Apple Crisp

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Editor's Note: Fall is the perfect time for apple-picking — and then making a delicious apple dessert, of course! This recipe for apple crisp will have the crowd asking for seconds. It's also easy to make and will be the perfect finish to just about any meal. It's versatile, too, as it can be served for a potluck, at a game day party, or even at Thanksgiving. With its blend of cinnamon, sugar, and plenty of apples, you will definitely have a taste of fall in every bite. Don't forget to top each serving of this easy fall dessert with a generous scoop of ice cream!

Crisps have all the flavor of fruit pies without having to deal with the fuss of the crust. When made right, they’re downright righteous and something every family member can enjoy. This recipe makes a lot — it’s great for a buffet or large gatherings and keeps and reheats well. And you don’t have to stick with one nut in the topping; there are times we’ve used a combination of almonds, hazelnuts, and walnuts all in the same crisp topping. It’s nutiliciousl Make a double batch and freeze the extra so you can whip up a crisp at the drop of a hat.


Cooking MethodBaking



Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

Recipe CourseDessert

Taste and TextureButtery, Crisp, Fruity


  • 10 Granny Smith apples or other firm baking apples (about 3½ pounds; see Love Note)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch dice
  • 1½ cups chopped pecans or walnuts


  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray the bottom and sides of a 13x9x2-inch baking dish or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

  2. To make the filling:

  3. Peel the apples, and then cut each of the four sides off the apple as close to the core as possible. (This way you save a step by coring and slicing at the same time.) Slice the quarters into ¼-inch-thick slices.

  4. Place the apples in a large mixing bowl, and add the lemon juice, cinnamon, and sugar. Toss to coat. Pour the mixture into the prepared dish.

  5. To make the topping:

  6. Place the flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter pieces and toss to coat. Using a pastry blender or large whisk, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it forms large crumbs. Stir in the nuts. Alternatively, place the dry ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Mix or pulse to combine, then scatter the butter over the mixture. Mix on low speed or pulse until the mixrure forms small clumps (about 3 minutes). Stir in the nuts.

  7. Scatter the topping over the fruit, squeezing it with your hands as you go to create larger pieces (they will cook up extra-crispy and provide more texture). Lightly press the topping down into the fruit.

  8. Bake on the middle rack in the oven until the topping is brown and the filling is bubbly, 45 to 55 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes before serving. Serve alone or with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or a drizzle of heavy cream.

Love Note

Granny Smiths are my go-to baking apple because they do a great job of keeping their shape when cooked, and their tartness provides a wonderful complexity and contrast to the dessert. But there are other varieties of apples that hold up well, too, including Cortland, Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Pippin, and Pink Lady. If you like, use a mix of different varieties.


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