Apple crisp has always been one of my favorite fall desserts. Imagine sinking your spoon into a warm, tender apple filling, perfectly balanced with the crisp, golden streusel topping. Served warm with vanilla ice cream or homemade cinnamon ice cream for the ultimate creamy combo.
Admittedly, I don’t bake that often, so I especially love simple desserts that are easy to put together without a lot of complex steps. This simple apple crisp recipe is comprised of a layer of apples tossed in sugar and spices and topped with a crumbled mix of oats, sugar, butter, and more spices. The deliciousness of apple pie but even easier to throw together.
Best Apples for Apple Crisp
Granny Smith apples are the ideal choice for apple crisp due to their ability to withstand the baking process while offering necessary complementary tartness. This dessert strikes the perfect balance. Additionally, other apple varieties such as Golden Delicious, Braeburn, or Cortland work exceptionally well for baking as they maintain their structure without excessive breakdown. Feel free to experiment with a combination of apple varieties to enhance the flavors even further.
The apple filling is comprised of peeled and thinly sliced apples tossed in sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, melted butter, and a splash of lemon juice. I like to slice my apples into thin half wedges. Some opt for longer quarter slices but I think smaller is better. Either way, thin slices work best as they really tenderize and soften.
Should I Peel the Apples?
The decision to peel the apples for apple crisp is a matter of personal preference. Some recipes call for peeled apples, while others leave the peels intact. Peeling the apples can result in a smoother texture and a more uniform appearance in the finished dish.
On the other hand, leaving the peels on can add a slightly rustic element to the dessert. Additionally, apple peels contain some nutrients and fiber. Ultimately, this is a personal preference depending on the taste and texture you prefer in your apple crisp.
Apple Crisp Topping (Streusel)
The apple crisp topping is a simple streusel made with rolled oats (old-fashioned oatmeal), brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and diced butter. It’s simply mixed together in a bowl and poured on top of the apple filling. You can also use quick oats if you don’t have traditional old-fashioned oats. I would not substitute oats for instant oatmeal because it’s too fine.
More Skillet DessertsPrint
Classic apple crisp is one of my favorite fall desserts. Served warm with vanilla ice cream. It’s the ultimate sweet, tart, and creamy dessert made in a cast iron skillet.
- 6 medium-large Granny Smith apples, optionally peeled and thinly sliced (1/4 inch thick)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 cup old fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, diced
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Combine apple filling in a bowl and toss until apples are fully coated. Set aside.
- Combine streusel topping in a separate bowl and toss until mixed. Use your hands to work the butter into the mixture until fully mixed and slightly crumbly. The smaller you dice the butter the easier this step will be.
- Pour apple filling into a greased 12 inch cast iron skillet and distribute evenly. Top with streusel, forming an even layer. Bake for 35 minutes uncovered. The apples should be very tender when pierced with a toothpick.
- Let cool slightly and serve topped with vanilla or cinnamon ice cream.
You can substitute apples with Golden Delicious, Braeburn, or Cortland, or a combo!
You can also use quick oats in place of old fashioned oats. Just do not use instant oats as they’re too fine.
This recipe can also be made in an 9×13 dish.
- Serving Size: 1/6, no ice cream
- Calories: 414
- Sugar: 41.8g
- Sodium: 58mg
- Fat: 11.9g
- Saturated Fat: 6.5g
- Carbohydrates: 75g
- Fiber: 8.5g
- Protein: 5.2g
- Cholesterol: 25mg
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