This Apple Crisp Recipe has an ooey-gooey filling and is sprinkled with a crumbly toasted pecan and oat topping! A classic, family favorite dessert.
Growing up, I used to eat apple crisp as a side dish . . . hello, there’s fruit . . . and as breakfast . . . hello, the oat crumble is practically oatmeal.
Now? I choose to eat apple crisp as dessert with a large scoop of ice cream and a generous drizzle of caramel sauce.
Although, I wouldn’t judge you if you ate it for breakfast and dinner, too. 😉
There are two parts that make up the BEST apple crisp. The apple filling and the crispy, crumbly topping.
Pecan Oat Topping
- Old-Fashioned Oats – become a little crispy and a little chewy after baked. I love oats to make a super hearty topping.
- All-Purpose Flour – helps to hold the topping together.
- Pecans – give a delicious crunchy texture and add a great toasty flavor.
- Brown Sugar – gives a warm, molasses-y flavor.
- Ground Cinnamon – adds warmth to the topping to compliment the brown sugar.
- Baking Powder and Baking Soda – provides the topping with a little “lift” and keeps it from being too dense.
- Salt – cuts the sweetness of the topping.
- Unsalted Butter – binds the crumble together and adds a rich, buttery flavor.
- Apples – use Granny Smith apples for the perfect combination of tart and sweet.
- Vanilla Extract – adds a warm, nutty flavor that pairs perfectly with the brown sugar.
- Brown Sugar – sweetens the filling to balance out the tart apples.
- All-Purpose Flour – thickens the filling for that ooey-gooey texture.
- Ground Cinnamon and Nutmeg – add a warm spiciness.
- Salt – cuts the sweetness in the filling.
How to make
Other than slicing apples, there’s very little prep work to do in this recipe. Simply mix, pour, bake, and devour!
- In a large bowl, mix together all topping ingredients. Set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, toss together filling ingredients.
- Pour filling into greased baking dish.
- Sprinkle evenly with topping.
- Bake, serve, and enjoy!
What apples to use
Granny Smith apples are the best apples to use for apple crisp. Their tartness balances out the sweetness of the rest of the crisp and their firmer texture holds up to the gooeyness!
You could also try other apple varieties like Honeycrisp or Golden Delicious which also have a crisp texture and less sweet flavor.
I don’t recommend a sweet, soft apple like Red Delicious, because they’re too sweet and will turn to mush after baking.
Do apples need to be peeled?
I recommend removing the apple peel before using apples in apple crisp. Leaving the skin on results in a chewy texture that I find unpleasant.
To peel your apples, start by washing and drying each apple. Use a sharp knife or vegetable peeler to remove the peel. I prefer a vegetable peeler, because it’s quicker and you’re able to leave more of the apple intact.
If you’d rather leave the peel on, just make sure you wash and dry your apples thoroughly before slicing and incorporating them into this recipe!
Do i need to cover my crisp while it bakes
Bake apple crisp uncovered for 45 minutes at 350 degrees F.
If the pecan oat crumble is getting too brown, but your filling isn’t warm and thick, you can cover the dish with foil for the remainder of the cook time.
Tips for making the best apple crisp
- Slice your apples thinly and evenly. Your apples should all be sliced to 1/4 inch thick. Any thicker and the apples will be too crunchy. Any smaller and your apples may get mushy. It’s important that they’re all the same thickness to ensure even baking.
- Use a mandolin. If you have one, using a mandolin to slice your apples instead of a knife makes slicing your apples to exactly 1/4 inch thick much quicker and easier.
- Use Granny Smith apples. The tart flavor and crisp texture holds up well to the sweet flavors and gooeyness.
- Peel the apples. This quick and easy step will take your crisp to the next level. If unpeeled, the apples can have a weird texture.
My FAVORITE toppings for apple crisp are my homemade bourbon caramel sauce and a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream. Here are some other topping suggestions:
- Whipped cream
- Whipped coconut cream
- Butterscotch sauce
Can you make ahead of time?
You can make the topping in advance, but I don’t recommend making the apple filling in advance. As the filling sits, the apples will start to brown and the sugars will start to draw out the juices, which can lead to a soggy crisp.
To make the topping in advance: stir topping ingredients together, cover, and store at room temperature for up to 1 day. Use your hands to re-crumble before sprinkling over the filling, then bake as directed.
How to store
After baking, your apple crisp can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
If frozen, thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating!
How to reheat
Place apple crisp in an oven safe container, then reheat in the oven at 350 degrees for 15-25 minutes, or until warm.
You can also reheat single servings in the microwave until your apple crisp has reached the desired temperature.
Apple Crisp Recipe
Equipment for this recipe
- 2 cups old fashioned oats
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup pecans roughly chopped
- 2 cups brown sugar packed
- 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter melted (1 cup = 2 sticks)
- 8 cups Granny Smith apples peeled, cored, and sliced (1/4 inch thick) - approximately 6 large apples
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup brown sugar packed
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Place the oats, flour, pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and melted butter together in a large bowl.
- Stir until well-combined. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, gently toss apples with vanilla, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt until evenly coated.
- Pour into prepared baking dish then sprinkle evenly with topping.
- Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes or until apples are tender and the crisp is hot.
- Let sit for 10 minutes to thicken slightly then serve plain or with ice cream!
*Note: Nutrition information is estimated and varies based on products used.