Skillet Apple Crisp

I absolutely love fruit dessert that end in “pie”, “cobbler” or “crisp”. I love flaky pie crust, light-as-air biscuit topping, and crunchy streusel toppings. It might even be a fair statement that I love all of these things even more than the fruit fillings. Hey, you like what you like and you can’t help it! I made an apple crisp once a few years back that was average at best. Nothing terribly special or memorable – the apples were okay, the topping was okay. I ate it (of course), but I always longed for a kick-butt apple crisp recipe. This.Is.It. This is absolutely it. No question about it. Apples that are tender but not falling apart. An amazing, flavorful, thick sauce. And a streusel topping that covers the whole thing in a thick layer and is perfectly crunchy.

Some notes on the recipe:

• If your skillet is not ovensafe, prepare the recipe through step 4 and then transfer the filling to a 9×13-inch baking dish. Top the filling as directed and bake for an additional 5 minutes.

• If you can’t find Golden Delicious apples, any sweet, crisp apple such as Honeycrisp or Braeburn can be used. Don’t use Granny Smith apples in this recipe.

• Old-fashioned rolled oats are preferred, but you can substitute quick-cooking oats if that’s all you have.

Now, run off and make this immediately! I dare you not to eat half the pan yourself… (Guilty as charged.)

One year ago: Pumpkin and Cream Cheese Muffins with Pecan Streusel
Three years ago: French Toast
Four years ago: Soft Pretzels, Part II

Skillet Apple Crisp

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 15 to 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes


For the Topping:
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup pecans, chopped fine
¾ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
½ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted

For the Filling:
3 pounds Golden Delicious apples (about 7 medium), peeled, cored, halved, and cut into ½-inch-thick wedges
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup apple cider
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter


1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

2. Make the Topping: Combine the flour, pecans, oats, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the butter until the mixture is thoroughly moistened and crumbly. Set aside while preparing the filling.

3. Make the Filling: Toss the apples, granulated sugar and cinnamon together in a large bowl; set aside. Bring the apple cider to a simmer in a 12-inch ovensafe skillet over medium heat; cook until reduced to ½ cup, about 5 minutes. Transfer the reduced apple cider to a small bowl or liquid measuring cup; stir in the lemon juice and set aside.

4. Heat the butter in the now-empty skillet over medium heat. When the foaming subsides, add the apple mixture and cook, stirring frequently, until the apples begin to soften and become translucent, 12 to 14 minutes. (Do not fully cook the apples.) Remove the pan from the heat and gently stir in the apple cider mixture until the apples are coated.

5. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the fruit, breaking up any large chunks. Place the skillet on a baking sheet and bake until the fruit is tender and the topping is deep golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack until warm, at least 15 minutes, and serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

(Recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated)


57 Responses to “Skillet Apple Crisp”

  1. Jess on October 21, 2011 at 12:38 am

    This looks amazing!!! Good thing I have a bag full of apples waiting in my pantry!!


  2. CouponClippingCook on October 21, 2011 at 2:54 am

    This looks just delicious. What a great way to get your daily fruit too!


  3. Choc Chip Uru on October 21, 2011 at 4:26 am

    How delicious! Looks just as yum as the 10 minute apple crisp I made 🙂


  4. Kathryn on October 21, 2011 at 4:40 am

    I love the bubbling caramel filling, it looks delicious!


  5. Katrina on October 21, 2011 at 5:28 am

    This sounds fantastic!


  6. Lauren at Keep It Sweet on October 21, 2011 at 7:12 am

    I also adore that category of desserts! What a great use for the skillet:-)


  7. amanda @ fake ginger on October 21, 2011 at 8:37 am

    I love how dark the apples & juice are! It just LOOKS super flavorful. Can’t wait to try it!


  8. Jess Wakasugi {Life's Simple Measures} on October 21, 2011 at 9:36 am

    MmmMmmm this looks amazing! Such a cozy Fall treat, pinned!


  9. Amber Martin on October 21, 2011 at 9:38 am

    I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this post in my Inbox. I made this exact recipe last night to put on my blog! This is absolutely the best apple crisp ever! My husband doesn’t really like apple desserts. I know, it’s a shame. But even he thought this was good. He said he didn’t want any at first, but I got him to try it, and even he couldn’t stop eating it!


  10. Paula on October 21, 2011 at 11:09 am

    This just takes delicious apple crisp to the next level of easy. Great post and pictures. Love this recipe.


