It is absolutely no secret that I love apple desserts during fall. And it’s also no secret that I’m lazy when it comes to cooking.
Or maybe lazy isn’t the right wording. Motivationally challenged? Lacking persistence on the toddler-knee-hanging/food-prep-timing continuum?
Whatever it is, with little kids in the house I want my food to a) taste fantastic and b) not take seven hours to make. And also I don’t really make pies or cakes for just two adults.
One of my all-time favorite desserts / breakfasts / snacks are oatmeal crisps. They are just so easy to throw together!
Lately I’ve always been following the same recipe pattern to keep things super easy. And then I switch up the fruit, spices and extra topping additions to add a little more variation.
My toddler absolutely loves crisps, so I’ve been excited about colder temperatures finally settling in so we can bake together. Em crumbles the topping ingredients together and scatters it over the fruit like a pro.
And then she waits in front of the oven until mama decides the crisp is done ;)
A few pointers to make sure your quick and easy apple crisp actually IS quick and easy to make:
Start with the topping
I know I say this every time I share a recipe with anything remotely streusel-related. But it’s just something I like to emphasise, because I used to forget this all the time.
Making the topping right in the beginning and then letting the butter set in the fridge again will give you nice big crumbs! Otherwise the topping might just become one big crust. And we don’t like that, we want crumbs!
Don’t cut up your apples too small
If you cut your apples into tiny chunks, you’ll end up with apple sauce at the bottom of your crisp.
Not that homemade apple sauce is a bad thing - it’s something I make in huge batches every fall. (Which is probably the main reason my husband thinks I might be slightly crazy.)
But in your apple crisp you want nice slices of soft, warm fruit.
You can peel them if you want, but I usually get organic apples and don’t bother with it.
Adjust the amount of sugar to your fruit
If you have very tart apples, you probably want to add a little more sugar to the filling. And if you have overly sweet apples, you might not need to add any at all.
The important thing is to not over-sweeten. Food tastes sweeter when it’s hot than when it’s cold. So if you’re planning to eat your apple crisp warm and topped with ice cream (which I very strongly suggest), you need less sugar than you might think.
This is a really great recipe to get your kids in the kitchen and start baking with them. Making the topping is a fantastic sensory activity for toddlers, with an actually delicious outcome.
Of course it will be less quick and easy with littles involved, but just imagine the mess if the recipe was complicated to start with ;)
For the Topping:
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup cold butter
For the Filling:
- 4 medium apples, cored and sliced
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon apple pie spice, or cinnamon
- Stir the brown sugar, oats, 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, cinnamon and salt together in a medium bowl.
- Cut in the butter until large crumbles form. You can use a pastry cutter, but I usually do it with clean finger tips.
- Cover and refrigerate the topping until you’re ready to use it.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Place the sliced apples in a 7x11 inch baking dish.
- Toss with 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and the apple pie spice.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling up and the topping is browned.
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