The Best Apple Crisp EVER!! SERIOUSLY!

By Jessica Sanders

Yes, I'm a fan of hyperbole. Yes, I realize that apple crisp in general is pretty delicious. But this - this was out of this world. Otherworldly. Ridonkulous. Addictive. I'll stop with the adjectives. I had a bunch of apples in my pantry from an apple picking adventure with friends and they were begging to be made into a crisp (the apples, not my friends). But I didn't want just any apple crisp - I wanted something special. And easy. Those things do not have to be mutually exclusive, BTW. This skillet apple crisp recipe from America's Test Kitchen showed up in my inbox (if you haven't already, sign up for their emails - free recipes!) and I figured I'd give it a try. Sometimes apple crisps can be mushy, or not have a really pronounced apple flavor, or the crisp isn't crispy enough - let's just say the brilliant minds at ATK have this all figured out. This thing was INCREDIBLE. I could not stop eating it - and neither could anyone else who tried it. All of us were going back for seconds - literally standing over the crisp with spoons and going to town (hey, we're all friends). My friend, who said, "Apple crisp is my favorite thing in the world!" loved it. Friends who said, "I don't really want to eat this" went back for seconds. YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS. Like, right now. It's simple, it's delicious, it's warm and comforting, it's the perfect fall dessert. Aaaaaaand now I want more of it. We demolished most of it, but I sent what was left home with the apple-crisp-loving friend, because that's just how much I love her. But there are a few apples left in my pantry, and I think a 1/4 or halved recipe will be underway soon....


The Best Apple Crisp Ever

barely adapted from America's Test Kitchen

serves 8



  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup pecans, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp table salt
  • 8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 lbs firm, sweet, crisp apples (I used a mix of Golden Delicious, Fuji, and Honeycrisp), peeled, cored, halved, and cut into 1/2" wedges
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • juice from half a lemon
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • Adjust your oven rack to the center of the oven, and preheat to 450 degrees. Make the topping: in a medium bowl combine the flour, pecans, oats, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the melted butter until evenly coated and combined - you'll get a crumbly, buttery topping. Try not to eat ALL OF IT. This will be challenging. Set aside.
  • Make the filling: Toss the apple wedges, sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl until the apples are evenly coated. In a small saucepan (or in a 12" skillet, if you have one), bring the cider to a simmer and reduce to 1/2 cup - this will take about 7 minutes. Transfer the reduced cider to a small bowl, add the lemon juice, stir and set aside.
  • In a large saute pan over medium heat (or the skillet, if you're using it), melt the butter. Add the apples and cook, stirring frequently, until apples just start to soften, about 8 minutes (this may take longer depending on how thickly you sliced your apple wedges). Remove the pan from heat and stir in the reduced cider, gently tossing the apples in the cider until evenly coated. 
  • If you're using a skillet, sprinkle the topping mixture evenly over the top of the apples in the pan and bake until the top is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling, about 15-20 minutes. If you're using a baking dish, transfer the cooked apples to a 9x9 baking dish and sprinkle with the topping, then bake for about 20-25 minutes (until the top is golden brown and the apples are bubbling). Cool on a wire rack for about 10-15 minutes (if you can wait that long - I may or may not have burned my mouth on a hot apple) and serve warm. Or at room temperature. Or cold - it really doesn't matter. It's good no matter how you serve it! Top with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream if desired - but I think it's good all by itself. Mmmmm.
A friend made this and had a few notes for me - if you overbake the crisp, the apples will get mushy. There will be a lot of liquid when you first take the crisp out of the oven (from all that cider), but as it cools the liquid should thicken up and set a bit. If you're worried about mushy apples, slice the apples a bit thicker, cook them a bit less in the saute pan, and bake them a bit longer once the crisp is in the oven. 


So good - so unbelievably good. Just looking at the photos right now is making me crave it all over again. It was so good....





One bowl just wasn't enough...