Idiotically Simple Apple Crisp

This past Saturday was the prototypical "crisp" (hee hee) fall day, which C. and I were lucky enough to spend upstate. We stayed with C.'s Oma in Rockland County, and borrowed her car for a drive up to New Paltz for apple picking at Wilklow Orchards. Wilklow is the cutest - not only do they grow fabulous apple varieties but the owners welcome everyone, their donuts and cider are scrumptious, and when we were there, one of their teenage employees wore a too-big hot dog costume voluntarily. Afterward we explored New Paltz proper and inhaled a tasty lunch (and a couple of pints) at the Gilded Otter Brewpub. Then I convinced C. to drive up to Rhinebeck to catch a few hours of the New York State Sheep & Wool Festival (where I exercised great restraint and confined myself to drooling and petting llamas) before heading home. We had a truly perfect day. The trees, by the way, are at peak color upstate. It was enough to make me mourn my camera all over again.

With our gigantic haul of apples, we decided to make a few apple crisps and perfect a recipe. The formulation below was inspired by several recipes from epicurious:


3/4 c. packed brown sugar
1 T cinnamon
dash nutmeg
3.5 lbs. baking apples, peeled, cored, and sliced (Granny Smith or Rome work well)

1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. rolled oats
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. unsalted butter, chilled

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Butter a 13 x 9 baking dish. In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add apples and toss to coat. Transfer apples to baking dish.

In a separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Mix with your hands until it looks like a coarse meal. Sprinkle evenly over apples.

Bake crisp 20 minutes at 450. Reduce temperature to 350 and bake an additional 30 minutes, until top is golden brown and apples are tender. Let it cool at least 15 minutes and serve warm, with ice cream if you know what's good for you ;-).

Posted by jess at October 20, 2004 9:18 AM

Yum! I have a recipe for apple crisp that uses a box of cake mix! I think you just dump the cake mix over the apples and use most of the ingredients on the cake box. Let me know if you want it and i'll dig it up... :) -t

Posted by: tracy at October 20, 2004 9:23 PM

Also works great with pears, and you can add nuts, or cranberries, or raisins, or other berries to the apple mixture. AND, per my nutritionist/personal trainer husband, adding the nuts helps to counteract the effects of the sugar. Glycemic index stuff, i guess.

Posted by: knittykim at October 22, 2004 10:59 AM

wow! i didn't know that about the nuts. i don't like nuts much in baked goods myself, but i like them alone. perhaps a few almonds before or after eating the crisp?

fresh cranberries would also be yummy.

Posted by: jess at October 22, 2004 2:02 PM

I made this recipe the night it was posted here. I felt like something must have been wrong with the recipe while I was spreading the butter, sugar, flour, oats part over the apples. It was so thick! But I double checked and baked it anyway. It turned out well.

The only qualm I have is how much butter is in the recipe. It seemed to be a little too greasy. Ideas? Oh, and next time I won't slice my apples quite as thin.

Posted by: Shar at October 23, 2004 12:18 PM

whoops! thanks so much for pointing that out, shar. it's actually supposed to be 1/2 cup of butter (1 stick), though the original basic recipe i worked from called for a whole cup (along with about twice the sugar i included here). when i made it i thought the same thing as you and cut it down by 1/2. i'm so sorry about that!

as for the topping, it's a crumble topping so it's supposed to be a but thick and coarse. i'm changing the directions to "sprinkle," since it's a bit innaccurate to "spread" the stuff, not to mention difficult.

thanks so much again for posting your feedback!

Posted by: jess at October 23, 2004 12:34 PM

That's pretty much the same recipe I use but I include crushed graham crackers for a extra-crunchy topping :0 )
Oh, and I found that replacing half the butter w/ equal parts apple sauce didn't take that much away from the flavor/texture.

Posted by: olivia at October 26, 2004 12:32 AM

I don't have scales, how many apples are 3 pounds of apples???

Posted by: new cook at November 7, 2004 4:50 PM

i'm not sure offhand, but i think we used about 7 medium-sized apples.

if you haven't bought the apples yet, most of the time grocery stores sell apples in 3-lb. bags, or have a scale where you can weigh them.

happy baking!

Posted by: jess at November 7, 2004 5:07 PM