multigrain apple crisps

I mentioned a couple weeks ago that we had plans to flee this so-called winter we’re having in New York and jet to a place where it’s always summer. It was dreadfully boring, by the way, all silky white sand that was cool under your bare feet, blazing aqua waters that you could walk a full city block into before you were in deeper than your waist and oh so quiet (rumor has it that they don’t even let these on the island!). Blissfully, there was nothing to do but read books, stare at the horizon and not think about life for a while. The most profound conversation we had in three days was whether a spot out on the water where the color slipped from a piercing aquamarine to a deeper cerulean to was due to a change of depth, or just the cast shadow of a cloud. The shadow of a cloud. Man, times were tough.

What I forgot to mention is that we weren’t bringing our son with us. Lest you think I’m immune to Mom Guilt — au contraire, it is the very pitch to which my life is auto-tuned, the backbone, nay, doctrine of my existence, governing all decisions from “Is that my son picking up a stray cheddar bunny from the seat of a random stroller and do I really have to stop him?” to whether or not I should admit that I was late to call yesterday because I was, in actuality, reading with my eyes shut for the 9th time that afternoon. Ahem, so, Mom Guilt in full swing, I decided to leave something special — petite apple crisps — in the fridge that he could have as a treat on the days I’d be away.

whole wheat, oats, raw, brown sugars

blending oats and almonds into flour
butter and olive oil

Alas, the longer I am a mom, the harder it is for me to not question everything. Why all that butter? I bet he’d like it just as much with a healthful oil! Why all that refined sugar and flour? I know it could be endlessly delicious without it. I haven’t yet reached the Hiding Spinach in the Brownies level of madness and with all due respect, I hope I never do as spinach and brownies are too wonderful apart to mash them into something greater than neither of their parts, and lie to a child at the same time, oh look at that, I’ve digressed again. So, yes, stopping short of what I call the spinach-in-the-brownies line in the (powdery Caribbean) sand, I made him some tiny multigrain apple crisps.

apples, skinned
ready to bake

There’s brown sugar, and a little bit of butter. Cinnamon and a solid crumb-to-fruit (by solid, I mean “high”) ratio. But there are also oats a-plenty and oat flour, whole wheat flour and almond meal. And it’s good enough that we’ve already stolen one two, I mean, made a second batch. You might want to make a habit out of them, too.

for toddlers, and older folks

One year ago: Whole Wheat Goldfish Crackers and The Best Baked Spinach
Two years ago: Arroz Con Leche and Baked Rigatoni with Tiny Meatballs
Three years ago: Steak Sandwiches and Crispy Chewy Chocolate Chips Cookies
Four years ago: Big Crumb Coffee Cake, Alex’s Chicken and Mushroom Marsala and Almond Biscotti
Five years ago: Strawberry Rhubarb Pecan Loaf and Italian Bread

Multigrain Apple Crisps

As for the whole wheat flour, you could also use whole wheat pastry flour here or white whole wheat flour (as I did in one of my test rounds). You can also replace half the flour with the same amount of any pet flour you have. Yes, I said “pet” flour — I mean, whatever you’re currently obsessed with. I used 1/4 cup of barley flour in one batch, which is my current pet, as it’s silky and delightful in baked goods. I don’t think rye flour would be half-bad there either.

It’s not just the flour that you can fiddle with; coconut oil (also good for this toddler-bait) would be delicious in place of the olive oil; you could brown the butter when you melt it for extra flavor. Almonds could be replaced with any nut, etc. Have fun with it. Make it yours.

Makes 8 small crisps

4 large or 5 small-medium apples (about 2 pounds)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup raw or Turbinado (often sold as Sugar in the Raw) sugar
1/4 cup plus 3/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup sliced or slivered almonds
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (or a mix; see Note up top)
1/4 cup light or dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Two pinches sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange eight 6-ounce ramekins (these are my favorite) on a baking tray. Peel, halve and core apples, then chop them into a small (about 1/2-inch) dice. The smaller the pieces, the faster the crisps will bake and the less they’ll “deflate” as they cool. Toss apples with 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 3 tablespoons raw sugar until evenly coated, then divide apples between ramekins.

