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    Old Fashioned Apple Crisp Recipe

    Published January 20, 2023. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    This delicious old-fashioned apple crisp recipe is easy-to-make and topped off with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce for the ultimate crowd-pleasing dessert. You will love the simplicity of this tasty treat.

    If baking is your thing, then you must check out my Best Blondies Recipe and Classic Cheesecake Recipe.

    apple crisp on a plate with ice cream and caramel

    Apple Crisp

    Apple crisp is a simple dessert of apples topped with a crumbly, sweet pastry mixture, like a streusel, baked until brown and crisp. Isabel Ely Lord created the earliest written record of this recipe in 1924 in the Everybody’s Cookbook. However, it didn’t become popularized until WWII when pastry products like sugar, butter, and flour were rationed. The more elaborate apple pie was out, and the apple crisp was in.

    This dessert is incredibly versatile and can be altered to your liking. For example, you can add different nuts to the crumble topping. You can also use an assortment of your favorite apples. Regardless, this is a very simple to make crowd-pleasing dessert.

    What’s the Difference Between Apple Crisp and Apple Crumble?

    These two desserts are very similar. The only difference is that an apple crumble typically does not have oats or nuts in the topping. Other than that, they are the same.

    Ingredients

    apple crisp ingredients
    • Apples – I like to use a combination of granny smith apples and fuji apples. You can, however, use 1 breed of apples.
    • Flour – You will need some regular all-purpose flour for this recipe.
    • Salt – I always use sea salt in my baking and cooking.
    • Butter – Use unsalted butter, so you control the salt content.
    • Oats – Old-fashioned rolled oats are what you will need.
    • Nuts – I used finely chopped walnuts, but you can also use pecans or almonds.
    • Sugar – Packed light brown sugar adds the best sweetness to this recipe.
    • Cinnamon – A little cinnamon goes a long way to enhance the flavor of this dessert.
    • Nutmeg – freshly ground nutmeg will add the right amount of savory.
    • Liquor – I used dark rum, but regular rum, brandy, or calvados will also work.

    What are the Best Apples to Use?

    You can use an assortment of apples to create this apple crisp. Here are my favorites in order of sourness to sweetness:

    • Granny Smith
    • Pink Lady
    • Braeburn
    • Honey Crisp
    • Golden Delicious
    • Gala
    • Fuji

    How to Make an Apple Crisp

    Start making the oat streusel topping by combining flour, brown sugar, oats, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl.

    oats and cinnamon in a bowl

    Next, cut in the butter using a pastry knife until the butter is blended into the mixture and is the size of cous cous.

    cutting butter into flour and oats

    Fold in the finely chopped nuts using a rubber spatula. Place the mixture in the freezer.

    adding nuts to a streusel

    Peel, slice in half, core, slice in half again, and thickly slice the apples. They should be about a ½” inch thick.

    slicing apples

    Place the apples in a large bowl with flour, cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg, and rum.

    adding cinnamon and sugar to sliced apples

    Thoroughly mix the ingredients until they are well combined.

    adding spices apples to a casserole dish

    Transfer the apples to a deep 12”x8” or regular 13”x9” baking casserole dish. You do not need to grease the dish ahead of time.

    adding a streusel to a casserole dish

    Evenly sprinkle the chilled oat streusel over the top of the apples.

    flattening out a streusel in a casserole dish

    Pat the streusel down to even it out, and then bake the apple crisp at 350° for 45 to 55 minutes. The top should be lightly browned, and the edges should have some caramelization. In addition, the apples should be tender. You also do not want to cover it with foil so the top can brown up.

    Once it’s done baking, serve a scoop of it with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce.

    drizzling caramel on ice cream and apple crisp

    Make Ahead and Storage

    Make-Ahead: You can make this up to 1 hour ahead of time. After baking, cover it in foil and keep it in the oven at low temperatures (200°) until you are ready to serve it.

    How to Store: Once cool, cover it and keep it in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days. You can freeze this apple crisp by covering it and keeping it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator for 1 day before reheating.

    How to Reheat: Add the desired amount of apple crisp to a small casserole dish and bake it in the oven at 350° for 12 to 15 minutes or until hot.

    Chef Billy Parisi

    Chef Notes + Tips

    • My apple crisp recipe has a thick oat streusel topping because I believe this adds a lot more flavor to the recipe.
    • When it’s done baking, the apple crisp apples will be tender, but still slightly firm. You do not want them to be mush.
    • I always add my baking recipes to the lower middle section of the oven.
    • If you’re making this recipe ahead of time, keep the apples submerged in pineapple juice for up to 2 days in the refrigerator to keep them from turning brown.

    More Dessert Recipes

    Let's Cook - Chef Billy Parisi

    Video

    Old Fashioned Apple Crisp Recipe

    5 from 2 votes
    This delicious old-fashioned apple crisp recipe is topped off with ice cream and caramel sauce for the ultimate crowd-pleasing dessert.
    Servings: 12
    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: 55 minutes

    Ingredients 

    For the Crisp Topping:

    • 1 cup flour
    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • 1 cup oats
    • ½ tsp sea salt
    • 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
    • 1 stick butter
    • ½ cup walnuts

    For the Filling:

    • 4 granny smith apples
    • 4 Fuji apples
    • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • ½ cup brown sugar
    • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
    • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
    • 3 tablespoons dark rum

    Instructions

    • Preheat the oven to 350°.
    • Start making the oat streusel topping by combining flour, brown sugar, oats, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl.
    • Next, cut in the butter using a pastry knife until the butter is blended into the mixture and is the size of cous cous.
    • Fold in the finely chopped nuts using a rubber spatula. Place the mixture in the freezer to keep the butter ice cold.
    • Peel, slice in half, core, slice in half again, and thickly slice the apples. They should be about a ½” inch thick.
    • Place the apples in a large bowl with the flour, cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg, and rum.
    • Thoroughly mix the ingredients until they are well combined.
    • Transfer the apples to a deep 12”x8”” or regular 13”x9” baking casserole dish. You do not need to grease the dish ahead of time.
    • Evenly sprinkle the chilled oat streusel over the top of the apples.
    • Pat the streusel down to even it out, and then bake the apple crisp at 350° for 45 to 55 minutes. The top should be lightly browned, and the edges should have some caramelization. In addition, the apples should be tender. You also do not want to cover it with foil so the top can brown up.
    • Once it’s done baking, serve a scoop of it with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce.

    Notes

    Make-Ahead: You can make this up to 1 hour ahead of time. After baking, cover it in foil and keep it in the oven at low temperatures (200°) until you are ready to serve it.
    How to Store: Once cool, cover it and keep it in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days. You can freeze this apple crisp by covering it and keeping it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator for 1 day before reheating.
    How to Reheat: Add the desired amount of apple crisp to a small casserole dish and bake it in the oven at 350° for 12 to 15 minutes or until hot.
    My apple crisp recipe has a thick oat streusel topping because I believe this adds a lot more flavor to the recipe.
    When it’s done baking, the apple crisp apples will be tender, but still slightly firm. You do not want them to be mush.
    I always add my baking recipes to the lower middle section of the oven.
    If you’re making this recipe ahead of time, keep the apples submerged in pineapple juice for up to 2 days in the refrigerator to keep them from turning brown.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 281kcalCarbohydrates: 59gProtein: 3gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 0.5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.01gSodium: 107mgPotassium: 228mgFiber: 5gSugar: 40gVitamin A: 68IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 45mgIron: 1mg
    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: American