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Apple Crisp

One of the definitive desserts of fall, apple crisp is easy and economical. Test kitchen tip: Empire, Gala, or Braeburn apples are especially good in this recipe.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8
Apple Crisp

Photography: José Manuel Picayo Rivera

Source: Everyday Food, 2007


  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
  • 3 pounds apples, such as Empire, Gala, or Braeburn, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together flour, brown sugar, salt, and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Cut butter into flour, using a pastry blender or two knives, until mixture is the texture of coarse meal. Add oats, and use your hands to toss and squeeze mixture until large, moist clumps form. Transfer to freezer to chill while you prepare apples.

  2. In another large bowl, toss apples with lemon juice, cinnamon, and remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Transfer to a shallow 2-quart baking dish, and sprinkle with topping mixture. Place baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake until golden and bubbling, 55 to 65 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Cook's Note

This cinnamon-scented crisp is best served still warm from the oven, topped with a scoop of vanilla, cinnamon, or caramel ice cream.

Reviews (69)

  • dmacc502 11 Oct, 2015

    This was great, I added raisins and pecans. Wonderful Fall dessert.

  • rjacobs7560 18 Nov, 2014

    OMG this was so delish! I used Honeycrisp apples and they were the perfect apple for this recipe (and pretty much any apple recipe, lol).

  • jpleary13 18 Oct, 2014

    used fresh-picked Macoun apples for this go-to classic, tasty apple crisp - just the right sugar cinnamon flavor, juicy with a nice tangy bite, and a time-honored delicious crisp topping; only had to bake for 45 minutes in small gas oven.

  • bshepherd3 13 Oct, 2014

    Great recipe but was looking for a crispier crust

  • sarnopamela 28 Sep, 2014

    Perfect, perfect, perfect!!!

  • sofiapinelli 10 Jun, 2014

    Not that this needs another review - but this is a no fail recipe. Great for a beginner and a terrific fall back for a foodie. I have this one printed and saved in my favorite recipe binder. Thanks Martha!

  • drausue 15 Sep, 2013

    This is the only crisp recipe I ever use, just change up the fruit. I also triple the topping recipe and store in the make crisp anytime. Don't change a thing. Perfect

  • butterflyflower2010 9 Sep, 2013

    This recipe was absolutely delicious! My daughter and I made it and the entire family loved it. I would highly recommend this for anyone who needs a great apple crisp recipe.

  • katiebug619 23 Apr, 2013

    Awesome recipe, but I did use quick oats and it came out perfectly fine.

  • afidgit 22 Apr, 2013

    Looks delicious and easy

  • runcynrun 13 Oct, 2012

    This was a delicious recipe! I did make extra topping, and I only baked it for 30 minutes. PERFECT!

  • twilightstar7 3 Sep, 2012

    We have apple trees growing in our front yard, so we had plenty of apples but no idea what to do with all of them! Luckily, our family is a fan of apple crisp so I decided to look up the recipe online and I found this website. This is a great recipe that my whole family loves (picky eaters included) and I look forward to using this recipe in the future. Thank you so much :)

  • msand81 15 Aug, 2012

    My daughter loves apple crisp so I decided to look up a recipe and found this one. I made it last night and she loved it. It was very tasty. I found the topping was enough in the recipe but if you like more, it wouldn't hurt to double it! I did add some Epicure Gingerbread spice to the topping which added a nice flavour to it! I also used Granny Smith apples; gives it more of a tart taste. I will for sure be using this one from now on.

  • annettes 4 Jun, 2012

    I followed everyones suggestion by doubling the topping. Addionally, I included 1 cup of raisins and 1 cup of walnuts to the apple portion of the recipe. My husband absolutely loved the recipe and requests that I utilize this topping on all of the other fruit crisp recipes that I make.

  • deanna vout 27 Jan, 2012

    This is a great recipe! Next time I will take everyones advice and double the topping!