Grind 1/4 cup oats with almonds in a food processor until powdery. (If you have both almond meal and oat flour, you can replace this with 1/4 cup of each.) In a medium bowl, mix oat/almond mixture with remaining rolled oats, wheat flour, remaining 1/4 cup raw sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, sea salt and baking powder. Melt butter in a small saucepan (or in microwave), then stir in olive oil. Pour mixture over dry ingredients and stir until crumbly. Divide crumbs over each dish of apples, packing them on with your palms if needed to get them all on (don’t worry, the apples will deflate a bit when they bake).

Bake apple crisps for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until you can see the juices from the apples bubbling around the crumbs. If tops brown too quickly, put a sheet of foil over the whole tray for remaining baking time. Let cool on rack and serve when lukewarm. Store remaining crisps in fridge. They are quite excellent with a dollop of plain yogurt.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New here? You might want to check out the comment guidelines before chiming in.

195 comments on multigrain apple crisps

  1. Yum! I am a hge fan of the (big) crumbb-to-fruit ratio you used here. I’ve been adjusting some of my recipes as well, making challah with whoel wheat flour (up to 1/2 if I’m making a honey-intensive recipe). Love the almonds and almond meal, sounds divine.

  2. Elizabeth

    For quite a lot of this post, I completely misinterpreted the use of the word “crisps” and thought that the end result was going to be some kind of baked cookie/cracker thing. This looks yummier! Glad you had a good holiday too.

  3. Mindless vacation = huge success. When I was an avid runner (and living in WA) apple crisp was a constant every night after dinner. I have a soft spot in my heart for it, I will defiantly add this to the repertoire.

  4. Couple time is good. It can only benefit the wee one, to witness happy, connected parents. Coconut oil is currently my pet oil – really, really love it with certain recipes, especially baked good and curries.

  5. Holy guacamole! This looks heavenly. My husband loves anything to do with apples when it comes to dessert and he is going to LOVE me for this one (thanks to you)! Aren’t you so glad to know that you not only help kitchens, but marriages too??? Yay!

  6. Sarah

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. My baby thanks you, my husband thanks you, we all thank you for the AMAZING recipes you give us! Just ask Baby Milo; he’s loving his pancakes (the oatmeal ones, the cottage cheese ones & most recently, the multigrain ones). I hope your vacation was as relaxing as the photos are to me. Will your book tour take you to Italy? If so, let me know – we’re waiting for you in Florence.

  7. Oh, I love this post for so many reasons. The embedded link to the alligator toy? The sly references to not experiencing Mom Guilt (oh crap, I have that disease too) or just the fact that you know the benefit of taking care of yourself so you can take better care of the ones you love. AND you gave me a great recipe that my kiddo will adore. Thank you, Deb!

  8. My less-health conscious friends think I’m crazy, but a dollop of greek yogurt is just as satisfying (okay, 90% as satisfying) as whipped cream when it comes to topping desserts. Apples + yogurt + oats…this recipe is perfectly acceptable for breakfast, I say.

  9. Shana

    Where did you go on your vacation? I might need to book a trip there ASAP! Maybe they will give you a referral bonus… ;-)

  10. Sounds like your vacation was much deserved, I think everyone should get a couple of days away from real life like that. Would love to be right there right now!

    These look great, and I agree on your “perfect” ratio:-)

  11. diana

    You are my hero. All my kids are grown, and when I look back I have a teeny bit of regretful sting that I didn’t go on more jaunts like yours to refresh and renew. Ah well…maybe I’ll just have to make up for lost time before grandchildren come!! I love that you made your little guy a treat everyday. And such a yummy treat too! Love your stuff. Keep it up! :) AND HAVE GUILT FREE FUN! :)

  12. I was wondering where you had been for a whole week! That last egg dish had me hungry for more, pun intended. Your pictures look beautiful! And this latest creation looks refreshing and healthy. :)

  13. Perfect! I’ve been trying to make a plan for the almost-dead apples in my fridge, and was contemplating the Simplest Apple Tart, but I may try these instead!

    Speaking of spinach hiding in things, I just say a post in my google reader yesterday about using spinach as a food dye for vanilla cake. Wild!

  14. I just had to send my daughter to her grandparents’ house for a week (surgery, not vacation!) and I was feeling so so guilty! But she had tons of fun, and your son likely had as much fun as you did during your vacation!

