Favorite Streusel Apple Crisp

Streusel lovers, this one’s for you.

Thick Streusel Topping for Apple Crisp

This apple crisp has a thick layer of topping.  This is a bit of an understatement.  There is lots of topping.    A deep, dense, non-apologetic layer of sweet oat-laced topping.  We all know that’s the best part of the crisp, so let’s get in there.  Look at that blanket of crunchy sweet loveliness.

Favorite Streusel Apple Crisp

Which Apples to Use for Baking

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 definitely like to use a mixture when possible to give every bite a slightly different twist, and I like to use some apples that are more tart than not, mixed with a smaller amount of a sweeter variety.  I like a bit of citrus for brightness, and a bit of cinnamon  (not too much, we want to taste those apples).

Use any apples that are firm (there’s the pun) so they will stand up to baking and have a nice texture.   Jonagolds (sometimes called Jonathans), Braeburns, Honeycrisps, Mitsu, Cortlands, Winesap, Pink Lady, Empire, Granny Smith and all manner of green apples.

Favorite Streusel Apple Crisp

If you have the opportunity to go apple picking in the fall, just make it happen.  Some of my fondest childhood memories are of those apple picking days—well, not the time I fell out of a tree when I was five and my family thought I was just being a little bit dramatic, so left me in the backseat of the car while they picked apples, and then when I was really quiet for a while drove me to the doctor to find out I had a broken leg.

Other than that one slightly blurred memory I have always really loved apple picking.

A thick layer of streusel topping goes on top of our Favorite Apple Crisp. Use a mixture of apples to give every bite a different twist.

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Favorite Streusel Apple Crisp

Anyway, when you do go apple picking, you will probably pick several varieties of apples and then when you get home, become unable to remember which is which type.  That’s ok.  Any apple that tastes good is good for eating, and any apple that is very firm is good for cooking.  At least that’s my basic rule of thumb.  

Want a slightly different version?  With a slightly more modest amount of streusel? I’m of the mind that almost all apple crisps are good apple crisps.

Whipped Cream with Apple Crisp

Oh, and if you’re going to hit that streusel hard, you’re probably also going to hit the whipped cream (or ice cream) hard.  In for a penny, in for a pound.

Favorite Streusel Apple Crisp

Other Apple Recipes:

Favorite Streusel Apple Crisp

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Favorite Streusel Apple Crisp

The first thing I make after every apple picking expedition.
Yield: 10 People
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes


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


  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter a shallow 4-quart baking pan.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 524kcal | Carbohydrates: 87g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 127mg | Potassium: 326mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 55g | Vitamin A: 690IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 2mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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