  • BonoBabe 28 Nov, 2011

    Thank you for the doubling the crispy top tip, Katherine! I made this a 2nd time with your tip and it was much better. This apple crisp was a create Apple pie replacement at Thanksgiving this year.

  • katherine clarkson 18 Nov, 2011

    I've made this recipe a few times with great success. However, I've taken to doubling the crisp topping. Everyone always wants more crisp! I also like to use sweeter apples (fuji) and cut the granulated sugar to just 1/4 cup. Still comes out wonderfully sweet and delicious!

  • ateweles 2 Nov, 2011

    Yum! I added pumpkin pie spice to the oat mixture to add a little flavor. Otherwise, this was delicious.

    For those allergic to dairy, I scooped some of the apple mixture into a separate baker and made another crisp with dairy-free margarine. Obviously not exactly the same, but still very good for a dairy-free crisp.

  • nHarrison 2 Nov, 2011

    There is no reference to when to include the oats in this recipe. SInce I am a practiced cook, I knew, but, for those new at this cooking thing, it's best to spell out the use of the ingredients.

  • legalrn 29 Oct, 2011

    I made this recipe today. Once I placed the apples in the baking dish, I topped it off with caramels, then the topping. My husband said it was the best apple crisp he ever had!

  • LadyElizabeth64 21 Oct, 2011

    A couple of weeks ago, I made this recipe for friends. One, a self-proclaimed apple crisp expert, said it was the best she'd ever tasted!

    It was so good, I'm making it, again, this weekend.

  • mazkep2 21 Oct, 2011

    I substituted 1/2 cup maple syrup in lieu of sugar for the apple mixture and sprinkled a little nutmeg on top. What a fantastic apple-season recipe!

  • KTgonz 20 Oct, 2011

    This was soooo good I wouldnt change a thing. I will definitely be making this again. Maybe a big batch for thanks giving..

  • lisascho 6 Oct, 2011

    This recipe is delicious! I used added 1/4 tsp of pumpkin pie spice blend and it came out fantastic. People can't get enough!

  • aubreelynn 25 Nov, 2010

    The first time i made this it was so incredibly good i had to make it again
    Martha has the best ideals
    this really brings in the holiday magic

  • blogger 30 Oct, 2010

    This recipe is delicious! I used salted butter and substituted 1/4 of the 1/2 tsp of cinnamon for pumpkin pie spice. It is unbelievable how good this recipe is considering how simple it is to make!

  • rowena28 30 Sep, 2010

    I made the following changes to the recipe:
    -used whole wheat flour (of course)
    -used 1 1/2 cups oats (didn't seem oat-y enough)
    -added 2 tsp cinnamon
    -used Cortland apples
    -added 2 tbsp brown sugar, as someone suggested
    -added 1 tbsp cinnamon

  • chocotako 29 Sep, 2010

    This came out perfect. The warm scents of fall overwhelmed my kitchen delightfully. My brother ate almost half of it last night. (I used Granny Smith apples in mine).

  • smd1227 2 Apr, 2010

    Mmmmmmm, the whole house smells so good, when this is in the oven. This recipe is also excellent using peaches (with blueberries, optional): fresh or fresh frozen.

  • drausue 3 Mar, 2010

    Just made this using a jar of mincemeat and a couple of apples. WOW!!!!! Smelled great and tastes wonderful

  • csobutterfly 26 Jan, 2010

    I made the recipe exactly as it said but the only tweek I made was using Rome apples. The recipe received rave reviews from my family.

  • grammie5 24 Sep, 2009

    I have found that substituting canned apple pie or cherry pie filling works just as well and in less time too.

  • djgibboni 25 Feb, 2009

    My trick with apple crisp is to mix rolled oats with dry breadcrumbs. REALLY crisp! Better than flour oats.

  • jsorth 25 Feb, 2009

    A delicious recipe! It takes more like 30 minutes to prep, though - and I'm pretty efficient in the kitchen! Still, I will certainly make it again.

  • missibob 24 Feb, 2009

    This is a wonderful apple crisp. You need to follow the directions exactly, and use the apporopriate apples as suggested.

