Old Fashioned Apple Crisp

This old fashioned recipe is an apple crisp like grandma used to make.  Bake this classic comfort dish in your oven and enjoy the aromas of fall fill your house.  Serve this dish with vanilla ice cream or homemade whipped cream for a homey dessert that is perfect on a chilly evening.

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Baking dish of Old Fashioned Apple Crisp topped with a crunchy oatmeal, nut and spice topping.

Some dishes just evoke fond memories of family events, seasons, or holidays.  This old fashioned recipe is one of those. Just smelling the apples and cinnamon baking brings back childhood memories of fall – chilly, overcast days, pretty orange and yellow leaves, hayrides, and pumpkin festivals.  That alone is worth making this dessert…often.


  • Apples.  I like using Granny Smith apples that are firm and tart.  I like that they hold their shape when cooked and aren’t too sweet.  Gala and Macintosh are also good. If you’re interested, the Farmer’s Almanac has a great article on the best apples for cooking.
  • Using the lemon and orange juices and zest brings a freshness to the filling and helps the apples keep their light color.
  • Granulated and brown sugar offers a depth of flavor and a light caramel flavor to the filling without making it too sweet.
  • Vanilla in both the topping and filling rounds out the cinnamon and fruit.  It adds a smooth, floral note that is lovely.  It’s optional, but I highly recommend it.
  • For the topping, use old fashioned rolled oats or oatmeal, not instant and not steel-cut oats.
  • I like using salted butter for flavor and combining all ingredients in a food processor to make a homogenized topping that bakes into little nuggets.

Baking dish of Old Fashioned Apple Crisp topped with a crunchy oatmeal, nut and spice topping.

Here are a few more dessert ideas:

old fashioned recipe I’ve also found these amazing desserts from around the web.  I can also personally vouch for their deliciousness….you know, research.

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Baking dish of Old Fashioned Apple Crisp topped with a crunchy oatmeal, nut and spice topping.



An old fashioned recipe for classic apple crisp.  Sweet, tender apples, warm spices, and a crunchy, buttery topping make for a dessert that epitomizes Autumn.



Fruit Filling:

6 baking apples, peeled, cored, and chopped

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon orange juice

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

1/4 cup sugar

¼ cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon Apple Pie Spice

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons flour


1 1/4 cups flour

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

12 tablespoons butter (1 1/2 sticks), chilled and grated

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  

Grease a 2-quart baking dish with butter and set aside.

Make the filling.

In a large bowl, toss together the chopped apples, lemon juice, orange juice, lemon zest, both sugars, cinnamon, apple pie spice, vanilla, and flour.  Pour mixture into the prepared dish.

Make the topping.  In the bowl of a food processor combine the flour oatmeal, brown sugar, cinnamon, grated butter, vanilla, and walnuts until pea-sized crumbs form.  If you aren’t using a food processor, use a pastry blender or two knives to cut the butter into the dry ingredients.

Sprinkle the topping over the apple mixture.

Bake until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is golden and crisp about 45 minutes.

Serve with vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Bakeing
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: old fashioned dessert recipes, old fashioned recipe, apple recipe, desserts, apple desserts, fall desserts, Autumn desserts

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