This recipe for Apple Crisp is healthy and delicious. It starts with slightly sweetened cinnamon-spiced apples for the base and topped with a lightened streusel. Your family will love this cozy fall dessert!
As soon as the first chilly days of Fall arrive and apple season is in full swing, I love to make an apple crisp. Over the years, I have tried different apple crisp recipes, but this is my favorite. It is a delicious cozy dessert that makes the house smell wonderful!
Why is this recipe healthy?
- It is made with whole grain oats and whole wheat flour; both are excellent sources of fiber.
- There is less sugar in it than in many apple crisp recipes.
- The amount of butter is minimal to lower the amount of fat.
- Nuts are a great source of protein, fiber, and healthy fat.
If you are in a decadent mood, top the warm crisp with vanilla or dulce de leche (my personal favorite) ice cream. Whipped heavy cream or a drizzle of caramel sauce would also be a tasty topping. However, it is delicious without a topping. I hope you like it as much as we do!
Why make an apple crisp?
- Apple crisps are easier to make than a pie or crostata. No crust to make or roll out! Yay!
- You use everyday ingredients that you probably already have at home.
- Because the apple crisp is made with a minimal amount of butter and an increased amount of whole grains, it is healthier than apple pie.
What is the difference between an apple cobbler, crisp, and crumble?
A cobbler is made with a biscuit or cake batter baked on top of the fruit filling. A crisp and crumble are both streusel toppings; however, a crisp contains oats, whereas a crumble does not. All three are delicious and popular desserts to make in the fall.
- Apples-Choose sweet and tart apples that hold up during cooking. Read below for tips on the best variety of apples to use in a crisp.
- Brown Sugar-The molasses in the brown sugar adds a layer of flavor to the crisp. In a pinch, substitute white sugar with ½ teaspoon molasses.
- Orange juice-Prevents the apples from browning.
- Old -Fashioned Rolled Oats-These oats are thicker and have a better streusel texture, and hold their shape better. Quick oats are thinner, and therefore the streusel topping will not be as crispy.
- Whole Wheat Flour-The flour and juice from the apples thicken, creating a delicious syrup that coats the apples.
- Walnuts-Nuts add a nice crunch and flavor to the streusel topping. If you do not have walnuts, pecans will work. Be sure not to chop them too fine.
- Butter-FFat adds richness and flavor. Melted butter also allows the topping to come together easier.
- Cinnamon-This spice adds terrific flavor to the crisp and aroma in your house while it is baking. Apples and cinnamon just together!
How to make a healthy skillet apple crisp
- Combine apples, orange juice, brown sugar, 1 tablespoon whole wheat flour, and cinnamon. Set aside for 5-10 minutes to allow the juices to form.
- In a medium bowl, combine oats, whole wheat flour, nuts, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
- Add melted butter to the streusel mixture.
- Cube 1 tablespoon butter and place it in the bottom of the cast-iron or oven-proof skillet.
- Top the butter with the apple mixture.
- Sprinkle the streusel mixture evenly over the apples.
- Bake in a 350° F oven for 30-40 minutes or until lightly brown on top and the apple juices are bubbly.
Top with your favorite ice cream and enjoy!
What are the best apples to use?
Granny Smith and Honey Crisp are two popular varieties of apples to use in apple crisps. These varieties have a sweet-tart flavor, crisp texture, and they hold up well during baking. Other apples that work well in a crisp are Golden Delicious, Braeburn, Jonagold, Pink Lady, and McIntosh. You can use one variety or mix them for added depth of flavor. My personal favorite is to use Honey Crisp and Jonagold apples.
Most importantly, the apples you use need to hold up to cooking so that they do not become mushy. Also, they need a balance of sweet and tart flavor.
Tips for the Best Apple Crisp
- Cooking apples yield the best texture.
- Apples that are sweet and tart in flavor are the best for crisps.
- Slice the apples into even thin slices so they can cook uniformly.
- The apples should be at room temperature so that they bake at the same rate as the topping. Otherwise, the topping may brown too quickly, and the apples are undercooked.
- Combine the filling ingredients (apples, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and orange juice) first and let them rest for 5-10 minutes. Resting allows the sugar to pull some of the liquid from the apples creating a syrup that will thicken during baking resulting in tender glaze-coated apples.
Do the apples need to be peeled?
If your apples have a wax coating on them, then I recommend peeling them. Otherwise, leave the peels on the apples since they will soften during baking. The added benefits are that it is faster to make the crisp with unpeeled apples, and the peels provide additional healthy fiber.
Healthy Apple Crisp is delicious using only apples. However, if you are looking for other tasty variations, try one or combine any of the following.
- Add ¼ cup of dried cranberries or raisins to the apple mixture.
- Try substituting Bosc or Anjou pears for half the amount of the apples to create an apple-pear crisp. The flavor combination is perfect.
- For added crunch, add ½ cup rough chopped walnuts or pecans to the apples.
Can apple crisp be made ahead?
Apple crisp is an easy make-ahead dessert. Prepare the crisp and bake it. Cool the crisp entirely and wrap it tightly and freeze for up to 3 months. To serve, thaw the crisp in the refrigerator. Reheat the apple crisp covered in a 350 °F oven for 20-25 minutes or until warmed through.
Leftover Apple Crisp
Store leftover crisp at room temperature for one day or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Warm individual portions of crisp in the microwave for 1-2 minutes. For more portions, warm the crisp covered in a 350° F oven for 10-15 minutes.Print