Grandma’s Apple Crisp is a timeless recipe; it will warm your soul with juicy, tender apples, and a crisp, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth topping.
When I moved out of the Midwest, I hadn’t given much thought to all the little things I might not have access to anymore. Sure, I was definitely going to miss my family, my friends, and the two cuddly cats I grew up with. But I didn’t think about the little things.
I was focused on what was to come: my first classroom as a teacher, a new city (Baltimore), and new friends. The move after that (to the coast of North Carolina) I was focused on even more newness: living on the beach, finally not being in a long distance relationship, and a climate where the smallest amount of snow shuts everything down.
I was so excited to leave the cold that I didn’t realize I might miss the distinct seasons and all that comes along with it. And I never thought I’d miss apple orchards. Apple orchards, apple cider, caramel apples...
Is it just me or are there apple orchards everywhere in the Midwest?
Maybe it’s not just the Midwest, but it’s for sure not that way here right on the coast.
GOOD NEWS ALERT:
Even without apple orchards all around, I can still make warm, cinnamon-y, soul-satisfying apple crisp, just like my mom did when I was growing up. Just like her mom did when she was growing up. And just like her mom did when she was growing up.
This recipe goes a looooong way back in my family, and there are differing stories about how it came to be. One story says it originated in my Great Grandparent’s restaurant in a little Iowan town. The second story is that my Grandma got it off of a sugar sack (yes, I said sack) many, many years ago. As she put it, “I’m 75 years old, so you know that was a long time ago.”
Either way, I couldn’t be more thankful for family heirlooms like these. It is the perfect apple crisp. It’s like a big Grandma hug that fills your soul to the very top with comfort. It’s the best old-fashioned apple crisp out there.
The evolution of Grandma’s Apple Crisp:
- My mom has evolved this recipe to have double the amount of buttery topping – obviously the only natural progression.
- Only white sugar!
- No oats in this crisp, just melt-in-your-mouth sugar, buttery goodness.
I honestly can’t eat apple crisp any other way now (and since this post was originally published, I’ve also created a summer favorite: Cherry Crisp). Apple crisp without oats is my go-to now and forever. Signed, sealed, delivered, I’m yours, easy, best-ever apple crisp.
Growing up, Sundays in the fall were my favorite – as mentioned here, too. Sundays meant apple orchards, crisp cool air, hikes to look at the changing leaves, and ending the day with warm apple crisp, fresh out of the oven with a big scoop of ice cream. My happy place.
The apples are tender, tart, yet sweet, and sprinkled with just the right amount of cinnamon. Covered in a buttery, crisp topping, the combination is to die for. When you serve a hugggge scoop of apple crisp with an equally large scoop of vanilla ice cream, the birds begin to sing and the skies part. It’s THAT delicious.
The first bite of this heavenly dessert make me forget about apple orchards and geography differences; it transports me right back to being 11 years old again on those Sunday nights, snuggled in and cozy, filled with all the love of the strong women in my family.
And it makes it okay that I had to buy the apples at a store rather than picking them myself (which in the end, is that really so bad?).
Run to the store, apple orchard, or your neighbors – grab them apples and get to choppin’! The best is yet to come!Print
Great Grandma’s Apple Crisp is a timeless recipe; it will warm your soul with juicy, tender apples and a crisp, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth topping.
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 6-8 baking apples* (approximately 10 cups), sliced
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 12 Tablespoons butter, room temperature and cubed
- Pre-heat oven to 375°F. Peel and slice apples into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices.
- Combine 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup water, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon in a large casserole dish or 9×13 baking dish*. Add sliced apples and mix well to coat apple slices completely.
- In a medium mixing bowl with a pie blender or two forks, combine flour, sugar, salt, and butter cubes until well combined and small crumbles form. Lightly pat topping over apples in baking dish.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes, until bubbling and topping is golden brown. Cool slightly and serve with vanilla ice cream.
You want to use apples that are sweet yet tart and will not break down during cooking; if you can find Jonathan apples, they are best. I used Honeycrisp apples in the photos, but I’ve used many different kinds in the past. Use your best judgment or favorite apple (if it’s not mushy!).
I usually store the apple crisp on the counter, covered, for 1-2 days (if it lasts that long!). I’ve been known to eat it at room temperature, or warm in the microwave for a quick fix. If you want to reheat the entire pan, heat in the oven at 350°F for approximately 10-12 minutes.
Adjust the size of the pan as needed; as you can see in the photos I used a casserole dish that’s a little smaller than 9×13 – it just means the crisp is a little thicker! 🙂
Keywords: easy, holiday, fall, halloween, baking, no oats
This recipe was originally published in October 2015. The photos were updated and a video added in October 2018. No changes to the actual recipe were made, however, it was formatted for easier reading and notes were added.