Mom's Best Apple Crisp

Saturday 6 November 2021

Mom's Best Apple Crisp 

When we were growing up, one of the things we really loved most for our mother to make us for dessert was a delicious moist Apple Crisp with oats in the topping.

This was always a family favorite and it was a family favorite with  my own children when they were growing up as well.

Mom's Best Apple Crisp

There is just something which shouts Home Sweet Home in this comforting dessert. It was not something my mother made very often, but you could count on having it at least once during the fall season.

With its rich and buttery sweet oat crumble and  tart apple filling, it always went down a real treat with everyone.  Especially with a scoop of cold vanilla ice cream on top! 

Mom's Best Apple Crisp 

This comforting dessert is a real winner with an oat crumble base, sweet sauce sauce  and tart apple filling, and that buttery oat crumble topping.

The base gets lovely and crisp as does the topping. In between the apples become almost jammy.  This is a lush, lush dessert that everyone enjoys!

Mom's Best Apple Crisp


Not all apples are created the same.  Some are wonderful, crisp and juicy eaten right out of hand. Others show their best qualities when cooked. And Still others are quite delicious either way!

So how can you tell which are best for which?  Here are (by no means complete) a few suggestions of what kind of apple to use for what purpose.

Mom's Best Apple Crisp 

Best for cooking:  Granny Smith, Fuji, Winesap, Honeycrisp, Caville Blanc D'hivers, Jonamacs, Red Delicious, Gala, Cortland, and Empire.

Best for eating out of hand: Crispin, Fuji, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Pink Lady, McIntosh, Liberty, Cortland, Gold Rush, Granny Smith,  and Honeycrisp.

As you can see some apples work well in both courts!!

Mom's Best Apple Crisp 

Like I said, this is by no means a total list of apples.  There are literally hundreds of varieties of apples to choose from!

In the UK, you cannot beat Bramley Apples for cooking with.  Exceptionally tart, they break down nicely when cooked. You can actually whip them up with a fork.  I shall miss them. They make the best applesauce!

In all truth, I have found that a combination of apples is what works best for cooking, making pies, etc.  A mix of really tart and sweet.

Mom's Best Apple Crisp  

Today I used Granny Smith for this apple crisp because that is all I had.  In all truth though, if you are looking for an apple that has a lovely flavor for any purpose, stick to heirloom varieties.

They have not had their taste bred out of them simply for good looks.

Mom's Best Apple Crisp


Mom never made anything complicated.  Pure and simple was always best with her!  

  • all-purpose plain flour
  • rolled oats (I like the large flake)
  • soft light brown sugar
  • granulated sugar
  • ground cinnamon
  • butter
  • apples
  • cornstarch (cornflour)
  • water
  • vanilla

Mom's Best Apple Crisp


You might think that a dessert which is as delicious as this would be complicated to make, but nothing could be simpler.  There are basically three elements to it.

  • A buttery cinnamon oat streusel crumble, which serves as both the base and the topping.
  • Tart chopped apples (I like Granny Smith)
  • A sweet vanilla sauce, which gets poured over the apples before baking the dessert

Mom's Best Apple Crisp 

You begin by making the oaty crumble base/topping.  Measure all of the ingredients for the topping into a bowl and drop in the butter

Using your finger tips, or a pastry blender, cut in the butter until you have a rough crumbly mixture.  Half of this mixture will be pressed into the bottom of a 9-inch square baking tin/dish.

Mom's Best Apple Crisp 

Next prepare the sauce and apples.

For the sauce, simply mix all of the ingredients together in a small saucepan. I like to whisk the cornstarch and the sugar together before adding the water and the vanilla. This helps to prevent any lumps from forming.

Mom's Best Apple Crisp

Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat, until the mixture begins to bubble and thicken. Reduce to a simmer and cook for a few minutes longer on very low.  Keep warm.

You need to peel and prepare your apples. You can cut them into slices or cubes. I like to cut them into 1/2 inch cubes.

Mom's Best Apple Crisp

Sprinkle the cubed or sliced apples in an even layer over the bottom crust in the pan.  They don't have to be exact.  I just try to make them as even as I can.

Once you have done that, you can pour the sauce over top of the apples.  I try to drizzle it from the saucepan over all of the apples a bit at a time, moving the saucepan slowly over all.

Mom's Best Apple Crisp 

Finally sprinkle the remaining half of the crumbs evenly over top of the sauced apples.