    The apples look delicious, too. :)

  15. Amy

    These look perfect! What kind of pan would you recommend for those of us who don’t own ramekins and really don’t have space in our tiny kitchens for new goodies? Would this fit in an 8×8″?

  16. emily

    I often have a less-sweet riff on fruit crisp for breakfast. Totally wholesome if you do it right, imo – mom-guilt begone! (For what it’s worth, my dad fed me classic tuna casserole – cream-of-something soup and all – two or three times a month, and I survived. Although to be fair, we had homemade pasta and pesto at least twice as often.)

  17. This will be the most boring comment ever. There are two “s” at the end of “crisps” in the title. Typos in my titles happen to me a lot, just spreading the editor love.

    Also, these look delicious and so do your vacation pics. Cheers! ~J

  18. I love a good ole apple crisp, and when they’re made in teeny bowls like this, it’s even better. It’s like made special just for me… Very interesting touch with the olive oil instead of butter… and I like the amount of sugar! I made apple crisp for my boyfriend and he saw that I was barely adding any sugar and freaked out, when he tasted it, he didn’t even miss the sugar. It’s just not necessary all the time.

  19. Cris

    To quote Tina Fey/30 Rock – “I want to go to there.” Where is it? It looks like there was no one on the island but you!

  20. Oh yum! These look so good! As does the vacation. I struggle with what to do with baked goods too – for the health of the kids. I go back and forth, and eventually end up just alternating a full on “bad” version and then a healthier version. Moderation. . . . Right??

  21. Quiche

    I think I may make these for an upcoming party…but I have a friend who cannot consume any dairy or soy. Is there a substitute for butter, you think? What would it look like if I omitted the butter altogether with no replacement?

  22. Amanda

    I agree with you and the crisps look great! But sweet potato in brownies…you may find yourself going there one day. (And they are actually very good.:) )

  23. Thanks for sharing your recipe with more healthy/simple alternatives. Also thanks for sharing your pictures! My husband and I recently visited St.Thomas & St. John in the Caribbean and loved it, may I ask which area you visited? The idea of being able to walk far out into the ocean sounds amazing!

  24. NicM

    Oh these look fabulous and are just in time for my half marathon ramp up! And like everybody else I want to know where those pics were taken.

    P.S. I use pureed black beans when I make gluten-free brownies and it makes them much more moist and chewy. I don’t think spinach would do that.

  25. Looks like a wonderful vacation! I’m sure the mom guilt was totally made up for by the crisps – they actually seem like something my mom would have made for me too! She LOVES apple crisp (and so do I!).

  26. My parents used to go on week or two week long trips at least once a summer when I was little and I turned out almost normal. If my mom had any willpower when it comes to apple desserts, I like to think she would have left some in the fridge. I know if I made these I would have to add a shot of Jim Beam to the apple mix. It was my grandma’s secret ingredient in her apple pie so no apple dessert in my house is complete without it.

  27. Killian

    I’ve got a few more years until I leave the US for the Caribbean permanently, and these pictures are not helping my patience.

    However, those apple crisps look amazing.

    Deb, do you think poking a few raspberries in here and there would be ok, as well? It won’t throw off the liquid ratios or anything, I don’t think…

  28. Gayle S.

    I love the idea of adding coconut oil to this – my latest healthy fat love, thanks to your coconut muffins – they were out of this world! Apple crisp is about the best dessert/breakfast around, and these individual cups make it even more enticing. Glad you had a restful getaway, and thanks for posting such a great healthy goodie upon your return!

  29. Oh this looks nice. I love oats in the crumb. On mom guilt – I’m over it now and I’ve moved on to jealousy. That island! Once we had the second baby, overnight babysitters got much harder to come by. But then my kids are nutcases. See? No guilt. I even call them names now.

  30. Susan

    I have this collage of 7 photo’s on an album page of my husband and my first vacation (in Lake Tahoe) away from our then 18-month old son. In the center of the collage is a picture my dearest mother in law snapped of our son standing sad-eyed sporting his curly blond bed head wearing one of his father’s lg/tall ragged running T-shirts, talking to us on the phone. His trembly lower lip and orphan like stance just breaks my heart to this day! Such guilty memories! At least I didn’t have bloggers guilt added to it!…she snickers! ;)

    These crisps look like less guilty eats..and delicious!

