Old-Fashioned Apple Crisp Recipe

If there's such a thing as a new-fashioned apple crisp, we're not sure what's in it, nor do we feel inclined to find out. This recipe, however, is as old-fashioned as it gets — it's definitely your grandmother's apple crisp, and there's not a thing wrong with that. As recipe developer Jessica Morone tells us, "it is a very classic recipe that has been around forever." She calls apple crisp a "classic comfort food," and speaks highly of its "fresh apples [that] pair perfectly with warm spices and a crunchy topping."

While apple-based desserts are generally associated with fall, the fruit itself is available year-round. Morone also notes that "you can use the same recipe with other fruits," and notes that with peaches and pears you wouldn't even have to adjust the baking time. With berries, however, she thinks "the cooking time will probably be a bit shorter," and suggests that a berry crisp might be done in as little as 30 minutes. But we're not focused on berries right now — instead, we're just looking forward to diving right into this delicious apple crisp!

Assemble the ingredients for old-fashioned apple crisp

To make this crisp, you'll need some apples — you can use any kind you like. You'll also be using brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice, and vanilla extract in the filling. The topping is made from butter, rolled oats, flour, and baking powder and flavored with additional brown sugar and cinnamon.

A note on the oats: Morone uses old-fashioned ones to fit in with the recipe's theme, but also says that she likes "the crispier texture you get by using the old fashioned oats." Any type of oats will work here, however.

Prepare the apple filling

Before you start baking, preheat the oven to 350 F and grease up an 8x8-inch square pan. Put the apples in a bowl (or just put them straight into the pan to save on dishes), then add the granulated sugar, nutmeg, lemon juice, vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar and ½ teaspoon of the cinnamon. Stir the seasonings with the apples until the latter are completely coated with the former.

Prepare the crumb topping

Mix the oats, flour, and baking powder in a separate bowl along with the remaining brown sugar and cinnamon. Cut in the cold butter using a pastry cutter, two knives, or a fork. When you're done, you should have what looks like a bunch of crumbs in the bowl.

Bake the apple crisp

If they aren't already there, put the apples into the baking pan, and spread them out until they make a fairly even layer. Then sprinkle the oat mixture over the top. Try to make sure you've covered all the apples so there are no bare spots. Put the pan in the oven and bake it for 40 to 45 minutes. You'll know the crisp is cooked when the apple filling is bubbling and the topping is golden brown.

Morone suggests serving the crisp warm, but it tastes just as good when it's cold. She also says that vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or Cool Whip would all work well as toppings, although you can certainly enjoy it plain as well.

Old-Fashioned Apple Crisp Recipe
5 from 28 ratings
This old-fashioned apple crisp combines sweet apples with a perfectly crispy, crunchy, and delicious oat topping.
Prep Time
Cook Time
apple crisp with ice cream
Total time: 55 minutes
  • 5 medium-sized apples, peeled and sliced
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅔ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup salted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
Optional Ingredients
  • vanilla ice cream, for serving
  • whipped cream, for serving
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Grease an 8x8-inch baking pan.
  3. Combine the sliced apples with the granulated sugar, nutmeg, lemon juice, and vanilla extract, as well as 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar and ½ teaspoon of the cinnamon.
  4. Stir the apples and seasonings until the fruit is evenly coated.
  5. Combine the oats, flour, baking powder, and remaining brown sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl. Cut the butter into the mixture with a pastry cutter, fork, or 2 knives until the mixture resembles small crumbs.
  6. Spread the apples in the prepared pan and spoon the crumble topping evenly over the top.
  7. Bake the apple crisp for 40 to 45 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbly.
  8. Serve warm or cold, and top with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream if desired.
Calories per Serving 272
Total Fat 12.3 g
Saturated Fat 7.4 g
Trans Fat 0.5 g
Cholesterol 30.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 40.9 g
Dietary Fiber 3.8 g
Total Sugars 26.1 g
Sodium 118.7 mg
Protein 2.2 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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