Apple Crisp


When it comes to apple desserts – you can’t beat apple crisp. The apples turn sweet and tender as they bake, and are coated in cinnamon sugar goodness. And then the brown sugar oatmeal crumble on top?

What I also so love about apple crisp is that it’s made with easy, simple ingredients that you likely already have around the house. You can throw everything together without any fancy skills, ingredients or equipment – and you end up with the most delicious, comforting, cinnamon filled dessert around.

When I was kid my Mom would often make fruit crumbles and crisps for dessert at Sunday dinner. We always made ours with oatmeal crumble on top, and a hefty dose of cinnamon (could you really have it any other way). And if I was lucky, I might even get the cold leftovers for breakfast the next morning. (The benefits of being the youngest child).

Ok – let’s talk recipe specifics. 

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

Well – that depends on who you ask. A fruit crumble is a baked fruit dessert. The bottom layer is made of fruit (apples, blueberries, peaches, etc), and the top layer is an oatmeal streusel – typically made with butter, flour, sugars, cinnamon & oats. An apple crisp is the exact same thing. Some say that fruit crisps don’t have oats, but I’ve always called it an apple crisp and had oats in my streusel topping.

How to Make an Apple Crisp

If you’ve never made an apple crisp before – there’s absolutely nothing stopping you. To get started, make the topping:

  • Whisk together the flour, sugars, cinnamon, salt & oats.
  • Cut cold butter into small chunks, then add it into the bowl.
  • Work the butter into the flour mixture by either cutting it in with a pastry cutter or fork, or crumbling it in using your fingers.
  • Whisk together the flour, sugars, cinnamon, salt & oats.
  • Cut cold butter into small chunks, then add it into the bowl.
  • Work the butter into the flour mixture by either cutting it in with a pastry cutter or fork, or crumbling it in using your fingers.

Then it’s time to make the apple layer. What kind of apples are best for apple crisp?

Apple crisp really isn’t too fussy of a dessert. Choose an apple that’s slightly tart and firm because the apples will sweeten and soften as the crisp bakes, and a slightly tarter apple really compliments the brown sugar cinnamon flavor. I like to use Granny Smith apples – Honey Crisp or Empire work well too.

Peel the apples and slice into thin slices. Then we make a cinnamon sugar mixture by whisking together melted butter, water, a little flour, cinnamon & sugar. The mixture gets drizzled on top of the apples to coat them evenly. I find this step absolutely necessary because it helps the apples soften and sweeten as they bake without getting too soupy.

The apple mixture is spooned into the bottom of a greased 2-quart casserole dish (a 9×9 inch square pan, 8×8 inch square pan, or 11×7 inch casserole pan work perfectly). Then the crumble topping is crumbled on top. Your pan will definitely look quite full but as the apples bake and soften they take up less volume – so you don’t need to worry about the pan overflowing.

The cinnamon apples end up with this delicious cinnamon coating that has a slight caramel flavor, and the oatmeal crumble is buttery, crunchy and delicious.

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Apple Crisp

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