Pepper's Can't-Fail Apple Crisp

Who doesn't like apple crisp? I haven't met a person yet who doesn't love this recipe.
It's easy, too--and has a great fall feeling that's perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
Author: pepperauthor
Cost: $11 (plus $4 for ice cream or whipped cream)


  • Prep a 1.5-2 quart baking dish by lightly buttering it


  • 6 large, crisp Granny Smith apples may substitute any crisp, firm, tart apple
  • 1 C white sugar, divided into two half-cup portions
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground clove
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (optional) reduces browning of apples before cooking
  • 3/4 C all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 6 tbsp butter, softened


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter the baking dish.
  • Peel, core, and slice the apples into a large bowl. Take care to make sure slices are similar in size.
  • Mix in one half-cup of the sugar, the spices, and the lemon juice.
  • Pour the apples into the greased casserole dish.
  • Combine the remaining sugar, flour and the butter until crumbly, using a pastry cutter. (If you don't have a pastry cutter, use two butter knifes or just work the dough (quickly, so butter doesn't melt!) with your fingers.
  • Spread the crumbled butter and flour mixture over the apples. Bake in a 350-degree (preheated) oven for about 45 minutes, until the apples are tender, the topping is brown, and you can smell the delicious apples and their spices!


This recipe is featured in Betty's Snickerdoodles & More, a free download.
This is it: the be-all, end-all of New England fall desserts. (At least according to me!)
When I was a child, I’d go apple picking with my grandmother. Afterwards, we’d work together on a delicious crisp to share with the rest of the family. If I close my eyes, it’s like I can experience again the coolness of the fall air on my cheek and the intoxicating smells of apple cider and apple desserts, their fall spices bringing the flavor of fresh apples to life.
I still miss my grandmother, even though it’s been decades since we had our last orchard excursion. I think she’d be proud, though, that I’ve learned a few tricks to fine-tune our favorite recipe. Like using Granny Smith apples exclusively. (Their bright tartness plays perfectly with the white sugar and spices.) And not to worry about adding lemon juice to keep the apples from browning if you don’t have any on hand. The crisp will bake up just fine without it.
This dessert is the most foolproof recipe I’ve ever tried. Everyone, it seems, loves a good apple crisp. Served warm, with vanilla ice cream, I challenge anyone to come up with something more irresistible!
Over the years, some people have told me they prefer to add nuts to the crisp topping. If I were a Southerner and not a New Englander, I would simply say, “Bless their hearts.”