Skillet Apple Crisp

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This skillet apple crisp recipe is my go-to dessert to make in the fall. It’s a one pot dish which means you don’t have to wash any dishes afterward! I love that this dessert is packed with different flavors and textures. The apples are tender and sweet while the topping is delectable, crunchy and salty. If you’re looking for a fall dessert that’s easy to make, this recipe is perfect for you!

CAST IRON APPLE CRISP

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A slice of apple crisp on a plate surrounded by apples. A portion of the apple crisp in the skillet with a spoon

TIPS AND TRICKS

What do you serve with apple crisp? I like to eat apple crisp as a dessert in the fall after going apple picking or for Thanksgiving dessert. It’s a classic comforting fall dessert using seasonal fruit. I like to serve it with a bit of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream and hot coffee or tea.

How do you store apple crisp? Store apple crisp in the fridge covered in plastic wrap for up to four days. I’ve never had it last that long. 

What size cast iron do you use? I tested the recipe with a 10 inch cast iron skillet from Lodge. You can try it with a 12 inch cast iron skillet but it may be thinner so I’d recommend adding a few extra apples. An eight inch cast iron skillet will also work but be careful not to overflow the pan.

How long is apple crisp good for? Apple crisp is good in the fridge for about four days. 

How do you reheat apple crisp? If your apple crisp is still in the cast iron skillet, reheat at 350F until warmed through. If you’re just warming up a small portion you can microwave it until warmed up in a bowl. 

Can you make this ahead of time? Yes, this is a great make ahead dessert that can be eaten at room temperature. It’s a great Thanksgiving dessert to make because you can easily make this a day or two before the main event. Another option is to prepare the crisp with the apples and crisp unbaked and store in the fridge. Pull it from the fridge and place in a preheated oven and cook for 40 minutes. It may take a little longer to cook from a cold fridge and cold pan, but this is a great option while eating Thanksgiving dinner. Plus it’ll make your house smell wonderful and make everyone hungry for dessert. 

Does this travel well? Yes, I love bringing this to fall birthday parties or other events. It’s also a great make ahead fall dessert for Thanksgiving. It’s a family favorite and a classic comfort food that is a big crowd pleaser.

INGREDIENTS

Raw ingredients laid out and labeled: Salt, ground cinnamon, unsalted butter, brown sugar, AP four, old fashioned oats and a variety of cooking apples.

What apples should you use? I typically use any combo of the following: cortland, empire, honey crisp, braeburn, mutsu, pink lady and granny smith apples. These are all good baking and eating apples and have a variety of textures and flavors.  I’d recommend not using all of one type of apple to get a deeper flavor and the best texture. Some types of apples, like red delicious, will break down very quickly and become mushy.  I’d avoid them if possible for this application.

What types of oats do you use for apple crisp? I use old fashioned oats or rolled oats. Avoid instant cooking oats or quick oats because they will break down while baking. It is best to avoid steel cut oats as well because they will not have a great texture.

What are the best toppings for apple crisp? My favorite toppings are a really good vanilla ice cream or homemade whipped cream. If you’ve feeling lazy, the stuff from the can or Cool Whip from the freezer works just as well. Another great option is to top it with some extra cinnamon and toasted pecans or walnuts. 

METHOD

How do you make cast iron apple crisp? Preheat the oven to 350F. Place cut up, peeled and cored apple slices in a large mixing bowl and set aside. Preheat a 10 inch cast iron skillet over medium low heat and melt the butter for the filling. Once the butter is melted, add brown sugar, cinnamon and salt by whisking it in. Pour the butter mixture into the mixing bowl that has the apples and toss until the apples are well coated. Add the apples and butter mixture back into the skillet and turn the heat up to medium.  Stir occasionally while it cooks for five minutes, until the apples begin to soften. Remove the pan from the heat, but keep the apple mixture in it.

2x2 photo collage of the process. 1) Peeled, cut up and cored apple slices in a large mixing bowl 2) Melted butter with cinnamon, sugar and salt whisked in, in a cast iron skillet. 3) Apples covered in cinnamon sugar butter mixture. 4) Cooking apple mixture in cast iron skillet on the stove.

After the apples are partially cooked, cut the five tablespoons of butter into five separate pieces. In a medium mixing bowl, add all the toppings EXCEPT the ground cinnamon. Combine ingredients using either your hands or a pastry cutter. It is okay to have small lumps of butter throughout the mixture. Top the apples in the skillet with the topping evenly and sprinkle on the cinnamon.

1x2 photo collage of process steps. 1) A close up of crumble 2) Apple crisp in pan unbaked.

Place in the oven and cook for 35-40 minutes, until the apples are tender, slightly bubbling and the topping is crunchy. Remove from the oven and let it rest. Allow the crisp to cool for about 30 minutes before serving with ice cream or whipped cream. 

Can you bake in a pan instead of a cast iron skillet? Yes! I recommend using a 9×9 metal pan as an alternative. Realistically any oven safe pan will work that’s a similar size. An 8×8 pan would work just as well but the crisp may be a little bit thicker and may take a little longer to cook. If you don’t have any of those options, you can grab a cheap disposable pan at the grocery store and it’ll work just as well. 

