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Apple Oat Crisp--Easier Than Pie

homemade apple crisp or crumble topped with vanilla ice cream in white bowl on linen napkin with apples in background

The crunch of the toasty streusel topping contrasts beautifully with the tang of the soft apple. (Stephanie Frey/shutterstock)

When you're craving a baked fruit desert but don't have a lot of prep time, fruit crisps are the way to go.

Crisps come together so quickly, with ingredients you might already have on hand. This one is for apples, but you can easily adapt it for peaches, pears or berries. They are perfect for potlucks and family dinners, or a weeknight treat when your kitchen is overflowing in seasonal fruit. 

This recipe takes inspiration from Dolores Riccio's Superfoods and Frank Mentesana & Jerome Audureau's Once Upon a Tart.

Be sure to keep the crisp in the oven long enough for the topping to get brown and crunchy. Nobody likes a soggy crisp!

Apple Oat Crisp

For the filling:

4 cooking apples, such as Granny Smith (or use 2 cups of frozen apple slices)

¼ cup granulated sugar

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

A pinch of nutmeg


For the topping:

1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (or half whole wheat)

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

A pinch of salt

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

½ cup uncooked “old-fashioned” oatmeal

¼ cup  chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Peel and thinly slice the apples. If using frozen apples, don’t defrost. Mix them with the granulated sugar and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon. Spoon them into a 9-inch pie plate or square baking dish and press them flat.

Mix the flour, brown sugar salt, and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or 2 knives until the consistency of cornmeal (or use a food processor). Stir in the oats and walnuts.

Sprinkle the topping over the apples; press into a flat layer. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the topping is brown and the apples are bubbling and tender. Serve warm or at room temperature with a scoop of ice cream, if you prefer.

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