Apple crisp is one of those easy, nostalgic desserts that every home cook should know how to make. On a brisk fall or winter day, there's nothing like coming home to a warm dish of apple crisp with oats, just like granny used to make. This classic fruit dessert is miles easier to whip up than a traditional pie, but with all those divine apple pie flavors you love. It bakes up quickly and easily, freezes well for making ahead, and delivers warm comfort on a plate.
Wondering what the difference is between a crisp and a crumble? While the terms are often used interchangeably for a baked fruit dessert with a streusel topping, a crisp includes rolled oats. A crumble, on the other hand, typically features a streusel crumb made with flour, sugar, and butter. Both may include chopped nuts and use a mixture of different fruits to form their filling. Unlike a classic pie, both the crisp and cobbler have no bottom crust. Like a pie, though, their toppings help to thicken the hot, bubbling fruit underneath, which become tender and syrupy as they bake.
Whatever apples you use, do peel them thoroughly before slicing to avoid tough bites. Once you've assembled your crumble for the oven, bake it uncovered, until the topping is golden-brown, and the fruit is tender and bubbling. Allow the dish to rest for 10 minutes before serving, which will allow the fruit to slightly cool and thicken up even more.
What Are the Best Apples for Crisps?
You can use any apples you like for a baked apple crisp, depending on your taste for sweetness. For a classic apple crisp with plenty of tart, sour flavor, use granny smith apples, or a similar tart variety such as gala, honeycrisp, or golden delicious. If you prefer a sweeter fruit dessert, try red delicious, Fuji, ambrosia, or Cortland apples. And there is always the option of using a mix of sweet and tart apples, which—because they soften at different rates while baking—will also bring added texture.
How Do You Store and Freeze Apple Crisps?
You can prepare an apple crisp a day in advance and store in the fridge until ready to bake. To make it for your freezer, bake the apple crisp and allow to cool completely. Then cover the dish with a double layer of foil to freeze up to three months. When ready to serve, thaw overnight in the fridge, before heating in a 350 F oven for about 20 minutes, or until heated through.
01 of 08
The flavors of fall and the bounty of the orchard come together in this old-fashioned apple crisp. The simple recipe comes together quickly and bakes up beautifully in the oven. It makes a wonderful, sweet fruit dessert for family dinners or a special treat to enjoy in your pajamas on fall and winter holiday mornings.
02 of 08
Red, white, and blue all over, this scrumptious apple crisp would make a terrific 4th of July dessert. Summer berries team up with sliced apples for a delicious fruit and berry crisp that's just the right amount of sweet. Feel free to add chopped walnuts or pecans to the classic butter, brown sugar, and oat crumble topping.
03 of 08
When you don't have time to make a pie, bake up this easy apple crisp. With brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg bringing full apple pie flavor, the fruit filling will be bubbling in its delicious syrup beneath the cookie crumble. Top it with caramel sauce or a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream for a truly memorable dessert.
04 of 08
This easy, old-fashioned apple crisp built for two, topped with brown sugar and rolled oats, is just the perfect dessert for chill date nights in. You can also easily scale up the recipe for a family dessert, or multiply it further and bake it in a larger baking dish to feed a crowd. On the flip side, you could divide it among individual ramekins, for a cute-as-pie weekend or holiday dessert.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
Craving apple pie but watching your waistline? This calorie-wise baked apple crisp goes lighter on the butter and sugar, for a sweet and crispy dessert that lets you enjoy all those apple dessert flavors you love, without the guilt. With loads of fresh apples, and a topping made with fiber-packed oats instead of a pastry crust, you could even allow yourself a scoop of low-fat vanilla ice cream on top.
06 of 08
Apple rhubarb crisp is a delicious solution to a garden bursting with rhubarb. The tart, red fruit pairs beautifully with sweeter varieties of apple, such as red delicious, Fuji, ambrosia, Cortland or gala apples. Baked under a buttery, brown sugar and oat topping, it makes a nice everyday treat for the family.
07 of 08
Super easy to prepare, this dairy-free vegan apple crisp is a must-know recipe for Friendsgiving and Christmas gatherings. The recipe includes fun and unique serving suggestions that will delight your guests, from baking individual apple crisps in muffin tins, to serving it up parfait-style in martini glasses.
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What makes this an apple crunch, instead of a crisp or crumble? It's the delicious, browned, cake-like topping that is made with flour instead of oats. You'll still get great crispiness in every bite, for a satisfying complement to the warm, yielding, lightly-spiced fruit underneath.