King Arthur Apple Crisp

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King Arthur Apple Crisp is a wonderful fall dessert which is crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle. It is one of my family’s favorites and it is especially nice to serve in the fall when apples are abundant. The topping crunches when you bite into it and the apples are nice and soft. The crispiest, creamiest apple crisp you’ll ever enjoy. This is the kind of dessert that you don’t necessarily want to share.

Classic Apple Crisp

It’s astonishing how difficult it is to find a good, basic apple crisp with all the apple recipes available. One of those dishes that you desperately want to make (along with applesauce) after taking the kids to the orchard and having them happily fill two very large bags with apples.

With a pretty long list of ingredients, this apple crisp recipe can appear intimidating, but many of them are just extras. In essence, the filling consists of apples, sugar, thickener, and a hint of spice, while the topping is made of flour, sugar, butter, oats, and cinnamon.

PREP

15 mins

BAKE

55 mins to 1 hr 5 mins

TOTAL

1 hr 10 mins

YIELD

one 9″ square crisp

Classic Apple Crisp

Ingredients

Filling

  • 3 pounds apples, to yield 2 pounds peeled, cored, and sliced apples; about 9 cups
  • 1/4 cup (57g) rum, apple cider or juice, or the liquor/juice of your choice; or water
  • 1/4 to 3/4 cup (53g to 159g) light brown sugar or 1/4 cup (53g) dark brown sugar, depending on the sweetness/tartness of your apples
  • 2 tablespoons (28g) butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons (43g) boiled cider, optional but good
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Apple Pie Spice, or 1 teaspoon cinnamon + 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg + 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 3 tablespoons (20g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour or tapioca flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Topping

  • 3/4 cup (90g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup (45g) quick-cooking oats
  • heaping 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup (142g) light brown sugar or dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 8 tablespoons (113g) butter, cold, cut in pats
  • 1/2 cup (57g) diced pecans or walnuts, optional

Instructions

  1. Set the oven to 350 °F. Grease a casserole pan that is the same size as a 9″ x 9″ square cake pan.
  2. Apples should be sliced about 1/4″ thick. Spread them out in the pan after tossing them with the other filling ingredients.
  3. Mix the flour, oats, salt, sugar, cinnamon, and baking powder to form the topping.
  4. Add the chilled butter and stir it in until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. If using nuts, stir them in now.
  5. Overlay the apples in the pan with the topping.
  6. To collect any potential drips, place the pan on a baking sheet coated with parchment paper or foil. Bake the crisp for about 60 minutes, or until the top is bubbling and browned.
  7. Before serving, let it cool for at least 20 minutes after removing it from the oven. If the crisp is served hot or warm, it could be quite soft. It will firm up well if you wait until it is totally cooled. Waiting until it has totally cooled and then quickly reheating individual servings in the microwave is a decent compromise. A great side dish is vanilla ice cream.

Basic is beautiful: Apple Crisp

An autumn staple

A pan of apple crisp on a table with a few apples and two plates of apple crisp with ice cream

A useful spice mixture to have on hand when gathering apples is apple pie spice. Simply use 1 3/4 teaspoons of Apple Pie Spice in place of, for example, 1 teaspoon each of cinnamon, ginger, and allspice (or cloves) in your recipe.

WHY, with all the great pick-your-own Macs, Cortlands, Ginger Golds, Paulareds, and other apples available at this time of year, am I using good ol’ Granny Smiths for this crisp? Since we frequently shoot these posts months in advance, when I shot this one, grandmothers were the greatest option.

Begin with three pounds of apples.

Grease a 9″ × 9″ square pan sparingly and heat the oven to 350 degrees.

To make approximately 2 pounds and 9 cups of prepped apples, we will peel, core, and slice the apples. A simple solution for this is an apple peeler, corer, and slicer. It’s no joke that it takes me just about 10 seconds to peel, core, and slice one apple. You should definitely treat yourself to one of these if you enjoy apple desserts.

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Here are the apples just as they come out of the peeler. One quick vertical swipe of the knife…

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…ahh, beautifully even slices! About 1/4” thick is right. For more “toothsome” crisp (or if you’re using Macs, which become quite soft in cooking), cut the slices thicker.

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Next, we’ll mix the apples with the following:

1/4 cup (57g) rum, apple cider or juice, or the liquor/juice of your choice; or water
1/4 to 3/4 cup (53g to 159g) brown sugar, depending on the sweetness/tartness of your apples
2 tablespoons (28g) butter, melted
2 tablespoons (43g) boiled cider, optional but good
1 1/2 teaspoons Apple Pie Spice, or 1 teaspoon cinnamon + 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg + 1/4 teaspoon ginger
3 tablespoons (21g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour or tapioca flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Stir till everything is thoroughly combined.

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Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan.

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Next, the streusel topping. This puts the “crisp” in apple crisp.

Combine the following:

3/4 cup (85g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup (50g) quick-cooking oats
heaping 1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup (142g) brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon baking powder

Add 8 tablespoons (113g) cold butter, cut into pats.

