)

Bake your apple crisp

Pop the pan into your preheated, 375-degree F oven.

Bake uncovered for 35-40 minutes, until the top is crisp and nicely browned and your apples are cooked through.

When your apple crisp is done, remove the pan from the oven and place it on a rack to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

And that’s it! You just made the world’s easiest apple crisp!

Serve and enjoy!

I like to serve heaping bowls of this warm apple crisp with good, French vanilla ice cream dusted with a little ground cinnamon.

A steaming pot of tea spiked liberally with whiskey is also a great companion. 😉

Cheers and happy fall!

World’s Easiest Apple Crisp

Yields Makes one 9 1/2-inch pie plate / Serves 4-6

This apple crisp is loaded with orchard-fresh apple flavor. It's buttery and laced with ground cinnamon and clove. The topping is dotted with oats, and gets golden brown with just the right amount of crunch. The edges of the pan will bubble up with sticky, caramel apple goodness.

Save RecipeSave Recipe

Ingredients

For the topping
1/3 cup butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats (NOT quick cooking)
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of kosher salt
For the apple filling
3-5 large apples, peeled and sliced into small pieces
3 Tablespoons of butter, melted
2 Tablespoons flour
Juice from 1/2 a large lemon
3 Tablespoons whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
1/16 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional...some people love it, some people hate it!) 

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Grab a 9 1/2-inch glass pie plate and a medium-sized bowl to mix up your topping.
  2. To make the oatmeal topping for your apple crisp, put all the ingredients for the topping into your bowl. With a fork, mix everything together, mashing the butter with the fork so it breaks down into crumbs. Continue until you have a coarse, crumbly mixture. Set aside while you prep the apples.
  3. Grab your pie plate. Peel your apples, and cut them into small chunks right into the pie plate. You want to fill your pie plate (or other dish) up about 3/4 of the way.
  4. Once you have your apples peeled and sliced, toss in the rest of the ingredients for the filling (melted butter, flour, lemon juice, milk, vanilla extract, dark brown sugar, cinnamon, clove, and optional nutmeg and/or cardamom).
  5. With a spoon or your (very clean) paws, mix the whole business around until your apples are evenly coated.
  6. Sprinkle evenly with your crumble topping. 
  7. Pop the pan into your preheated, 375-degree F oven. Bake uncovered for 35-40 minutes, until the top is crisp and nicely browned and your apples are cooked through.  
  8. When your apple crisp is done, remove the pan from the oven and place it on a rack to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. 
  9. Serve and enjoy! I like to serve heaping bowls of this warm apple crisp with good, French vanilla ice cream dusted with a little ground cinnamon. A steaming pot of tea spiked liberally with whiskey is also a great companion.
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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she’s not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie works as an advertising copywriter in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.

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