This easy apple crisp recipe is the best you will ever taste. Quick to prepare and bursting with flavor between the apple filling and oat crumble topping. A simple list of ingredients and straightforward preparation makes this THE apple crisp recipe to keep in your arsenal. Your fall baking just got significantly tastier!
I can’t wait for another month or so, to be sitting at my kitchen table gazing out the window at our wooded hillside, seeing every different shade of green, yellow, orange and red starting back at me. The leaves changing are one of my favorite parts of fall and one of the main reasons I don’t think I could ever live somewhere full-time that didn’t experience all four seasons.
Do you go apple picking this time of year? I’ve never done it, but every time I scroll through my Facebook feed during the fall, I’m inundated with pictures of friends with their kids traipsing through orchards and collecting buckets of apples. If you’re overrun with apples, or are just looking for a great fall recipe, this apple crisp will win over your fall-loving heart in mere seconds.
How to Make Easy Apple Crisp
I’ve made a lot of apple crisp recipes in the past, and while they were good, nothing really struck me as heads and tails above the rest… until I made this recipe. It is quite literally the BEST apple crisp I’ve ever had.
So, what makes this apple crisp so utterly amazing?
SO. MUCH. APPLE. FLAVOR.
The Apple Filling
Here are the components for the filling:
AND boiled cider. The boiled cider is optional, but if you can use it, absolutely do so! It packs a seriously concentrated punch of apple flavor that I adore. (I buy it from King Arthur Flour.)
Flour to thicken the juices
Brown sugar to sweeten the apples
Melted butter to enhance the flavor
A combination of spices that don’t overpower but give the crisp a wonderfully warm fall flavor.
Perhaps the most common question I receive is:
What kind of apples are best to use for apple crisp? Truthfully, most any apple or combination of apples will work, so use your favorites (or the haul from a recent apple-picking excursion).
The only caution I have is that McIntosh apples are pretty soft and will break down when baking, so if you want to use them, I would do so in combination with another, firmer variety.
The Apple Crisp Topping
This is a wonderful crumb topping (flour, sugar, butter) and I love the addition of oats for a topping that’s hearty, and the crust lover in me has a tremendous appreciation for the ratio of topping to filling. It is NOT skimpy and provides the perfect balance to the warm apple filling. You can add some chopped walnuts or pecans for extra texture and flavor, if you’d like.
If you’re wondering what the difference is between an apple crisp and apple crumble, here’s a quick explanation:
It’s all in the topping! Both are baked fruit desserts, but crisps traditionally have oats in the topping, while crumbles are made without oats. And if you’re curious, cobblers are made with a biscuit topping!
Making Ahead and Freezing Apple Crisp
This apple crisp really lends itself to making ahead and reheating. Below are some tips:
Preparing Ahead – I do not recommend assembling the crisp and letting it sit for hours or overnight before baking, as the apples will start to break down. Instead, go ahead and bake the apple crisp, allow it to cool, then cover and store as directed in the recipe below. Reheat in a 325-degree oven until warmed through.
Freezing – Bake and cool the crisp as directed below. Cover with a double layer of plastic wrap, then a layer of aluminum foil and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in a refrigerator overnight then reheat in a 325-degree oven until warmed all the way through.
So there you have it – the end all and be all of apple crisp recipes. All that’s left is to add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and you have the absolute perfect fall dessert.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch square pan, or other 2½-quart baking dish.
Prepare the Apples: Toss the apples with the apple cider, brown sugar, flour, melted butter, boiled cider (if using), cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt, and spread the mixture in the prepared pan.
Make the Topping: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, salt, sugar, cinnamon, and baking powder. Add the cold butter and work it into the flour mixture using a pastry blender, forks, or your fingers, until mixture resembles large, uneven crumbs. Toss in the chopped nuts (if using). Spread the topping evenly over the apples in the pan.
Bake the Apple Crisp: Line a rimmed baking pan with parchment paper or foil and place the pan with the apple crisp on top (to catch any potential drips). Bake the crisp until it's bubbling and the top is golden brown, about 55 to 60 minutes. Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before serving. Leftovers can be stored, covered, at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Use your favorite type of apples or a combination of varieties.
You can substitute apple juice, liquor of your choice, or water for the apple cider.
You can substitute 1½ teaspoons apple pie spice for the cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.
To make in a 9x13-inch pan, increase the ingredients by 1.5.