  31. Urban Wife

    Envious of your glorious vacation but glad you got a break! Makes me look forward to our next trip. Which may be happening sooner rather than later thanks to your perfectly time pictures. ;)

  32. Renea

    Yum! Glad you did not go the spinach brownie route. Being a mom of two I however will admit to adding carrot puree to sloppy joes, and mashed black beans to brownies, both surprisingly yummy!

  33. Stacey

    Is it possible to freeze these as well? Would you do it before or after baking them?
    As for spinach in brownies, no thank you but, Columbia University just released a study saying you don’t have to sneak the veggies into yummy snacks- your kids will eat the snacks even if they know veggies are in there.

  34. It looks like you had a fabulous time on your trip – you deserved it! Seeing your photographs made me crave warmth and sea water in the worst way. :) In regards to your recipe…. Oh mini ramekins…how I love to use mini ramekins. Personal sized desserts are great and there is just something about the ramekin that makes baking feel easy. Anyway, glad you had the chance to get away and thanks for a beautiful recipe :)

  35. So glad you had a nice time! Eric and I have been meaning to make such a trip… when time and money permit it, we’re doing it. Not sure we’ll last that long without technology… and you can bet your butt the booze will be flowin’, but it will certainly be the most relaxing vacation we’ve ever been on.

  36. Oh this is a must I think…I could do with some of your boring! The colours are amazing. Had a chuckle at the Mom guilt too. Why do we do this to ourselves.
    Please don’t do the spinach brownie thing as I’m still traumatised by my sister who once hid cabbage in my yorkshire pudding! I’ve never really got over that. Sad I know but true. I still don’t eat cabbage so it didn’t work.

    Multigrain Apple crisps have oats, fruit and nuts so they’ve got to be good for you? I’m away to try them ~ they look wonderful :D

  37. These sound so good!

    How could I adjust the recipe to make one giant crisp in, say, a 9X13 pan? I simply cannot fit one more thing in my (also tiny, NYC) kitchen, so we are ramekin-less. Thanks.

  38. Caz

    I’ve been putting bran and wheat germ and ground flax seeds in my apple crips topping for years. I love it! (And makes me feel better about the butter/sugar).

  39. Hey!

    That’s why you’re on of my favourite inspirations.
    I really inspire myself in your blog, to get my “food photography” better and better.
    Thank you so much!

    Keep up with the great blogging!

  40. Perfectly portioned cups of cinnamon crumble MMmmmmm! Oh yes, and some apple or something underneath…but tell me more about that crumble to fruit ratio…

    And if the 8 in the picture are for the baker, how many did you end up making for the rest of the people in your house?

  41. Julie

    I have some nut allergies with my kiddos, would I just use more oats in place of the almonds? Bummer….I love nuts! Can’t wait to make these!! thx for sharing ;) I just bought an Atlas 150 pasta maker on Craigslist because I can’t get your lasagna w/homemade pasta sheets out of my mind! $20 bucks!! Whoa-hoo :) Can’t wait to make fresh pasta…

  42. Arti

    You are so my hero- both on the going away for a week part as well as the leaving treats behind part. Could I adopt you as my role model when I become a mom :).

  43. Julia

    Did I tell you about the time my mother tried to hide tofu in the banana cream pie? Spinach in brownies? Don’t do it. He’ll NEVER forgive you and be telling random internet people he’s never met about it 25 years from now. : )

  44. Mhmm these look delicious! And hey, since these crisps are made from apples, we can totally pretend that they’re healthy (that’s what I’m going to tell myself when I make them).

  45. I really do think that there is a whole grain revolution going on right now in the foodie world that just keeps getting bigger and bigger. I love whole grains and I am loving how easy it is getting to find more and more delicious recipes made with whole grains. Even with the addition of whole grains I don’t really see most baked goods as “healthy” but I love that they are added because the flavor is so much more complex.

    These look amazing!

  46. I’ve always thought spinach in brownies was a particularly low blow – now these would get a high five from even the most healthy-food-resistant little cherub. Next time I have a child foisted on me for impromtu baby-sitting, this is what we are both having!

