Apple Crisp with Brown Sugar & Oat Crumb Topping

I’ve never really loved apple pie.  I know, I know, I’m the minority but I’m just being honest!  Actually, if I’m being completely honest, I don’t really like pie crust in general… I tend to just eat the filling and leave the crust on my plate.

Enough about what I don’t like… Let’s talk about what I do like… such as this deeeeelicious apple crisp.  No crust, fresh sliced apples, hand squeezed orange and lemon juice, and a brown sugar oatmeal topping.  Oh my, a sweet indulgence!  I like this so much better than apple pie!

I made this as a Thanksgiving dessert but if you ask me, it’s perfectly appropriate any time!  I found the recipe on the Food Network website and barely changed it since they’re bona-fide geniuses over there.  One caution though!  I followed their measurements and ended up filling TWO 9 inch pie plates so feel free to halve the recipe if you’d like.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees (F) and lightly grease two 9 inch pie plates or one 9″ x 13″ cake pan.

Peel, core, and slice your apples into wedges and place them in a large mixing bowl.

Tip:  If you don’t have an apple corer, just peel the apples then cut off the four sides like I did.

Add the fresh squeezed orange and lemon juice, the orange and lemon zest, sugar, and cinnamon.  Use a large spoon to combine and coat the apple wedges.

Tip:  The original recipe called for 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg.  I didn’t have any nutmeg on hand so I just used 2.5 teaspoons of ground cinnamon.  If you have nutmeg, the choice is yours!

Pour your apple mixture into your prepared baking dish(es).

As you can see, I originally thought this recipe was just for one pie plate and when I filled it, it was overflowing!  This is when I decided to split the apple mixture into two pie plates.

In a second medium-sized mixing bowl (or Kitchen Aid mixer bowl), add the flour, sugar, salt, and oatmeal.

Tip:  The original recipe called for 1.5 cups of flour.  I used 1 cup of all-purpose flour and 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour and I couldn’t tell a difference.  Next time, I intend to increase the whole wheat flour to at least a cup but possibly even the full 1.5 cups.

Cut your butter into tablespoon-size pieces and add a couple at a time to the flour mixture.  If you’re using an electric mixer, use the paddle attachment and mix on low speed until all butter pieces have been incorporated.  If you’re mixing by hand, use a potato masher or a fork to incorporate the butter pats.  Either way, the mixture should be crumbly with small chunks of butter.  Sprinkle the topping over the apple mixture.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until the crisp is browned and the apples can be pierced easily with a fork.  I suggest eating this warm with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. 🙂

Apple Crisp with Brown Sugar & Oat Crumb Topping

Inspired by Food Network

Serves 10-12

Ingredients (Apple Filling)

  • 3-5lbs McIntosh apples (The original recipe calls for 5lbs but I used a 3lb bag and found that there was plenty of apple.  If you like yours with more apple chunks, use more apples.)
  • grated zest of 1 orange
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2.5 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Ingredients (Brown Sugar & Oat Crumb Topping)

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1.5 cups brown sugar, packed (light or dark)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter

What to Do

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F) and lightly grease two 9 inch pie plates or one 9″ x 13″ cake pan.
  2. Peel, core, and slice the apples into wedges and place them in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the fresh squeezed orange and lemon juice, the orange and lemon zest, sugar, and cinnamon.
  4. Use a large spoon to combine and coat the apple wedges.
  5. Pour the apple mixture into your prepared baking dish(es).
  6. In a second medium-sized mixing bowl (or Kitchen Aid mixer bowl), add the flour, sugar, salt, and oatmeal.
  7. Cut the butter into tablespoon-size pieces and add a couple at a time to the flour mixture.  If you’re using an electric mixer, use the paddle attachment and mix on low speed until all butter pieces have been incorporated.  If you’re mixing by hand, use a potato masher or a fork to incorporate the butter pats.  Either way, the mixture should be crumbly with small chunks of butter.
  8. Sprinkle the topping over the apple mixture.
  9. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until the crisp is browned and the apples can be pierced easily with a fork.

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29 thoughts on “Apple Crisp with Brown Sugar & Oat Crumb Topping

  1. Mmm I myself am in love with pie (I can’t believe you don’t like crust!!) but you’ve totally sold me on the filling! This looks so comfy and delicious, I am tempted to bake up a pan tonight! (But I really shouldn’t…thanks to the five pies I sampled over Thanksgiving!)

    • Haha, I don’t think I like crust because it’s not sweet. It just reminds me of really hard bread. I know I’m weird about that!

      Yay, let me know if you make this. It really is great comfort food. Just an FYI, next time I would try to decrease the amount of butter used in the crumble, it seems a little excessive.

  2. Leah, this is absolutely apple heaven on a dish! Everything about it is perfect. The aromas in your house must have been incredible!!!

    I hope you don’t mind if I reblog your link on my reblog page?

    • Thanks, Judy. It definitely made our home smell delicious! I’ve never made an apple crisp before but this turned out great. I definitely recommend eating it warmed.

      Of course not! I’m flattered – Thank you! 🙂

  3. Looks delicious! I love fruit crisps and crumbles…although sometimes I think it’s because it’s a great vehicle for enjoying vanilla ice cream or whipped cream 🙂 I love the Food Network too – Barefoot Contessa and Giada are my favs right now!

    • Haha, you’re so right… any excuse for ice cream or whipped cream is fine by me! Do you have any favorite crisp/crumble recipes? I’m looking forward to trying some with different fruits, perhaps even a medley.

      I could definitely watch the Food Network all day if I didn’t have a job! Jon and I are really into Next Iron Chef, Chopped, and Cupcake Wars.

    • Ahhh, I’m so happy to meet someone else that doesn’t love apple pie! I’ve always been alone in that regard. Let me know if you have any apple recipes to share. 🙂

    • Thank you, Thea. You’re too kind! I was very pleasantly surprised with this dish. The subtle flavors of the orange and lemon really came through too! Please let me know if you give it a try; I’d love to hear how it turns out for you.

  4. Add me to the list of apple crisp lovers! There’s something about the combination of oats and apple that’s just so satisfying. And how good would this be with a big floppy dollop of homemade whipped cream?

    • Yum, homemade whipped cream sounds like the perfect accompaniment! I’ve just started cooking with oats more and I’ve been really happy with the results!

    • No, this was my first time making any type of crisp (apple or otherwise)… but the thought of doing it in a crock pot sounds fabulous! Have you tried that? Do you have a recipe? Does the crumb topping still come out kind of crisp? This sounds fascinating – I’m so intrigued!

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