I’ve been having an enjoyable time in Iowa this week spending time with my immediate family. We decided we will not be getting together for Thanksgiving this year. It is a disappointment but it's for the best. As a result, I just haven’t had my heart in publishing Thanksgiving content as I had originally hoped. However, time at home always calls for some apple crisp, especially during the fall when apples are in season. It is too good not to share!
Some people might consider this an old-fashioned dessert, but I think it is timeless! It is a perfect balance of buttery, crisp topping with a slightly tart apple filling. There is also the warm flavor of cinnamon and nuttiness from pecans, so it really delivers goodness of flavors and textures in every bite. Served warm from the oven with some real whipped cream or premium vanilla ice cream, I can see why apple crisp is so popular.
This particular apple crisp recipe is pretty heavy on the crisp! It has to be to receive the stamp of approval from my dad! I love apples and all, but the topping is the best part. For the perfect topping, I recommend using old-fashioned oats, but quick cooking oats will work in a pinch. The pecans are also a nice touch and toast up so beautifully. I like to mix the topping up with a pastry blender. This allows for easy control since it is easy to overmix it in a food processer. This pastry blender with the red handle was passed along from my aunt Cindy. It belonged to her grandmother Helen, and I feel so blessed to have such a special heirloom, especially since baking is so near and dear to my heart.
For this apple filling, I like to use a blend of sweet and tart apples. Some of my favorite baking varieties of apples are gala, Granny Smith, Braeburn, jonagold, or mutsu. However, any baking apples will do quite honestly. I left a general guide below, but apples vary significantly in size so feel free to adjust accordingly if you feel you need more or less apples.
Whether or not you are getting together for Thanksgiving, this is one dessert worth making!
7-8 cups apple slices (about 6-7 large apples)
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp lemon juice
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, cut into thin slices
¾ cup chopped pecans, optional
Ice cream or whipped cream, for serving
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
For the apple filling, peel and core the apples. Cut into thin slices. In a large mixing bowl, combine the apple slices, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and lemon juice. Pour the apple mixture into a 9x13 inch baking pan.
For the crisp topping, mix the brown sugar, old-fashioned oats, and flour. Add the thin slices of butter and mix with a pastry blender or forks until the mixture is combined but crumbly. It should be coarse with large clumps present. Add pecans, if using.
Evenly distribute the crisp topping over the apples. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the topping is lightly browned, crisp, and the apples are bubbly around the edges.
Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.