  47. Rambant

    Oh dear… I don’t own ramekins yet! I’m always on the lookout but haven’t yet found a set that my heart likes. Is there hierarchy among ramekins?

  48. melissa dee

    Hi Deb…i love apple crisps but am highly allergic to nuts…if I omit the nuts will it change the consistency of the crisp? Would I have to add more oats or flour to adjust? Thanks! Also, my daughter is allergic to dairy..could I substitute margarine for the butter as well?

  49. I love The Bahamas too. Yes, a tough address but someone has to live here :) — and I can recognize her shores at a glance! Must get some ramekins shipped in (I keep meaning to do that … longterm island time does have its ummm … relaxed challenges). The recipe looks wonderful … like an afternoon in a sturdy hammock! (A native Lucayan word, hammock … the Lucayans were the people that greeted Columbus when he first landed in The Bahama islands in 1492 … okay, taking off my tour guide hat now! This post made me smile on so many levels — thank you!

    1. deb

      Jess — These aren’t low fat. I was just playing around with reducing the proportion of saturated fat in the crisp. Olive oil is as old as time.

  50. Jess

    Melissa Dee– real margarine would probably work, but it is so bad for you. Coconut oil is usually a good substitute– preferably high quality coconut oil. In some recipes you have to add just a teeny bit of water to the coconut oil to get the same consistency. When I make apple crisp, I just use coconut oil.

  51. Wondering if it is possible to use 1/4 cup turbinado instead of 1/4 cup brown sugar… (so just I don’t have to go and buy some)
    I don’t really know the difference between the two types of sugar… Should I adjust the quantity?

  52. Nan

    Bad enough you tempt us with another tasty recipe…but we’re used to that…but did you have to post pics?!? We’re still in the bowels of winter in Seattle…rain, rain, rain…and I personally like to pretend that since we don’t see the sun NO ONE does…thanks for ruining my delusion. Hope you had fun though…xo, Nan

  53. Sandee P

    Loved your story Deb! Thank goodness you didn’t come to Hawaii for your vacation as it’s been raining going on 2 weeks!! Thanks for the recipe!

  54. Cari

    My apple crisp is somewhat similar to this, although the use of olive oil in place of some of the butter intrigues me. I’m a huge fan of introducing omega-3 where I can! I also have nut allergies, so I’ll probably try just substituting some barley flour for the almond flour, since it has a slightly nutty taste. And now I’m going to have to buy some ramekins because this is adorable.

  55. michlhw

    lucky duck! pictures look fantastic. also, this post was hilarious. obviously you spent too long reading with your eyes closed on the beach because this post is full of wicked humor!

    i will make this to honor you.

  56. the coconut cupcakes were da bomb! can’t wait to try these. thanks for all the shots of your tropical paradise – you’ve got me yearning for a getaway now!

  57. This is such a great recipe! I am always looking for a new treat to make with my mini ramekins and I think these would be perfect–I wonder if I could even use Trader Joe’s multi-grain baking mix, and add a little extra oats perhaps, to make the crumble…

  58. Vidya

    Yes! No spinach in the brownies! I really respect the efforts of parents everywhere in trying to get their kids to eat healthily, but really, I think it’s just as worthwhile trying to teach your kids to appreciate well done vegetables, and well done desserts as a treat. We always had heaps of delicious vegetable dishes around growing up, and my ultimate comfort food is still a bowl of sauteed broccoli. I’m not even kidding. This is of course coming from someone who puts tofu in brownies, but hey, it’s a really good vegan binder. Chocolate and Zucchini has a really similar butterless apple crumble that is also amazing! Less saturated fat, less distraction from the appley goodness.

  59. I’m Nates Mom

    I’m with you about not desecrating the brownies, however . . . I did try Heidi Swanson’s chocolate zucchini cake, and let me tell you, it was incredible. Very moist, and the kids had no idea about the hidden vegetables. Zucchini works, but spinach? Might be a little too stringy and chewy. I have heard you can add black beans to brownies, but I’m not that desperate.

  60. Monica

    Since we are gluten free – how do you think substituting oat or buckwheat flour for the whole wheat? Oat flour is my current fav, but don’t want to overdo the oats!

