Our Favorite Apple Crisp
Serving Size: 8 to 10
Some people have very firm opinions (slight pun, slightly intended – stay with me) about which apples to use in pies, crisps, and other baked goods. I don’t. I like to use a mixture when possible to give every bite a slightly different twist, and I like to use apples that are more tart than not, mixed with a smaller amount of a sweeter variety. Use any apples that are firm (there’s the pun) so they will stand up to baking and have a nice texture. I like a bit of citrus for brightness, and a bit of cinnamon (not too much, we want to taste those apples).
And lots of topping. A thick layer of topping. A non-apologetic layer of topping, with a bit of oats worked in. We all know that’s the best part of the crisp, so let’s get in there.
Our Favorite Apple Crisp
For the Crisp Topping:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled cut into pieces
- 1 cup rolled or steel cut oats
- 5 pounds Granny Smith, Maccoun or other apples that have good firmness and flavor, preferably a combination
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- Zest and juice of 1 orange
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Vanilla ice cream or Sweetened Whipped Cream (see Note) to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter a shallow 4-quart baking pan.
2. Place the flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon and salt in a food processor and process to blend. Add half of the butter and pulse to incorporate a bit, then add the rest of the butter and pulse the mixture until it forms a nubby, pebbly texture, but not a paste. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the oats with a spoon, so they don’t get minced up by the food processor. Hold the topping in the fridge while you prepare the apples if it’s warm in the kitchen.
3. Peel and slice the apples about 1/2-inch thick. Toss them in a large bowl with the zest and juice of the lemon and orange, then sprinkle over the sugar and cinnamon and toss so that the apples are evenly coated with the mixture. Transfer the apples to the prepared pan and evenly distribute the topping over the apples.
4. Bake for about 1 hour until the apples are tender (slide a knife into the middle of the pan) and the top is browned. You can give it a minute or two under the broiler if you want to get the top a bit more browned, but watch it carefully. Cool on a wire rack until warm, and serve with ice cream or whipped cream.
For the Sweetened Whipped Cream
¾ cups heavy or whipping cream
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
In a mixing bowl, using a whisk or a hand mixer, combine the cream and confectioners’ sugar just until slightly firm peaks are formed. This will keep for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.