Fall is in the air. The mornings are crisp and cool and the apples are ripening on our apple tree. It is time to make apple crisp!
I look forward to apple crisp all year long. I love it because it is easy to make and the flavors of fall really shine through. This apple crisp has a crunchy brown sugar and oat topping and gooey apple filling. I have been using this same apple crisp recipe for over 10 years now. Why mess with perfection?
This article will take you through how to make apple crisp step-by-step. Let’s get started!
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Ingredients for Apple Crisp
Apple crisp uses only seven simple ingredients. Let’s go through them now:
Apples – What type of apples to use for apple crisp? The short answer is, use whatever you like. Apple preference is very personal and depends on what region of the country you live in. In general though, I recommend using a tart apple to give the apple layer more flavor and prevent the topping from being overly sweet.
My absolute favorite baking apple of all time are Gravenstein apples. They have amazing flavor and soften nicely when cooked without becoming overly mushy. Gravensteins are very hard if not impossible to find in the store because of their short shelf life, which is why I planted one in my backyard 🙂 Other popular apple choices are Granny Smith (although these never really soften, but some people prefer that), Pink Lady, Jonagold, or Golden Delicious. You can also do a blend of different apple varieties. Again, use whatever you like!
Brown sugar – I prefer brown sugar in the topping because it gives it a nice caramel-like flavor. White sugar is mixed into the apples but you can use brown sugar here too if you like.
Why is there sugar in the apple mixture and also in the topping? Besides sweetening the apples a little the sugar has a second purpose here and that is to draw some moisture out of the apples. The flour will then help the juice to thicken to the perfect consistency.
Oats – Oats give the topping a nice texture. I usually use regular oats but quick oats can be used too!
Nuts – Nuts are great in apple crisp! They toast in the oven while the apple crisp is baking and give it a great crunch. Walnuts, pecans, or almonds are great choices here.
Flour – Flour helps to thicken the apple filling so it is gooey and delicious instead of thin and watery. Regular all-purpose flour is what you want here.
Spices – I keep it simple here and just use cinnamon. You can certainly add some nutmeg, cloves, or allspice if you want!
Butter – Real butter gives this the best texture and flavor! I use salted butter because I like how the salt in the butter helps to balance the sweetness of the sugar.
Now that we know what goes in our apple crisp, let’s find out how to make it!
How to Make Apple Crisp
Step 1: Prepare the Apple Filling
Start by stirring the flour, sugar, and cinnamon together in a large bowl. Set this aside while you prepare the apples.
Peel, core, and slice the apples into 1/4 inch pieces. Try to make the slices about the same thickness so they cook evenly.
When I am in a hurry I love to use my apple corer/peeler/slicer (affiliate link). I purchased this off of Amazon six years ago now and it is still going strong! It takes just a few seconds per apple and is easy to use. If you go through a lot of apples this will save you so much time!
After the apples are sliced add them to the flour and sugar mixture in your bowl. Stir the apples well (I like to use my hands for this part) until the apples are evenly coated. Then transfer the apples to an ungreased 8-inch square pan.
At first it may look like the apples won’t all fit in the pan. You may need to use your hands to move them around and squish them down a bit. They will cook down a lot in the oven so not to worry! After your apples are ready start working on the topping.
Step 2: Make the Topping for the Apple Crisp
Measure the brown sugar, flour, oats, and nuts into a large bowl (you can reuse the bowl the apples were in). Pour in the melted butter and mix with your hands until everything is thoroughly combined.
Once the topping is mixed together sprinkle it on top of the apples. To get some larger chunks I squeeze some of the topping together in my hand and then gently break it into bigger pieces. Make sure to get all the way to the edges and cover the apples evenly. The apple crisp is now ready to go into the oven!
Step 3: Bake the Apple Crisp
Bake the apple crisp at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes. It is done when the edges are bubbly and a fork slides easily into the apples. The topping should be a beautiful golden brown color.
Let the apple crisp cool for a few minutes before serving. This will help to thicken the delicious goo around the apples. Add a big scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and you have the perfect fall dessert! Yum!
Hope you get to make this apple crisp soon! Happy Cooking!
Perfect Apple Crisp
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 6 tart apples
- ½ cup flour
- ½ cup oats
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup chopped nuts (optional)
- ⅓ cup butter, melted
- To make the apple filling stir the sugar, cinnamon, and flour together in a large bowl. Set this aside while you prepare the apples.
- Peel, core, and slice the apples into ¼ inch slices. Add them to the sugar mixture in your bowl. Stir well (it is easiest if you use your hands) and then transfer them to an ungreased 8-inch square pan. Set this aside while you make the topping.
- Measure the brown sugar, flour, oats, and nuts into a large bowl (you can reuse the bowl the apples were in). Pour in the melted butter and mix with your hands until everything is thoroughly combined.
- Sprinkle the topping over the apples in the pan. Make sure to get all the way to the edges and cover the apples evenly.
- Bake the apple crisp at 375° for 30-40 minutes. It is done when the edges are bubbly and a fork slides easily into the apples. The topping should be a beautiful brown color. Set aside to cool a little before serving.
- Serve the apple crisp warm with a big scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. Enjoy!
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