Easy Apple Crisp with Oatmeal Crumb Topping


A buttery crisp oatmeal topping is what makes a truly great apple crisp. Flavourful apples are important, of course, but I think the texture of the topping is what it’s all about.

As with most families, Thanksgiving is a time to gather for a feast. For many years now we have celebrated Thanksgiving up at our cottage, potluck style, with everyone contributing part of the meal.

Before we shifted Thanksgiving to the cottage we’d all gather at mom and dad’s but there was one year we celebrated Thanksgiving at my brother Geoffrey’s camp.

Easy Apple Crisp with Oatmeal Crumb Topping

Every family celebration is memorable but that year stands out because it was the easiest cleanup ever. Geoffrey instructed us to toss every compostable item onto the front lawn and animals would devour it overnight. It felt like a frat party. We chucked potato peelings, squash skins and the turkey carcass out the front door and then wondered if we’d meet an army of raccoons, fox and bears as we all headed out to our cars later that night.

Although apple crisp isn’t on our Thanksgiving menu, we always ate a lot of it through the fall and winter when we were growing up. It’s the easiest dessert to throw together and leftovers can be eaten for breakfast. With local apples in the markets everywhere now is a great time to enjoy this dish.

For me the hallmark of a great apple crisp is the topping. I prefer apple crisp made with rolled oats since it has great texture.

Easy Apple Crisp with Oatmeal Crumb Topping

Serves 4-6

  • 6-8 apples, peeled and sliced
  • ¼-1/2 cup sugar (depending how tart your apples are)
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. butter for dabbing

  • 1 cup wholegrain flour (I use stoneground whole spelt)
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup butter, softened


  1. For the filling: Place the apples in a medium casserole dish. Toss with the sugar, squeeze a little lemon juice over, sprinkle with cinnamon and dab with the butter.
  2. For the topping: Combine the flour, rolled oats and brown sugar. Add butter and mix into a crumble with your fingers or a fork. Sprinkle the crumble mixture over the apples.
  3. Bake at 375 F for 35-45 minutes, until apples are soft.
  4. Serve hot or warm.

Green tips:
Choose local, organic apples for your apple crisp. Year after year apples top the list of the “dirty dozen” – the produce with the highest pesticide residue.
Choose stoneground wholegrain flour when possible. It adds so much flavour to your baked goods and won’t feel heavy in a dish like this.


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