  11. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel on October 21, 2011 at 11:34 am

    I’ve made three apple crisps in the last month! They’re too good to pass up. Yours looks incredible.


  12. Lauren@LittleYellowKitchen on October 21, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    This looks amaaazing! I’m scared to death of my cast iron skillet because things have gotten horribly stuck to it before…not fun to clean. I think this recipe may have convinced me to try using it again though!


  13. Tiffany {A Clove of Garlic} on October 21, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    I can imagine what your house smelled like — YUM!


  14. Jen @ Chocotuile on October 21, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    I just did a crisp too!

    Although I have a lot to learn in food photog; your pictures looks amazing! Do you pair yours with ice cream? I can’t eat crisp without ice cream 🙂


    • Michelle on October 21st, 2011 at 4:00 pm

      Hi Jen, I didn’t have any ice cream in the house so I didn’t have any (a sin!), but yes under normal circumstances I would definitely serve this with vanilla ice cream 🙂


  15. Pam on October 21, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    What a great idea to do this in the skillet. It looks absolutely wonderful. And I have to agree with the suggestion to top it with ice cream!


  16. Sue/the view from great island on October 21, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    I’m heating up the skillet now! I’m interested that you say not to use Granny Smiths in this, that’s usually my go-to baking apple.


    • Michelle on October 21st, 2011 at 4:01 pm

      Hi Sue, This really tastes best with sweeter apples, and the Grannies are too tart. Enjoy it!


  17. Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen on October 21, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    This looks awesome. A cast iron skillet has been on my wish list for a few months now, and you’re just giving me more of a reason to buy one with this recipe!


  18. Rob Garris on October 21, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    All this stuff is going on the grocery list for tomorrow morning (along with some vanilla ice cream)!! Thanks, as always:)


  19. Cindy B. on October 21, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    This looks DELICIOUS!!!


  20. Cookin' Canuck on October 21, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    I simply do not use my cast-iron skillet often enough. This apple crisp looks like a fantastic reason to pull it out.


  21. Linda on October 21, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    Instead of using apple cider, try using boiled cider from
    I use it anytime I’m cooking with apples. Its a thick, reduced apple cider that adds great apple flavor anytime you need it.
    Love your blog, I check it frequently for recipes and ideas.


  22. Stephie @ Eat Your Heart Out on October 21, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    This looks great! I love that you make it in your cast iron skillet. I also bet the apple cider adds a great depth of flavor that you wouldn’t get in a normal crisp. YUM!


  23. Michelle on October 21, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    Made this tonight after dinner. Quick, easy and tastes fabulous!!!! Made the beef soup you posted from earlier this week and it was great. Love the photography as well as the recipes.


  24. Jen @ Chocotuile on October 21, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    Linda, I remember that recipe from King Arthur’s! It looked so unique when I first came upon it, which gave me a great idea about reducing the fruit sauce before you bake it into a crisp or pie.

    Michelle, you need to get some ice cream pronto! 🙂 I ate all my crisp already, but looking at your drool-worthy pictures, I had to go bake me another! I’m doing strawberry this time ’round.


  25. Katie @ BloomEveryday on October 21, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    This would be great for breakfast or dessert! Yum!! Check out our website sometime soon @ 🙂 We would love to share some of our recipes with you.


  26. Kim Bee on October 21, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    Loving this one. It looks like perfection. I just got a cast iron skillet so this has to be tried. Love your pictures.


  27. Barbara | Creative Culinary on October 22, 2011 at 12:08 am

    Crisp, cobbler or crumble…I just love baked fruit desserts. I did a crisp recently in a cast iron pan too…think I had some peaches and plums that needed to be used or I was going to lose them. I’m thinking those apples on my counter are going to suffer the same fate. The same delicious fate.


  28. Ann on October 22, 2011 at 12:34 am

    Delicious! I completely agree! Also, if it has the words Chocolate, fudge or ice-cream in them…I’m there!


  29. stephanie on October 22, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    I halved this for a 6-inch skillet and used Pink Ladies and a pear on it’s way out. It was delicious, thank you.


  30. natalie@thesweetslife on October 22, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    i will have NO problem eating half a pan of this! 🙂 can’t go wrong with CI!


  31. SJ on October 23, 2011 at 8:38 am

    OOOOh! This looks sooo good. I just may make it today!


