I wish I could turn the scent into a candle… though a serving of apple crisp with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top beats a candle any day.
You really can’t beat gooey, warm, delicious apples loaded with spices and a crispy oat crumb topping.
This old-fashioned Apple Crisp recipe is such a comforting treat in the Autumn season or the summertime!
How to Make Apple Crisp
What is Apple Crisp? How is a Crisp Different From a Cobbler?
A baked apple crisp is made of apples, spices, and a crisp oat-y topping, essentially! There’s no crust or base to an apple crisp – just a simple streusel topping. This makes it simpler and faster to make than a pie – but you still achieve all the same wonderful fall flavors, along with a deliciously chewy crisp topping.
Cobblers, while similar, are topped with more of a biscuit-like or cake-like topping (and sometimes the same base, too) instead of an oat-y streusel topping.
What Type of Apple is Best for Apple Crisp?
- Golden Delicious and Honeycrisp have the perfect balance of sweetness to tartness and bake up beautifully.
- Feel free to use a mixture of apples!
- Granny Smith, Fuji, or Gala apples are other great options.
Do I Need to Peel the Apples?
This is really a matter of personal preference, but I always opt to peel my apples to avoid the texture of cooked apple skins. If that texture doesn’t bother you, feel free to skip peeling the apples to save time.
Tips for the Perfect Apple Crisp
- Slice apples evenly so they cook evenly.
- Test apple doneness with a fork, toothpick or cake tester. Sure, you don’t want to burn or undercook your streusel topping, but you can’t just go on how the top looks for this one! Take a moment to pierce a few apples before calling the baking time – no one wants to eat a super crunchy apple in a crisp (or a super soggy one, either!).
- Adjust spice level to your preference, and based on how fresh they are. We all have a jar of allspice or cloves sitting in the back of our pantry, pulled out for just a handful of recipes every fall …. But how long has it been sitting there? Older spices carry less flavor; fresh spices will carry a LOT more flavor. So, just be aware of that, and adjust the spice level down a little if you prefer a less-spiced crisp, or if your spices are brand new, as this recipe is written to be spice-forward and based on the assumption that most spices aren’t brand new and fresh!
What Pan Should I Use for the Best Apple Crisp?
Use a 9×13-inch pan. Either a light-colored metal or glass baking dish is fine for this recipe. Ceramic works just fine for this apple crisp, too.
How to Halve This Apple Crisp Recipe:
Halve all the ingredients and bake in an 8×8-inch square pan. Reduce the baking time by a few minutes.
Can I Add Nuts to This Recipe?
Yes! Feel free to add a cup of toasted, chopped walnuts or pecans to the streusel topping, if desired.
Can I use Other Fruits Instead of Apples?
We have not tested other fruits in place of apples for this crisp recipe, so just be aware that other fruits may have different bake times, may not work with the listed spices, and may be too sweet or too liquidy for this recipe to be successful. However, we always encourage experimentation, so if you do give this recipe a try with other fruits, please let us know how it goes!
How Should I Serve Apple Crisp?
- The best way to serve this apple crisp, in my opinion, is warm, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top!
- You can get creative with other apple crisp toppings, like a drizzle of caramel sauce for an even more deliciously decadent dessert.
- Whipped cream would also be great with this apple crisp.
How Long Will This Apple Crisp Keep?
- Covered and refrigerated, this apple crisp will stay fresh for 3 days.
- Reheat in the microwave or in the oven at 325°F for 10 minutes, or until warmed through.
- The streusel oat topping will begin to soften after the first day, so be aware of that (though it will still taste great regardless!).
- Apple crisp is also delicious cold!
Does Apple Crisp Need to be Refrigerated?
Though not required, I recommend that this apple crisp be refrigerated after it bakes and cools. This will keep it fresh longer and prevent it from spoiling.
Can You Freeze Apple Crisp?
This apple crisp is best enjoyed fresh, but if necessary, you can bake it, let it cool completely, cover well with layers of plastic wrap, and freeze for up to a month. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating and serving. To reheat, bake covered at 350°F for 20 minutes, or until heated through.
NOTE: I recommend thawing the baked crisp before reheating, but if you want to try to reheat from frozen and are using a glass pan, make sure it’s tempered glass, like this OXO option made from borosilicate glass. Borosilicate glass is designed to withstand extreme temperature changes (like from freezer to oven) without the risk of cracking or shattering. I don’t recommend baking from frozen if using a ceramic pan.
Can I Make this Apple Crisp Ahead of Time?
Yes! Here are some tips for making this recipe ahead of time:
- You can get a head start on making the crisp by preparing the streusel topping up to 2-3 days ahead of time and storing it in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use.
- I prefer slicing the apples the day I plan to bake the crisp as they start to oxidize once they’re sliced and turn brown in color.
- Add a little extra fresh lemon juice to help prevent the apples from turning super brown.
- Prepare the entire apple crisp, cover well, and refrigerate the night before baking.
- Don’t wait any longer than overnight before baking, to prevent the apples from browning too much or drying out/spoiling.
- You may need to add a few extra minutes to the baking time to account for the cold fruit.