  61. NurseMom

    Just made this for an afterschool snack for my kids, and am on my last bite. It’s delicious, and comes together very quickly. I had a nice mixture of apples in the fruit bowl, and this tasty dessert was a wonderful way to use them up. Looking forward to that cookbook, Deb.

  62. they’re multigrain! multigrain means healthy, right? :) i’m so jealous of your trip i could die, honestly, especially the leaving baby behind thing. i’m a new mom, and i love my kid so much! but man it would be nice to have a little break :) welcome back!

  63. Hope you had a good trip. We just got back from turks and caicos. We had a lot of amazing food on our trip. There are two things I want to try to make at home. Creole steamed fish and seafood curry. I like to cook and eat out and usually if I want to recreate a dish at home I know enough about the type of food that I can usually figure it out. This is a very long winded way to say if you want to figure out a recipe for a dish how do you start? I’ve googled recipes and haven’t found anything that looks right. Thanks for any help.

  64. Tricia

    @Quiche. (Without reading all the other comments to see if someone else came up with this solution.) Substitute virgin coconut oil for the butter. It’s absolutely delicious, fragrant and nutty, and would compliment the almond flour delightfully.

  65. these look so good…i love the almonds in there. yumm (:
    ahh the sun–did u go to turks and caicos??? that looks like the place we went to over presidents weekend!!

  66. Annie

    Reformed Foodie (and anyone else who tried to make a gluten free version) – would you let us know how it worked out for you? Thanks!

  67. Dani

    I just made these and I don’t know what went wrong but it was just “Meh”. I substituted virgin coconut oil for the olive oil and I baked this in a 2 1/2 qt dish instead (ramekins are packed away right now since the Big Move). Otherwise, everything else was the same.
    The apples never bubbled but became more like apple sauce even after baking for 1.25 hrs.We finally just gave up and took it out of the oven lest it turn into apple mush!
    There didn’t seem to be enough salt in the dish as it tasted pretty bland. I am not sure what I did here but maybe the coconut oil didn’t work as well? Did anyone else try to substitute coconut oil yet?

  68. Baking always helps with the Mom guilt! I’ve been making fruit crisp in a jar and socking them away in the freezer for a quick dessert.
    Apple is such a classic crisp, but I’ve been loving the colour of a pear/cranberry combo as well. I’m always impressed with all the good things I can add to the topping: wheat germ, flax seed, nuts, chia, quinoa, etc.

  69. Kim in MD

    Your photos from your vacation are gorgeous, Deb! This crisp looks so delicious!

    Deb- do you know where you purchased the glass mixing bowl? I have been looking for mixing bowls that are narrow at the bottom, with no luck! Thanks!

  70. These were amazing. I made these as a “first dish in our new home” last night and cut the recipe in half because it is just the two of us. Mistake #1 – cutting the recipe in half, I should have made the whole thing because I can’t stop eating them. I made two for me and two for my husband and ended up eating both of mine and one of his. Be warned: these are addicting and so healthy!

  71. Julie

    Made this for breakfast today in a 9×9 glass dish ;) Awesome!! Kids are allergic to nuts so I used 1/4 flax seed (for earthy/nutty taste) instead of almond and 1/4 cup of coconut oil instead of olive oil (but still used the 2 TBS butter). I used all Granny Smith apples…they were all still slightly firm and not mushy at all. The SMELL coming out of the kitchen while it was baking…..OH MY!! Kids LOVED it, and so did I. They are excited for leftovers as an after school snack today. Thanks Deb!

  72. KJ

    Yum! These look awesome. And so does your trip! Any more info that you’re willing to share about where you went? Looks like it wasn’t a big resort, which seems awesome.

  73. I’m so glad you were able to get away from the eternal gray-ness of New York winters– and it looks like a completely well-deserved break. And how wonderful you are to leave the little bean something tasty and sneakily nutritious! But these look too wonderful just to give to a toddler– I think I’ll make them for my own breakfasts this week. Thanks for another lovely recipe!

  74. Penandra

    Fruit crisps are one of my favorite treats/snacks/desserts — My topping is similar (although I omit the baking powder and use all butter — no olive oil) but I had never thought of processing some of the oatmeal with almonds (or pecans) — I love that idea, and will be trying it this weekend!

