Crisps are a wonderful, quick, and easy dessert to learn when you first start out cooking. They are very adaptable to most any type of fruit you have in your kitchen. I love making them with all sorts of fruits including berries, stone fruits (peaches, plums, nectarines), and, of course, apples. Apple has to be one of the most popular types of crisp and with good reason. There is something so comforting about a nice thick filling of apples with a crunchy topping. It’s easy to make a very fattening and calorie dense crisp, but that doesn’t have to be the case. This recipe cuts the butter and sugar in half without sacrificing the flavor. I love the addition of maple syrup instead of granulated sugar or brown sugar. It adds a nice sweetness to the apples without being cloyingly sweet. I like to thicken the filling with a little cornstarch or clear jel. Clear jel is a wonderful product for crisps and pies. It thickens fillings without being cloudy. It’s a great thing to keep in your pantry. If you don’t have cornstarch or clear jel, flour works too, just double the amount. Flour doesn’t have the same thickening capabilities.
Apple Crisp (A Slightly Lightened Version)
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup oats (old-fashioned)
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup walnuts, chopped (these are optional)
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- ¼ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
For the Filling
- 6 large granny smith apples, peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 Tbsp. fresh orange juice
- 6 Tbsp. pure maple syrup mixed with 1 Tbsp. Clear Jel or Cornstarch
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- ½ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F with the rack in the center of the oven. Spray an 8×8 baking pan with a little cooking spray and set aside.
In a large bowl combine the sliced apples and with the fresh orange juice. Toss to coat the apples. Add the maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg, toss to combine. Set aside.
In a medium bowl combine the brown sugar, oats, flour, and cinnamon. Add the butter. Using a pastry knife cut the butter into the mixture until it starts to create crumbles. You can also use your hands at this point. When the crumble begin to form at the walnuts and stir to combine.
Place the apples in the baking dish and top with the crisp topping. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes or until the crisp is golden brown and the filling is bubbly.