Apple Crisp Without Oats, with a streusel topping that's easy and quick to prepare and full of flavors from brown sugar and cinnamon. It's perfect for a weeknight family dinner or a fancy dinner party. You can make the whole thing ahead of time and pop it in the oven just before dinner.
I will tell you a secret: I love oatmeal for breakfast. But. I detest oats in any type of dessert or pretty much anywhere that is not oatmeal for breakfast.
So when making a fruit crisp I like to top it with a streusel topping without oats. Sometimes toasted nuts can be part of the streusel depending on who is going to eat it, but usually I opt for no nuts and no oats.
This Easy Apple Crisp Without Oats recipe is so simple you can make it for a quick dessert even during a busy week. I peel the apples then chop them right into a buttered shallow casserole dish. Mine is a little smaller than a 9x13 dish.
The key is to make sure your topping stays crispy and doesn't get soggy, and there are several factors that affect the topping: the apples, the dish, and the ratio of topping ingredients.
Best apples to use
When choosing the best apples for baking, you want to think about baking structure and liquid because some apples will get too mushy and ruin your dessert.
I like to use a mixture of Granny Smith apples and Golden Delicious apples, just like when making my Classic Double-Crust Apple Pie.
There are plenty of other apple types that you can choose from, so just keep in mind that you want to choose apples that are good for baking and mix up sweet and tart for deeper flavor.
You can also use pears or a combination of apples and pears in this apple crisp recipe, and you can even throw in dried raisins or cranberries. Just be sure if you use pears that you use baking pears.
I like to use a shallow baking dish similar to this one when making this apple crisp. If you use a dish that's too deep, there will be too much moisture and the topping will get soggy.
Ingredients for apple crisp without oats
You don't need a lot of ingredients and you probably have most of them in your pantry.
- Apples - use a mix of Granny Smith and Golden Delicious for best results
- Lemon juice - freshly squeezed
- Brown sugar
- Flour - all-purpose or self-rising is fine
- Cinnamon and nutmeg - yum!
- Butter - I use Land O'Lakes unsalted
How to make apple crisp without oats
Pro Tip: The size of the dish is important to help the topping stay crispy. If you squish everything into a smaller, deeper dish, the topping won't be spread out and the liquid from the apples will be more likely to affect the texture of the topping.
You're going to love how absolutely EASY this recipe is!
Step 1. Preheat oven to 375. Butter a medium-sized shallow casserole dish.
**Cook's Tip: Mine is a little smaller than a 9x13 dish.
Step 2. Peel apples and then chop into ½-inch pieces right into the buttered dish.
Step 3. Add the lemon juice to the apples and gently toss to coat the apples.
Step 4. Add the vanilla, cinnamon, brown sugar, and cornstarch and gently mix until distributed throughout the apples.
Apple crisp topping
This apple crisp topping is a little different because I don't use oats or nuts, but it still comes out crunchy and is absolutely delicious! Secret tip from one of my commenters--add a little lemon zest to the apple crisp topping!
Step 1. Stir together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, a little freshly grated nutmeg, and a pinch of salt. Mix well.
Step 2. Add the butter and use your hands to mix until a pebbly, crumbly mixture.
Cook's Tip: Make sure you're using cold butter.
Step 3. Sprinkle about a third of the topping over the apples and move the apples around a bit so some of the topping is mixed in with the apples. Sprinkle remaining topping over the apples.
Step 4. Bake the Apple Crisp for about 50 minutes or until the apple crisp topping is deep golden brown.
Cook's Tip: Keep an eye on it, as your oven might require less time--I have baked in 35 mins.
Step 5. Remove your apple crisp from the oven and allow to rest for fifteen minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce.
So easy but so full of flavor!
- You can make this Easy Apple Crisp ahead of time also. Just put it together the day before you want to bake, but leave the apple crisp topping off until you're ready to bake.
- And of course, when serving you can add some vanilla ice cream and this amazing caramel sauce and then you'll really wow somebody!
- Storage tips - I store this easy apple crisp at room temperature. If more than a couple of days I would probably put it in the fridge.
If you're making the apple crisp without oats for a dinner party, may I suggest serving it with some good old Southern favorites? Try my Meatloaf Recipe or Baked Pork Chops, add a Southern Squash Casserole or some Macaroni and Cheese, and you've got the perfect meal!
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- 4-5 apples (I use 2 Granny Smith and 2 sweeter apples, whatever I have on hand)
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cold and diced
- **If you want to use chopped toasted pecans or walnuts the in topping, decrease the flour by ½ cup and use 1 cup of chopped nuts.
- Preheat oven to 375. Butter a medium-sized shallow casserole dish. Mine is a little smaller than a 9x13 dish.
- Peel apples and then chop into ½-inch pieces right into the buttered dish. Add the lemon juice to the apples and gently toss to coat the apples. Add the vanilla, cinnamon, brown sugar, and cornstarch and gently mix until distributed throughout the apples.
- Stir together the flour, 1 cup of brown sugar, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, a little freshly grated nutmeg, and a pinch of salt. Mix well. Add the butter and use your hands to mix until a pebbly, crumbly mixture.
- Sprinkle about a third of the topping over the apples and move the apples around a bit so some of the topping is mixed in with the apples. Sprinkle remaining topping over the apples.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes until topping is golden brown (just keep an eye on it, as your oven might require less time--I have baked in 35 mins). Remove from oven and allow to rest for fifteen minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce.
Tips for Making Easy Apple Crisp:
- Use a shallow baking dish
- Use a mix of Granny Smith and Golden Delicious apples
- Cold butter works best for the streusel topping
Don't miss these apple desserts:
This post is part of the Top Ten Recipes of Last Year collection.
Update Notes: This post for Apple Crisp Without Oats was originally published October 15, 2014, and on July 28, 2021, was updated with one or more of the following: step-by-step photos, video, updated recipe, new tips.
This post is part of Meal Plan Monday on SouthernPlate.com.