  • missibob 24 Feb, 2009

    This is a wonderful recipe for apple crisp It is wise to use the apples that are suggested.

  • BlackSheepInn 7 Feb, 2009

    Can this crisp stand on its own w/ o the icecream on top? Alternative for icecream?

  • deniseidrn 31 Jan, 2009

    This is the best apple crisp I have ever made or tasted. The person who got a runny crisp perhaps used apples not suitable for baking. I used a mixture of Rome and Granny Smith. I hope they give it another try.

  • ttong 12 Jan, 2009

    Have made this recipe a few times and it's received rave reviews! The topping is the best!

  • carole7777 19 Dec, 2008

    This recipe was a disappointment. it was runny, never crisped up. I had to apologize to my host (never a good thing). I had the quintessential apple crisp recipe which I couldn't locate, as crisp is such an easy recipe, I thought a Martha recipe would be great. What makes it runny, not crispy??

  • emilyramaswar 10 Dec, 2008

    i made this last night and wow!!! my hubby and i just loved it! I will make it again!
    I did cut everything in half only b/c I was making it for only two people!
    i was very impressed on how easy it was to make! Yummmm...

  • hannahenscheid 4 Dec, 2008

    This is the best apple crisp I've ever had. I increased the sugar in the topping by a little bit, and added some more brown sugar to the apple mixture which made it more syrup-y and less watery. YUM.

  • tqobh 27 Nov, 2008

    Delicious! I read the reviews before preparing, and since soupiness and too hard apples seemed to be the main culprits, I not only added 2 tbsp brown sugar to the apples mixture like MannaCakes suggested, I used Granny Smith apples, which are a lot drier than the apples for which this recipe calls. However, baking the apple mixture for 10 minutes prior to adding the topping made the apples mushy! Ugh! A delicious dessert, however, even though the texture of the apples was not so desirable.

  • summercielo 26 Nov, 2008

    Yes you can add more flour to make it more thick, 1 - 2 heaping tablespoons should do it!

  • summercielo 26 Nov, 2008

    yes you can add flour or corn starch to make it thicker, mix it in while mixing others together. Approx 1 - 2 large tablespoons should do it!

  • summercielo 26 Nov, 2008

    yes you can add flour or corn starch to make it thicker, mix it in while mixing others together. Approx 1 - 2 large tablespoons should do it!

  • Palin4President 23 Nov, 2008

    Can flour or corn starch be added to the apple mixture to make it less soupy? (not the topping, but the FILLING)

  • sewwhattina 12 Nov, 2008

    lol! I hate when I do that, I had to cut a [filtered word] in a pie last week to pour the butter in!I don't thnk I'll forget to add any ingredients soo.

  • licharron 11 Nov, 2008

    There is flour in the recipe, look at the first ingredient sweetie!

  • panthercat38 4 Nov, 2008

    Mine was awful soupy. Should there be some flour in the apple mixure to make it gel?

  • panthercat38 4 Nov, 2008

    Mine was awful soupy. Should there be some flour in the apple mixure to make it gel?

  • hargensl 2 Nov, 2008

    This is the Best Apple Crisp Recipe I have ever encountered. I love it! I did add extra Oats which is my favorite part and it was very good.

  • Candlelight 2 Nov, 2008

    I followed this recipe exactly, and it turned out beautifully. The only thing I did was put the oats between two pieces of wax paper and used a rolling pin to roll them so you don't taste just the oats, but all the goodness.

  • mamaspatcher 25 Oct, 2008

    i made this last night and added a tablespoon of flour to the cinnamon before tossing the apples with it. it helps avoid the extreme juiciness. i liked the topping - it was reminiscent of how my mom used to make apple crisp when i was a kid.

  • Bikergrrl 21 Oct, 2008

    I have a recipe similar to this; instead of mixing the butter in with the flour, brown sugar, and oatmeal, I melt the butter and pour it over everything else in the pan. It comes out great; a nice crisp crust over delicious apples!