  32. danielle on October 23, 2011 at 9:59 am

    Yum! This recipe is making its way into my cooking arsenal


  33. Jennifer@Peanut Butter and Peppers on October 23, 2011 at 10:27 am

    Holy Crap! A girl after my own heart! I love Apple Crisp!!!


  34. Jenn@Baking Jenn's Blog on October 23, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    OMG! This looks SO good! I LOVE apple crisp!


  35. Veronica Diaz on October 23, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    If you top it with yogurt-its totally a healthy breakfast right? Apples, cinnamon and oatmeal. Perfectly healthy,


  36. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction on October 28, 2011 at 7:38 am

    Yum! Apple crisp is one of my favorites. I love your skillet version! 🙂


  37. Emily on October 30, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    I’ve been planning to make this since I saw this post a week ago, and finally made it tonight. It was utterly fabulous. Served with some Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla ice cream, I think it just might be the best thing I’ve ever made. Kudos — this is a MEGA-keeper.


  38. Tara H. on October 30, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    I made this tonight too. I’m pretty sure my family loves me just a little bit more now.


  39. sara on November 1, 2011 at 8:10 am

    I am so eager to try this but i have one question–if im baking it in the oven (I don’ t have a cast iron skillet) do i cook the apple filling on the stove a bit first or just pour the cider over the uncooked apples and bake it?


    • Michelle on November 2nd, 2011 at 10:11 am

      Hi Sara, You don’t need to have a cast iron skillet, it just needs to be oven-safe. If you do the whole thing in the oven you actually go through step 4, so yes you do cook it on the stove. I am editing it right now, so sorry for the typo!


      • Sara on November 3rd, 2011 at 7:10 pm

        well unfortunately i couldnt wait for you to reply before i HAD to taste this–so i went ahead and poured the reduced cider over the uncooked apples and it turned out sooo delicious!! thank you for responding I will try it that way next time! love your site and make your reipes frequently 🙂


  40. CK on November 3, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Made this last night for my mom’s birthday. DIVINE! Best apple crisp that I’ve ever made. Thanks so much for sharing!


  41. Julie @ juliechiou [dot] com on November 4, 2011 at 8:38 am

    This is on my Thanksgiving 2011 Menu as one of the desserts! Can’t wait to try it 🙂


  42. Patty on November 7, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    Made this for Sunday dinner and it was hit. I made a maple flavored whip cream to go on top and it was wonderful.


  43. Katelyn on November 13, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    OMG…this is an amazing recipe. I made it last week and posted a bunch of photos on my blog today. Check it out:

    I used Honeycrisp apples and because I’m terrible about reading directions I accidentally cut cold butter into the topping instead of melting and stirring. It was still the best crisp/crumble I have ever tasted.


    • Michelle on November 15th, 2011 at 10:33 am

      Yours looks awesome! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!


  44. Nicole Kehoe on January 5, 2012 at 1:29 am

    Made this on New Years eve! It was simple to make and sooo good. My husband and I at 1/2 of it ourselves on NYE and then the other 1/2 the other night…thanks for a great recipe!


  45. Cari on October 7, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    Just made this tonight and it was absolutely delicious! This is going to be my ” go to” recipe from now on! Thank you for sharing it! :o)


  46. SusieQ on October 12, 2013 at 8:54 am

    I made this recipe for dessert last night, and while it was delicious I was disappointed that mine, for some reason, did not look like the picture. Mine never got that pretty golden color. I don’t believe I had enough liquid to absorb all of the crumb topping. My cider cooked down to the required amount, so???
    Thankfully the ice cream kept it moist and delicious.
    I was concerned about the sticky mess in my cast iron pan, but it cleaned beautifully.
    Overall, great fall dessert. 🙂


  47. Kris O on October 21, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    I made this for my mom’s birthday dinner and it was delicious! Thank you for all your wonderful recipes.


  48. Jamie on November 29, 2014 at 11:49 pm

    hi! Can I replace the cider with anything??? (I really don’t want to go to the store for one thing!:):)


    • Michelle on December 2nd, 2014 at 1:31 pm

      Hi Jamie, You could use apple juice.


  49. Sara on April 23, 2015 at 6:29 am

    May I par cook the apples in advance and then bake later in the day?


    • Michelle on May 1st, 2015 at 10:11 pm

      Hi Sara, I haven’t tried doing that, but I think it would work. Enjoy!


  50. Jennifer on October 10, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    I made this recipe last night, and it was delicious!


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