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Work it in till the mixture is crumbly. Add 1/2 cup (57g) diced pecans or walnuts, if you like.

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Sprinkle the streusel over the apples.

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Set the crisp on a parchment-lined baking sheet (to catch any potential drips), and bake the crisp in a preheated 350°F oven for about 60 minutes.

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The cinnamon-y apples will become bubbly, and the streusel will brown.

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Remove the crisp from the oven, and allow it to cool for at least 20 minutes before serving. If you serve it right away, it’ll be watery. Ice cream, of course, is always welcome.

Old Fashioned Apple Crisp (Apple Crumble)

Apple Crisp (aka Apple Crumble) combines a sweet & spicy filling of apple pie with buttery streusel. It’s a homey dessert sure to please!

Prep Time20 mins

Cook Time1 hr 5 mins

Cooling Time20 mins

Total Time1 hr 45 mins

Course: Dessert

Cuisine: American

Keyword: 20th Century Baking, Apple Cider, Apples, Autumn Desserts, Boozy Food, Fall Desserts, Pies, Thanksgiving

Servings: 12 servings

Calories: 290kcal

Special Equipment

  • 9- × 9-inch baking pan
  • baking spray
  • apple corer or melon baller
  • small food processor
  • pastry cutter
  • half sheet baking pan

Ingredients

For the filling

  • 3 lbs apples, about 4-5 medium or large apples
  • ¼ cup rum, apple cider or juice, see Recipe Notes (2 oz, 56g)
  • ¼ to ¾ cup brown sugar, light or dark, see Recipe Notes (1¾ to 5¼ oz, 50g to 150g)
  • 2 Tbsp butter, unsalted, melted (1 oz, 28g)
  • 2 Tbsp boiled apple cider, optional, see Recipe Notes (1½ oz, 45g)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour, (¾ oz, 21g)
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt

For the streusel topping

  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour, (3 oz, 85g)
  • ½ cup rolled oats, quick-cooking or old-fashioned (1¾ oz, 50g)
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, light or dark (5 oz, 142g)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, cold, cut in pats (4 oz, 113g)
  • ½ cup pecans or walnuts, chopped, optional (2 oz, 56g)

To finish

  • vanilla ice cream, optional

Procedure

  • the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Use baking spray to grease a 9 x 9-inch baking pan.
  • Peel and cut the apples into slices that are about 14 inch thick for the filling. Spread them out in the prepared pan after mixing them with the remaining filling ingredients.
  • If you’re using traditional rolled oats for the streusel, pulse them briefly in a small food processor to break them up a bit (to mimic quick cooking oats).
  • Mix the flour, oats, salt, sugar, cinnamon, and baking powder in a medium bowl.
  • Add the chilled butter and cut it in with a pastry cutter to create an uneven crumbly mixture. If using nuts, stir them in now.
  • Overlay the apples in the pan with the streusel.
  • To collect any potential drips, place the pan on a half-sheet baking pan coated with parchment or foil. The crisp should be baked for 55 to 75 minutes, or until bubbling and the streusel is golden.
  • Before serving, let the crisp cool for at least 20 minutes after removing it from the oven. If the crisp is served hot or warm, it could be quite soft. It will firm up well if you wait until it is totally cooled.
  • Allow the crisp to thoroughly cool if making it ahead of time. Reheat the pan in a 300°F oven for about 10 minutes when you’re ready to serve. As an alternative, you can quickly microwave individual servings.
  • Warmth is ideal for serving apple crisp. Serve it with a dollop of vanilla ice cream for even more flavor. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Purchase enough apples so that you end up with 2 pounds of cut, cored, and peeled apples (about 9 cups). The preparation of the apples would go quickly with an apple peeler, corer, and slicer. Since mine is sadly in storage, I had to make do with a knife and melon baller.

Use your imagination when choosing the liquid for the filling, but make sure it goes well with the apples and cinnamon. Try hard or plain apple cider, rum, bourbon, or just apple juice (you can even use water in a pinch).

The sweetness or bitterness of your apples will determine how much brown sugar you use in the filling. I used Granny Smith and Honeycrisp apples, which are sweet and tart, respectively, so I used 1/2 cup of brown sugar, cutting it in half.

I strongly advise using apple cider that has been cooked for the filling. This Apple Crisp is elevated by the added zing of apple flavor in it.

If you happen to have Apple Pie Spice on hand, you can replace the cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger with 1 1/2 tsp.

To create individual crisps, spray eight 8-ounce dishes with baking spray, follow the recipe’s instructions, and bake the smaller crisps for 45 to 55 minutes.

Making an apple crisp for two people:

Use one to two apples and half the quantity of the spices for the filling (leave the liquid the same, just let it cook down). Use 2 tablespoons each of brown sugar, flour, rolled oats, butter, and nuts for the topping along with 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder, and a dash of salt. For 10 to 12 minutes, bake in a 6 1/2-inch cast-iron skillet.

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