  • v-wojcik 6 Oct, 2008

    Well, it tastes fabulous, but I still don't really understand this topping. True to it's cookie dough consistency prior to baking, it came out like crumbled oatmeal cookies on top. The different crumbles also didn't blend with each other, but rather look like I could have sprinkled them on at the end. As someone commented below, I could eat the topping all on its own as well. :)

  • v-wojcik 6 Oct, 2008

    I just put this in the oven. Unfortunately, I made quite a few substitutions (whole wheat flour, lime instead of lemon, 2/3 Gala 1/3 MacIntosh apples). Let's see how it goes.

    I was somewhat concerned with the consistency of the topping too. After making Martha's rhubarb-raspberry crisp (substituting strawberries for raspberries) earlier this week, I was expecting something more crumbly. This, however, was like oatmeal cookie dough. Is that right?

  • aholcomb 5 Oct, 2008

    These are great! It's only my husband and I so I halved the recipe and made it in four ramekins. This worked really well....I only had to bake them for about 40 minutes. Great with vanilla ice cream!

  • Candlelight 4 Oct, 2008

    What a delicious apple crisp recipe! I added a little brown sugar and crushed the oats. It's a winner!

  • MannaCakes 4 Sep, 2008

    For those of you that find that the crisp has a little too much liquid or that the apples are not soft enough, try adding a couple tablespoons of brown sugar to the apple mixture and bake just the apples for about 10 minutes before adding the topping. I use this technique for both crisps and cobblers to help create a gooey sauce as well as jump-start the cooking of the fruit. I suppose a tablespoon of cornstarch added to the apple mixture would also work well without adding extra sugar.

  • Mama_Mac 25 Jul, 2008

    My husband and I made this together and we thought the finished product was absolutely delicious! We used whole-wheat flour instead of white and it still tasted amazing. We can't wait to make it again...Yum!

  • fiestyone 4 Apr, 2008

    This was a great recipe, we enjoyed it immensely. I only wish the juice would have been a little gooey, sticky, instead of so much liquid, How can I make this happen? Cornstarch, say 2 tbsps. added to the apple mixture?

  • TexasNantz 4 Jan, 2008

    I felt like the apples needed to be cooked a little more. Maybe 15 to 20 minutes or so. Mine were still pretty crunchy. But the topping was incredible...I could have eaten a bowl of that by itself! This was still really good with cinnamon ice cream.

  • Veritta 26 Dec, 2007

    Great crisp topping! To save time, I use 1 can of apple pie filling and add cinnamon, a little butter and nutmeg. I did the topping exactly as the recipe stated and it was wonderful. Just the right amount of crunch for the apples. Finally, now, I have the balance of crisp to apples that I like. Thanks

  • bethyleigh 5 Dec, 2007

    Fantastic recipe! My guests were completely thrilled by this homey dessert. I placed it in the oven right as we were sitting down to dinner, so the timing for dessert was just right. We enjoyed it with creamy vanilla ice cream and steaming hot coffee. If there had been any leftovers, they would have made a delicious breakfast!

  • lgohn1977 22 Nov, 2007

    Absolutely delicious! Used Gala apples and they added just the right amount of tartness! Made this in place of an apple pie for Thanksgiving dessert! Also, I made it a day ahead and reheated in a low oven (275*F) and it stayed crisp. Fabulous - will be my go-to recipe when an apple dessert is called for!

  • Rossross 8 Nov, 2007

    Delicious with a scoop of vanilla ice cream! I love it.

  • Jessica_Riozzi 5 Nov, 2007

    I have been making this so much while the apples are in season. I recommend a tart apple like Empires or Winesaps. I grate the frozen stick of butter with a cheese grater. Don't skimp on the salt, it makes all the differance. Thanks.

  • Nancy 4 Nov, 2007

    The best apple crisp I have ever had. I get raves whenever I make this, which
    is often. I enjoy your magazine immensely. Thank you. Nancy

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