Mom’s Homemade Apple Crisp Recipe

Apple crisp is probably my favorite dessert. It’s a wonderful fall comfort food, and a good way to sneak a little extra fiber or fruit into the reluctant child (or spouse!) I love it warm, right out of the oven. But make a double batch, because the left-overs are delicious too!

This is a really folksy recipe. It’s easy to make and very forgiving. Make it with the kids, double it, guesstimate how much to make for a different sized pan, make substitutions. It’s really hard to mess this up.

Recommended reading: Best Apple Peelers

INGREDIENTS FOR ONE BATCH OF APPLE CRISP:

1 cup (125 g / 4 oz) all purpose flour

1-1/2 tsp (7 ml) ground cinnamon

1-1/2 cup (330 g / 12 oz) lightly packed brown sugar

1 cup (90 g / 3 oz) oatmeal

1 to 2 tsp (5 to 10 ml) apple pie spice (or substitute your favourite)

2/3 cup (150 g / 5 oz) softened butter or margarine

6-8 medium apples

lemon juice (optional)

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C.) Grease a 9″ x 13″ (20 x 30 cm) baking dish.

Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl with a hand mixer. Cut in the butter. I just do this with a dinner fork. You don’t need a fancy pastry blender or anything. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but try not to have any really large lumps in it. Set aside this crumb mixture while you prepare the apples.

Pare, core and slice apples. I make them a little on the thick side because I like to take a bite of a good chunk of apple when I’m eating, but if you have the patience to slice them thinly and you like your apple crisp that way, you should go ahead and prepare them that way. Feel free to use your food processor or electric spiralizer to cut down on slicing time!

At this point you can squirt a little fresh squeezed or bottled lemon juice on the apple slices if you like to prevent oxidation, but this is a matter of personal taste. The apples will change colour from the spices and the baking anyway. Arrange your sliced apples in the bottom of your baking dish. Again you can get really pretty with this and arrange all your uniformly cut slices so they overlap in the pan, but you don’t have to. Unless you’re shooting a cooking video nobody will ever see your artwork but you.

Spread the crumb mixture over the apples and pat down gently. Make sure to get it right into all the corners of your pan. Bake 30 minutes, or until apples are cooked and topping is golden brown.

Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or in a parfait dish with a splash of heavy cream. Left-overs refrigerate well, and make a welcome change for breakfast. Can be reheated in the microwave.

APPLE CRISP VARIATIONS:

* Instead of lemon juice, use a splash or two of vanilla on your apples. Use nutmeg instead of apple spice in the crumb mixture.

* Add 1/2 cup of flax seeds or wheat germ to your crumb mixture for a little extra fiber.

* Add 1/2 cup berries (cranberry is really nice) or cut up rhubarb to your apples for a little colour and extra tang.

* Add 1/2 cup raisins, candied fruit peel, or cut up dried apricot to your apples around Christmas time.

* Make a double batch of the crumb mixture, with a little extra butter in it. This will hold together more so you can have two layers of crumb, with fruit in the middle.

* Sprinkle 1/2 cup unsalted sunflower seeds, or chopped walnuts, peanuts or almonds over the apples before putting on the topping layer. This adds to the crunch and is a great favourite with kids!

* Replace the apples altogether with another fruit like peaches or rhubarb.

Serve to your guests on the best warming tray for extra deliciousness!

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