Apple Crisp (Not My Mom’s)

If there is one dessert that I like almost as much as pumpkin pie, it would be apple crisp.  My mom would make this once a year for Thanksgiving.  Her apple crisp would be a bunch of apples mixed with cinnamon, and put into the baking dish and covered in a thick layer of brown sugar, margarine and cinnamon.  As a child, this was pure heaven.  To get a spoon full of this with the almost applesauce like apples underneath and the topping of almost burnt, super hard brown sugar layer and the super sweet caramel that formed on the bottom of the pan, it was the best.

Now, growing up this is how apple crisp was made.  I had no clue you could make it any other way.  Until I had to make apple crisp in Food Studies in grade 11.  They called for oats and flour??  As a picky eater this seemed completely wrong to me.  I don’t think I had an oatmeal cookie till I was in high school.  It took a lot of convincing after I made the apple crisp in school to actually try it.  (It took a lot of convincing to get me to try anything I made in school).   Surprisingly, I actually liked it.

Once I moved out and started baking myself I tried several different recipes.  I even asked my mom what her recipe was.  She has no actual recipe, she just said you put brown sugar and cinnamon and margarine in a bowl and mix it together and put it on top.  It’s amazing I have any baking skills at all.

I’ve been using this recipe for years.  Occasionally I will mix it up and put it into individual cups, or one year I lined individual muffin cups with Phylo and filled it with the apple crisp filling and oatmeal crumble topping.  It was a lot of work and notice I said I did it once.  2 hours to get 12 made.  I only ate 1.

I like to think of it more as an apple pie without the crust.  It’s simple in its ingredients, yet very elegant if presented in a Phylo cup.

To start preheat the oven to 350°F.

For my recipe you peel, core and dice 6 to 8 apples, depending on the size and how much you want to make (approximately 3 pounds).   Use any type of apples you like.  I use Granny Smith.  But if you prefer another, use that kind.

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I like to keep the apples in a bowl with some water and a splash of lemon or soda (Ginger Ale or Sprite), only because I usually never have lemons on hand.  (Shockingly I had a lemon today, so I used half a lemon)


In another bowl mix together to oatmeal crumble (oats, sugars, softened butter, salt).


Once the crumble mixture is finished and the oven is preheated, drain the apples, mix them with the other half of the lemon (or a splash – like 1 tsp. of Sprite), sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, flour and a pinch of salt.


Then top with the crumble mixture.  (You can make this in one 8X8 or 9X9 pan or 6 small dishes).  If you’re making this in the 6 smaller dishes, you may have too much crumble topping.  Or you can pile it really high.  (You can cut the topping recipe in half to make less, but I always find this is the best part.)


Bake for approximately 50 minutes to 1 hour (for the larger pan) or 35 to 45 minutes (for the smaller pans), until bubbling and browned.


I don’t make this as often as I would like, only because I am the only one in my house that loves this dessert.  My boys don’t care too much for apples and my husband will only try if it if has meat in it.  The thought occurred to me to add bacon just to see if he would eat it, but then I wouldn’t, and well, if I’m going to go through the work of making it, I want to be able to enjoy it.

Hopefully you too will enjoy my apple crisp.

Apple Crisp

3 pounds apples (approximately 6 to 8 large apples.  If you are going to make this in a bigger dish, use 8 apples.)

1 lemon divided (or 2 tsp. Sprite –  divided) (half for the water to soak the apples in and half for the apple mixture)

1/2 cup white sugar

1/4 cup flour

1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon  (I like mine spicier, but if you want, you can cut this down to 1 tsp.)

1/2 tsp. nutmeg  (You can cut this down to 1/4 tsp. if you find 1/2 tsp. to be too much for your taste)

Pinch of salt


1 1/2 cups flour

3/4 cup white sugar  (or use all white sugar if you don’t have brown  sugar – then it would 1 1/2 cups)

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup oatmeal

2 sticks of butter, diced

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Peel, core and dice apples.  Place in a bowl with some water and either lemon juice or sprite.

Prepare the topping.  Combine flour, sugars, salt, oatmeal and butter in bowl of stand mixer.  With the paddle attachment mix on low-speed for 1 minute (speed 3 on a Kitchenaid stand mixer), until mixture is completely combined and can be pressed into large crumbles.

Drain apples and mix with sugar, flour, salt cinnamon and nutmeg.

Place apples in a greased 8X8 or 9X9 square baking dish.  Alternatively you can do this in six 3X3 dishes.  Spread the topping evenly over the apples, covering them completely.

Place baking dish on a parchment paper lined sheet pan, just in case there are any juices bubbling and spilling out.  Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until top is brown and apples are bubbly  (or 35 to 45 minutes for the smaller dishes).  Serve warm, although it tastes great the next day heated up in the microwave.

You can also serve this with ice cream or whipped cream, or whatever you want.  I prefer it all on its own.



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