    When I make the topping I almost always make a double batch so that I can freeze (at least) half. I almost always have frozen fruit in the big freezer so that I can make dessert on short notice. By keeping the topping in the freezer, I can make smaller quantities (2 or 3 ramekins when I’m having friends over for dinner, or on a moments notice).

    I also use minute tapioca instead of the cornstarch — personal preference, I think.

    This is always a great hit at parties and potlucks (I always have at least one person ask for the recipe — I would think that most of my friends have it by now!) But when making them at home, I have discovered that making them in ramekins is the best way to portion control these . . . if I make them in a baking pan (like I do for potlucks and parties), it is very easy to cut small pieces for everyone else, but large (or double) pieces for me ;-)

    Thank you again for sharing!

  75. Fruit cake is definitely one of my most favorite desserts and my kids like it,too. I often add some baking powder as well as olive oil to increase the taste and yep, it is incredible. You can try it and see how it fare.

  76. Dawn

    Love love love this recipe. I just made it for the 2nd time in 2 weeks and my apartment smells amazing! It makes the perfect in a hurry breakfast with some maple yogurt on top during the week and delicious dessert. I only have 8 3.5oz ramekins but it worked perfectly still, I only had to decrease the apples to 3.5 medium to large apples and just cram everything in but no overflows and it is still enough for a good light breakfast or treat.
    THANK as always for another amazing recipe!

  77. Wowzer. In England we call it a crumble; I was caught out by this the last time I was in New York – we’d stuffed ourselves silly at Locanda Verde and then for dessert we thought ‘oh! A crisp. That sounds nice and light.’ Lo and behold, a crumble came out and of course we HAD to eat it and then all I could do was lie down and groan afterwards.

    I love crisp / crumbles.

  78. Amy P

    I had guests over for dinner last night and made apple crisp…but I completely forgot that you had just posted a crisp recipe and I instead used my aunt’s. Big mistake – even after I halved the sugar it ended up ridiculously sweet! I have learned my lesson. Check smitten kitchen first.

  79. Stephnaie M.

    Ah, how I wish it could be warm and beautiful like your beach pictures all year long. Although that may get boring after a while, I would always feel warm. Perhaps that is a good tradeoff… But vacations are always great. It looks beautiful there, and it’s a good thing the weather was so nice. There’s nothing more depressing then going to the beach, and then it starts raining. Day ruined.

    These apple crisps look very delicious. I always find myself craving something sweet after a meal but feel guilty after eating something not so healthy, such as ice cream. That, or I’m overwhelmed by the sweetness and have to eat something salty again… More calories. I can imagine this treat is subtle enough in the sweetness that it’s good but doesn’t leave you sugar high. The added bonus is that it’s a lot healthier than ice cream! Hooray!

  80. Susan E

    I made this today. I say this, as I only have 9×13, and it turned out divine. I used the coconut oil in place of the olive oil. I used white whole wheat. I think when most measurements called for 1/4 cup, I used about a 1/3. I used organic Gala apples. Damn, girl. I love this better than apple pie.

  81. Michelle

    I made this last week and it was perfection. I really like it when I find THE recipe for something – no more testing and trying new recipes. I don’ think I’ll ever need to look at a different apple crisp recipe now that you’ve shared this one. I am loyal to your apple crisp ;-)

  82. I’m so glad you were able to get away from the eternal gray-ness of New York winters– and it looks like a completely well-deserved break. And how wonderful you are to leave the little bean something tasty and sneakily nutritious! But these look too wonderful just to give to a toddler– I think I’ll make them for my own breakfasts this week. Thanks for another lovely recipe!

  83. silke

    the second smittenkitchen recipe I’ve tried out – only a few days after the first one. and I guess I am on my way to addiction… this was heaven!

    I didn’t have the necessary amount of apples at home, but thought this must be nice with other fruit, too – so I used peaches, red and blackcurrants and a few raspberries, as well as a bit more sugar than you recommended to use on the I chopped apples. highly recommended! I was a bit sceptical when it came to the olive oil, but I trusted you and wasn’t disappointed. so yummy!

    the good thing is that now I have one killer of a go-to recipe for quick and mostly healthy desserts. the bad thing is that I had intended to lose a few pounds… now I know your blog I somehow cannot see that happen. ;-)

  84. Amy

    I love these! I made it with my 2 and a half year old daughter, and she had a blast “tasting” a little bit of every spoonful of crumb mixture she doled onto the apples!