Its not rocket science, but I do try to do it so that they are as evenly sprinkled over the apples as possible.

Mom's Best Apple Crisp

And that's it.  Its ready to pop into the oven.  About 55 minutes later it will be done. With a lovely crisp base, super rich and lush filling and crispy crumbly buttery topping.

Perfect to serve warm and spooned into bowls and topped with a nice scoop of good vanilla ice cream.

Mom's Best Apple Crisp

You could also serve it topped with a dollop of whipped sweet cream. In the UK they might enjoy this lush dessert with lashings of pouring cream or warm custard.

One thing is certain, no matter where you live, or what you serve with it, everyone is going to fall in love with this simple yet decadently delicious dessert!

I may be a bit biased however  . . .  everyone thinks their mom is the best cook. Guess you'll just have to try it and let me know what YOU think! 😁

Mom's Best Apple Crisp

Mom's Best Apple Crisp

Yield: 8
Author: Marie Rayner
Prep time: 20 MinCook time: 55 MinTotal time: 1 H & 15 M
This is one very delicious recipe for a fabulous autumn dessert. When this was on the menu for dessert everyone cleared their plates! Nobody wanted to miss out on this yearly treat!


For the topping and crust:
  • 1 cup (140g) all purpose plain flour
  • 3/4 cup (75g) rolled oats
  • 1 cup (200g) soft light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (120g) butter, room temperature
For the sauce:
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 2 TBS cornstarch (cornflour)
  • 1 cup (240ml) water
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
You will also need:
  • 4 cups chopped peeled apple (3 very large apples, I use Granny Smith)
  • vanilla ice cream or whipped cream to serve (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350*F/180*C/ gas mark 4.  Butter an 9-inch square baking dish. Set aside.
  2. Make the crumbs first.  Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl, cutting the butter in until you have  a nice crumbly mixture. Set aside.
  3. To make the sauce, whisk the sugar and corn flour together in a small saucepan. Whisk in the water and vanilla. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium high heat, until the mixture comes to the boil, then reduce to low and cook at a simmer for two minutes.
  4. Press half of your crumb mixture into the baking dish. Top with the apples.  Pour the sauce mixture evenly over top of the apples.  Sprinkle the remaining crumbs over everything evenly.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 55 to 60 minutes until the apples are tender and the crumbs are golden brown. 
  6. Serve warm, spooned out and topped with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, if desired. Delicious!
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Mom's Best Apple Crisp

Some other Apple recipes I have cooked in the English Kitchen that you might enjoy are:

QUICK AND EASY APPLE TARTS - A delicious recipe for two that uses basically only four simple ingredients. Frozen puff pastry, one apple, some butter, and some brown sugar. There are also spices. These go together quickly and easily and are oh-so-tasty!  I also show you something delicious to do with the leftover pastry.

POOR MAN'S APPLE PIE - I strongly suspect this old, old recipe was born out of need. Layers of sliced apple cornflakes, brown sugar and butter. What can ever be wrong with that! The fact that it is also quite delicious is a bonus!

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  1. Interesting variation. Mine is just plain sliced apples on the bottom - no sugary sauce, and the crumble on top... I'm going to try it this way with so many apples about right now. We now have a giant apple producer here now - Irishview farm - and it just closed but not before I got a lot of Honeycrisp and Gala's. I usually use Cortland for mine but am going to try Honeycrisp - thanks!

    1. I hope you enjoy it Linda! I predict that you will! Honeycrisp is a lovely choice! How blessed you are to have an apple producer so near! oxox

  2. Like Linda, I've only every made this with apples on the base (we sometimes softened them for 5 minutes in a saucepan with a little water or apple juice) then put the oat crumble topping on them. But I'm always up for trying something new! Mine needs to be served with Mary Berry's proper custard. I can't get my head around ice cream on a hot dessert, but my husband begs to differ.

    Lots of fresh apples around at the moment, so this will be made in the coming week. Yum!

    1. Oh yes, custard is a great go with! I hope you enjoy this Marie. I predict that you will! xoxo

  3. What a brilliant idea! I just learned how to make my favorite dessert even better!

    1. Thanks Jeanie! I can promise you it is very good! xoxo

  4. Thanks for the great recipe. I actually made it tonight. I love vanilla ice cream on top.

    1. I am so pleased you enjoyed this! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience with us! xoxo


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