Apple Crisp


Much easier to make than a pie, this baked dessert pairs apples and cinnamon with a crispy oat topping.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 25 mins

One of the definitive desserts of fall, apple crisp is easy and economical. Under the simple butter-sugar-flour-and-oat topping is the apple filling scented with cinnamon. Our test kitchen says baking apples, like Rome or Cortland, are the best varieties to use for apple crisp, but Empire, Gala, or Braeburn apples are also good in this recipe. Experiment with different types of apples and see which you prefer.

A crisp is much simpler to make than a pie, all you need to do is scatter the topping over the fruit in the baking dish. But there's a secret to making a much-better-than-average crunchy, chunky topping: working the oat mixture into large clumps with your hands. This helps the topping hold together atop the apples while baking to a golden brown.

Let the cinnamon-scented crisp cool for a few minutes before serving with a scoop of vanilla, cinnamon, or caramel ice cream on top.

portion of apple crisp on plate and baking dish of apple crisp

Julia Hartbeck


  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)

  • ¼ cup packed light-brown sugar

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ½ 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 ½-inch chunks

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon


Ingredients for apple crisp

Julia Hartbeck

  1. Preheat oven and mix crumb topping:

    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.

    using pastry cutter to make apple crisp topping

    Julia Hartbeck

  2. Add oats to topping and freeze:

    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.

    apple crisp topping mixed

    Julia Hartbeck

  3. Mix apples:

    In another large bowl, toss apples with lemon juice, cinnamon, and remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar.

    chopped apples mixed with lemon juice and spices in bowl

    Julia Hartbeck

  4. Assemble crisp and bake:

    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.

    apple crisp assembled in baking dish

    Julia Hartbeck

  5. Cool and serve:

    Let cool 10 minutes before serving. Crisp is best served warm.

    baked apple crisp

    Julia Hartbeck

portion of apple crisp on plate and baking dish of apple crisp

Julia Hartbeck

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