How to Make a Perfect Apple Crisp for Fall

Image of red apples as a background with a red banner that reads how to make apple crisp.

Fall is the perfect time for making apple crisp. This easy apple crisp recipe uses fresh apples and pantry staples like honey, nuts, and oatmeal.

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This post is all about how to make an easy and delicious apple crisp.

Fall is the time to make homemade apple crisp. The leaves are changing, the harvest is complete, and there is an abundance of apples and other great fall foods.

Apple crisp makes a perfect Thanksgiving dessert or a great anytime dessert.

If you have visited an apple orchard recently, then you may have a few pounds of apples that you need to find something to do with. Making homemade applesauce and apple butter recipes are two ways to use an abundance of apples. Making apple crisp is another.

Fall is also the time when nut trees produce their harvest, so it’s not unusual to receive a bag of freshly harvested nuts from a friend or to find some nuts at the farmer’s market. Nuts and apples go well together, so I sometimes add a few handfuls of chopped nuts to the crisp.

This is an easy apple crisp recipe, but you can make it as simple or as decadent as you like. Some ideas include adding caramel sauce or a few different types of fruit.

Caramel sauce adds a new depth of flavor to apple crisp, especially when you serve it with ice cream. To make it: Mix ½ cup of caramel sauce with the apples before topping with the crumble and baking.

Fresh cranberries give the crisp an even more pronounced seasonal taste. Adding pears rounds out having three of the main fall seasonal fruits represented. Substitute a cup or two of apples for fresh cranberries or diced pears for a new taste.

How to Make Apple Crisp

Slightly tart, slightly sweet apples make the best apples for making crisp. Look for Granny Smith apples, Honeycrisp apples, Jonagold apples, or Mutsu apples to use. Here is some more information about how to choose the best apples for baking and cooking.

A mix of apples is also good to use. If you have mostly sweet apples, add a few Granny Smith apples to the mix to give the apple crisp a slightly tart flavor. Granny Smith apples can be cheap and easy to find. The idea is to make the most of what you have.

First, gather your ingredients and measure them out. This makes it easier to add the ingredients to the mixing bowl as you go.

Next, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease the inside of a 2-quart baking dish. Add sliced apples, cornstarch, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, vanilla extract, and water to a mixing bowl. Stir to combine the ingredients.

If adding fresh cranberries, add 1 cup of washed cranberries. Stir to combine ingredients.

Pour the apple mixture into the greased baking dish.

In a separate bowl, whisk together oats, flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, salt, brown sugar, and pecans (optional).

Spread oat crumble mixture over the apples, and then drizzle melted butter evenly over crumble topping.

Bake the apple crisp for 45 minutes or until the crumble is golden brown and the apples are tender. Serve apple crisp warm with vanilla ice cream or with whipped cream, if desired.

To make apple crisp with pears

It’s easy to make apple crisp with pears instead of only apples. Use 3 to 4 apples and 3 to 4 pears—all peeled, cored, and diced—to make the recipe. Followthe directions as written. A cup of cranberries can also be added to make a fall fruit crisp with apples, pears, and cranberries all mixed together.

What You’ll Need to Make Homemade Apple Crisp

  • Apples. You can use almost any type of apples to make apple crisp in a pinch, but baking apples are usually the best to use for making your favorite pies, crisps, and crumbles. These apples hold their shape well during the baking process.
  • Oats. Use old fashioned oats to make a crumble topping for the apple crisp.
  • Ground Cinnamon. Ground cinnamon adds warm and spicy flavor to the apple crisp.
  • Nuts. Chopped pecans add a crunchy, buttery flavor to this recipe. Hazelnuts are good, too. You can leave the nuts out entirely, or substitute seeds, like pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds, instead.
  • Baking Dish. A 2-quart baking dish is perfect for making homemade apple crisp.
  • Mixing Bowls. Use mixing bowls to mix the fruit and spices, and to make the crumble topping.

Apple Crisp Recipe

Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
Author Sweet Bacon & Pecans

Ingredients

For the apple filling:

  • 3 lbs about 6 to 8 medium-sized fresh apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup water reduce to ¼ cup if adding caramel sauce
  • ½ cup caramel sauce optional

For the crumble topping:

  • cup old fashioned oats
  • cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • cup finely chopped pecans optional
  • 10 Tbsp 1 stick plus 2 Tbsp salted butter, melted

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease the inside of a 2-quart baking dish.
  • Add sliced apples, cornstarch, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, vanilla extract, and water to a mixing bowl. Stir to combine ingredients.
  • If using caramel sauce, add ½ cup of sauce at this point. Or if adding fresh cranberries, add 1 cup of washed cranberries. Stir to combine ingredients.
  • Pour the apple mixture into the greased baking dish.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together oats, flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, salt, brown sugar, and pecans (optional).
  • Spread oat crumble mixture over the apples. Drizzle melted butter evenly over crumble topping.
  • Bake 45 minutes or until crisp is golden brown and apples are tender. Serve apple crisp warm with vanilla ice cream.

Notes

To make apple crisp with pears:

Use 3 to 4 apples and 3 to 4 pears—all peeled, cored, and diced—to make the recipe. Follow directions as written. A cup of cranberries can also be added to make a fall fruit crisp.

This post was all about making an easy apple crisp recipe that is perfect to eat for breakfast or for dessert.

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Credits
  • Photo by sydney Rae / Unsplash
  • Photos used for illustrative purposes only.

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