Let’s hold hands and admit something; the best part of a crisp is the topping. Sure, the spiced, sweet, tender filling is delicious, but aren’t you quietly ecstatic when your serving has a thick slab of crumbly crust on top?
Long ago we had a dinner guest who—while we were hustling around getting little kids to bed and stacking dishes—managed to eat his way through most of the topping of an apple crisp meant for 8, leaving behind the naked, beige soft fruit underneath. We still love him, but we haven’t forgotten.
But since we don’t want to just bake layers of crisp topping without fruit beneath it, apples must be peeled and sliced. Though I have now planted a major seed in my own brain. Next up: Apple Crisp Slab Pie, with perhaps a 1:1 ratio or topping and apple layer thickness.
There are a ton of different kinds of apples in the world. Hannah, one of Jack’s oldest best friends (they met when they were 3 – oh, don’t let me start waxing nostalgic), once decided to explore the wide world of apples by taking a single simple pie recipe and making it every Sunday with a different variety of apple, from Macoun to McIntosh. So, same pie, same ingredients, only the type of apple changed. A pretty cool way of getting to know the different varietals if you ask me.
Getting the apples ready for the crisp is half the battle, so if you have anyone you can enlist to tackle that, you can ready the other ingredients and the topping in the meantime. If these two tasks can be accomplished simultaneously then the whole crisp will take less than 15 minutes to get into the oven minutes into the oven. And while you eat dinner, curling, fragrant wisps of crisp perfume will reminding you that dessert is coming.
Other Apple Dessert Recipes:
Easy Apple Crisp Recipe
For the Crisp
- 8 large apples about 3 1/2 pounds McIntosh, Greening Macoun apples, peeled, cored, and sliced about ¾-inch thick
- grated zest of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the Topping
- 1 cup flour
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar packed
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup oatmeal
- ½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter diced
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Butter or spray an 8 or 9-inch baking dish.
- In the dish itself, toss the apples with the lemon zest and juice, sugar, and cinnamon.
- Make the topping: combine the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, and oatmeal in medium-sized bowl. Add the diced butter and using your fingers (or a pastry cutter if you have one) blend the butter with the dry ingredients until the butter is in very small bits, like peas or smaller. Distribute the mixture evenly over the apples.
- Bake the crisp on a baking sheet with sides for 40 to 50 minutes until the top is brown and the juice bubbles up around the edges. Let sit for at least 10 minutes and serve warm.
NoteYou can also do this by blending the dry ingredients in a food processor, and then pulsing in the butter in until the mixture is mixed as described. Hold the oatmeal back til the end if you use a food processor, and blend that in by hand, so the oats don’t get chopped up.
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