As a big fan of apple desserts, I have to say that apple crisp is right up near the top of my list. It’s like an apple pie in terms of flavor, but takes much less time to bake and can be eaten almost straight out of the oven. In general, an apple crisp is a baked apple dish with a crisp topping. There are hundreds of topping recipes out there, so every crisp can be a little different. I’ve had some that have a streusel-like topping, while others have a cake-like topping. The only thing that they all have in common is that they give the dessert a little bit of texture in a way that a softer, cobbler-style topping doesn’t.
This Brown Sugar & Oatmeal Apple Crisp has a topping that reminds me of an oatmeal cookie. The thick topping has the consistency of cookie dough and it is made with plenty of brown sugar, cinnamon and oatmeal. The topping can be stirred up in a single bowl using either a spatula or a mixer. I admit that I usually use only spatula to minimize cleanup, as the only thing that I enjoy more than a delicious and easy recipe is one that is delicious, easy and dirties very few bowls!
Sliced apples are layered into a baking dish or pie plate to form the base of the cobbler. The dessert is going to be served straight out of the baking dish, so choose one that you like. If you are using very tart apples, such as Granny Smiths, you can toss 2-3 tablespoons of sugar in along with the apples. Many other types of apples don’t require any additional sugar, as the topping itself is on the sweet side.
The oatmeal topping is spooned on top of the apple layer. It should be spread out into an even layer, but the topping probably won’t quite cover up all the apples. This is just fine and it gives the dessert a pretty, rustic look. The cobbler should bake until the topping is crisp and golden brown. The apple slices should be bubbling vigorously (which you can see either through the sides of a clear pan or around the edges of a ceramic/metal pan) and should be tender if pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. The baking time may vary by a few minutes depending on the variety of apple that you are using. The topping is crisp on top, but tender underneath, with a buttery oatmeal cookie flavor that compliments the apples nicely. Serve this dish when it is still warm from the oven and, if you’re feeling indulgent, pair it with a little vanilla ice cream.
Brown Sugar & Oatmeal Apple Crisp
5 large apples (pref. good baking apples)
1 large egg
2/3 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup oatmeal (regular or quick cooking)
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F. Take out a 9-inch pie plate or an 8- or 9-inch square baking dish.
Peel and core apples, then cut each into 10-12 even slices. Arrange apple slices into a (roughly) even layer in your baking dish.
In a medium bowl, stir together egg and brown sugar until smooth.
In a small bowl, stir together flour, oatmeal, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add the dry ingredients to the brown sugar mixture and stir with a spatula until the dough begins to come together. Add in melted butter and vanilla extract and stir until dough is smooth.
Spoon dough over the top of the apple slices, using the spatula to spread it slightly. The dough will not entirely cover the apples, but should be evenly distributed.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the apples are tender and the topping is crisp and golden brown. Allow crumble to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.