  85. Leyla

    Yummy! I just baked these they came out so good but WAY sweet (my fault not yours). After peeling my apples I went to cut them and one of the apples insides were all bad so I asked my mom if she could peel an apple so I wouldn’t waste too much time. Well…. I completely forgot about it and the poor apple sat naked on the counter top neglected. Didn’t notice it till after I put the crumble ontop of the apples.

  86. candie

    i can’t seem to see if anyone tried to make a gluten-free version of this, what would be the best substitution for the whole wheat flour? thanks for a fantastic site!!

  87. Sarah

    Loved this! Added 1T flax seeds to almond mixture and left out the 1/4 c raw sugar and think we’d have liked it with even less brown sugar in topping.

  88. My husband is super picky about too-sweet apple baked goods and he loved this recipe. I made it in ramekins and we kept them in the fridge unbaked for a few days and just baked them off as needed. Which was every night for about 4 nights. The topping came out crisp and hearty and the apples baked up nicely. You can always adjust sugar level to your taste. I might try this in a 9×13 to serve a crowd at Thanksgiving.

  89. Shep

    I made this with a bunch of substitutions based on what I had lying around and it was excellent! I ground up walnuts and steel-cut oats instead of almonds and rolled oats, used mostly rye flour, with about 1/8 of a cup of all-purpose flour to top it off, mixed in rolled barley instead of rolled oats, and used coconut sugar instead of raw sugar. Delicious!

  90. Alice K.

    Another winner! (Why am I not surprised!) This was lovely and easy to make. I used gluten-free one-to-one baking flour (Bob’s Red Mill brand) so my gluten-free friend could partake. I think it made no difference: still tasted terrific. I don’t have ramekins, so I made it in a baking dish — still fine.

  91. This is my go-to apple crisp recipe. The butter and olive oil blend is mind-blowingly delicious! It’s also easy to substitute other ingredients when you don’t have what Deb calls for.

  92. Elysse

    I make this regularly during apple season as one large crisp in an 8×8 pan. The topping is one of the best I’ve had, though I always use butter instead of olive oil (sometimes browned butter). I don’t add any additional sugar to the apples as I don’t think they ever need it. I prefer tart apples and if the varieties I have on hand are mostly sweet I will sometimes add a bit of lemon juice to them. In an 8×8 I find it takes 40-45 minutes to cook fully, and it always tastes better after it’s spent some time in the fridge and the butter has firmed back up. Love this recipe!

      1. fatsass

        Thanks for this tip! Contemplating making one for Thanksgiving but don’t have enough ramekins for everyone, so going with an 8 x 8

  93. Ruth

    I was looking for a simple (but delicious) recipe to make for a gathering. I think these will be a hit! Hope they are because I am planning to attend other parties soon (plus my coworker would devour these).

  94. Amy

    I used a mixture of apples and pears and it came out very sweet (the pears probably tipped it over). The apples were a mixture of tart and sweet from our tree and maybe were also not the best mixture for this much sugar. I would make this again, but if I am using the same fruit, with a lot less sugar.

    1. Michelle

      I noticed that another commenter said they bake this in an 8″x8″ pan, but that they double the quantities for the topping. Hope you found something that works for you!

  95. Carolyn

    I just made this last night and the topping was WAY too sweet for us. I don’t recall even tasting the apples. Plus our turbinado is rather coarse, (I usually just sprinkle a bit on the top of things) so it came out kind of gritty-feeling. If I make it again, I will use brown sugar and cut back on it. Now I need to figure out how to salvage the remaining 6 servings…

  96. Heather

    I was looking for a full-pan recipe for apple crisp (and was unwilling to risk going with a recipe from elsewhere, I needed a fabulous dessert immediately!!!) — this converted over well! It was in the oven for around an hour, and finished at a higher temp to get the top browned. Frozen apples didn’t have a chance at ruining this. Fabulous as always — thank you!