Do you need to let this rest after pulling it from the oven? I recommend letting the dessert rest for about 30 minutes before trying to eat it. Before that it’ll be molten lava that will absolutely burn your tongue. After about 30 minutes it should still be warm and easier to serve. 

Should you cover apple crisp when baking? No! If you cover the apple crisp while baking the crisp won’t get crisp. 

Can you double this recipe? If you want to double this recipe you absolutely need a larger pan to cook it. The cooking time will be longer so watch it closely. Typically when I have to make extra I just make it in two separate pans and the cooking time is about the same. 

Is six apples enough? This really depends on the size of your apples. Whenever I make it, I use medium apples and six is plenty. However, I’ve had readers say it wasn’t enough apples and added a few more. I’d make sure that the apples don’t overflow the pan but they do cover the bottom. The apples will cook down a bit. When you are cooking the apples on the stove top, you will be able to tell if you have enough apples. 

What’s the best way to cut up apples? I use an old style apple peeler that peels, cuts and cores the apples all at once. This isn’t necessary but in the fall I make A LOT of apple crisp and this helps me a lot. It is a once a year tool though. If you want to do it by hand, peel the apples and then cut around the core. Next slice those pieces into your desired size

Skillet Apple Crisp

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 5 min
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

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Crumb Topping:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar 

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter 

Apple Filling:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

5 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced 

Pinch of kosher salt 

2 tablespoons brown sugar 

2 tablespoons cornstarch 

1 tablespoon vanilla 

Juice of 1/2 lemon 

Vanilla ice cream, for serving Add to Shopping List

Directions

Special equipment:

 an 8-inch cast-iron skillet

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. For the crumb topping: In a medium bowl, mix the flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt using a fork or pastry cutter. Cut the butter into small pieces and gradually add it to the flour mixture until evenly mixed. Set aside.
  3. For the apple filling: In an 8-inch cast-iron skillet, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the apple slices and a pinch of salt and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar, cornstarch, vanilla and lemon juice.
  4. Cover the apple filling in the skillet evenly with the crumb topping. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until crisp and brown on top, an additional 20 to 30 minutes.
  5. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

CAST IRON SKILLET APPLE CRISP

This skillet apple crisp baked in a cast iron skillet is easy, delicious and the perfect holiday dessert to serve for Thanksgiving or Christmas!

cast iron skillet apple crisp with ice cream next to pecans and a pumpkin

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When the cooler weather starts to set in and the leaves start to fall, nothing screams fall like a delicious apple crisp dessert!

This warm and bubbly cast iron skillet apple crisp is warm, bubbly and delicious served warm topped with vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel.

Grab your spoon and cozy up by the fire! If you are looking for other delicious holiday dessert ideas, you will also love these Christmas Cake Popsicles and Snickerdoodles without Cream of Tartar, made with easy pantry ingredients!

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS

  • This warm apple crisp is a super easy dessert with a beautiful presentation in the cast iron skillet.
  • The preparation time for this delicious fall dessert is less than 10 minutes. Pop it in the oven and you are ready to go for your next holiday party or family dinner.
  • Apple crisp, also known as an apple crumble, is made from simple and easy pantry ingredients, nothing fancy needed! And if you are looking for other delicious comfort food this season, be sure to check out this delicious sweet and spicy Bacon Jerky!

APPLE CRISP INGREDIENTS

APPLE CRISP FILLING

  • Granny smith apples
  • Light brown sugar
  • Granulated white sugar
  • Unsalted butter: If you only have salted, omit extra salt.
  • Pumpkin pie spice: If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, you can substitute equal parts, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove.
  • Lemon juice
  • Kosher salt

APPLE CRISP TOPPING

  • All-purpose flour
  • Old fashioned oats
  • Light brown sugar (packed)
  • Pecans: Chopped or pieces.
  • Kosher salt
  • Unsalted butter: If you only have salted, omit extra salt.

HOW TO MAKE THIS APPLE CRISP RECIPE

APPLE CRISP FILLING

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (set rack in center).
  2. Peel, core and slice apples.
  3. In a large bowl, combine sliced apples, brown sugar, white sugar, pumpkin pie spice, salt, lemon juice and melted butter. Mix well.
  4. Pour apple mixture into cast iron skillet.

APPLE CRISP TOPPING

  1. In large bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, pecan and salt. Mix well.
  2. Add melted butter. Hand mix until crumbs form.
  3. Evenly sprinkle apple crisp crumble topping over apples in skillet.
  4. Bake cast iron skillet apple crisp in oven for approximately 40 to 50 minutes.
  5. Serve warm topped with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce (optional).

FAQ AND EXPERT TIPS

Apple crisp vs apple crumble?

An apple crisp typically includes flour, sugar, butter and variations on oats and nuts. An apple crumble, does not usually includes oats or nuts and is comprised of flour, sugar and butter.

If I don’t have a cast iron skillet, can I make this apple crisp in a regular baking dish?

Yes, this apple crisp dessert is very versatile. You can use a round or square baking pan or a oven safe dish of similar size.

How long does this apple crisp last?

I recommend this apple crisp served warm with ice cream. Any leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 48 hours.

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