My Favorite Apple Crisp

Apple crisps have always had my number.  And there are a zillion and one recipes out there for them, I’m well aware.  But I honestly can’t recall a single apple crisp that I didn’t like.

My husband’s a different story, however.

We were married in September, so apple season was in high gear during our first month together.  So I set up to do what I knew best with apples.  Make my favorite apple crisp, of course.  As I was peeling apples, I asked Blake if he liked apple crisp.  It was small talk, really.  Because I was just asking a question I was sure I knew the answer to.  I mean, who doesn’t like warm homemade apple crisp with a scoop of vanilla ice cream?!  But his exact words were, “I’ve never been a fan.”

Hmmmm…who was this man I just married, I wondered.

But there was no turning back, in both marriage and apple crisp.  So I just peeled more apples for my favorite apple crisp.  I knew deep down that I could eat the whole thing by myself if that’s what it came down to.

Lucky for my waistline, that time never came.  Because I had company at the apple crisp pan.  He likey!  And it wasn’t just a polite newlywed reaction.  If you know Blake at all, he says what he means, and means what he says.  I knew his approval of my favorite apple crisp was for real.

If you’re wondering what is so persuasive about this particular apple crisp, it’s all about the topping.  It’s just plain heftier and crunchier than most.  There’s a nice ratio of ingredients that includes a bit of baking powder to add a little bulk, plus a lightened texture.  No flimsy oats topping here.

So what can I say?  That day, my husband became a fan of my favorite apple crisp.

My Favorite Apple Crisp

Yield: 12-15 servings


for the apple filling:

  • 2 T. all-purpose flour
  • 3 T. sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 8 c. peeled and sliced apples – I like Haralson apples, sliced about 1/2" thick

for the topping:

  • 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 c. rolled oats (not quick cooking oats)
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 c. butter, softened to room temperature (do not melt)


Preheat oven to 375°.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar and cinnamon with the sliced apples. Place in a 9'' x 13'' pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together the first five topping ingredients. Add butter and cut in with a fork or pastry cutter until you have large pea-size crumbs. Sprinkle over the apples. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the topping is nicely browned and some of the apple juices are bubbling through the topping. This is best on the day it is made, especially when it is still a bit warm. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Adapted slightly from “Cooking Cousins, A Treasury of Recipes from Braun-German Tradition”, recipe from Marlene Le Clair Brandenburger.

Braun-German cookbook (printed 1984)

This is one big family cookbook!  And this is where I’m from.  My dad was born of a long line of Braun-German descendants.  That line is longer than long, really.  To give you a little perspective of my generation of this line, when our family celebrated my Great Grandpa Braun’s 90th birthday in 1985, he had 97 great grandchildren. Isn’t that fantastic?!  And mind boggling?!  Wahooooooo!!

Grandma Klein, Dad, Great Grandpa & Grandma Braun, 1985


22 Responses to “My Favorite Apple Crisp”

  1. #
    Mom — October 11, 2010 at 8:38 am

    Your Dad and I love this apple crisp too! When we left the farm four years ago we thought we were done with apple trees, but not so. We missed going out to pick a crisp, sweet apple right off the tree, so this spring we planted one in the back yard. Now for the waiting—!

    • farmgirl replied on October 11th, 2010 at 8:57 pm

      Can’t wait to pick from your new tree, Mom & Dad!

  2. #
    Staci — October 11, 2010 at 8:42 am

    I can’t wait to try this. My favorite part of apple crisp is a crunchy topping–I just throw in apples for the fun of it. Thanks for sharing your story!

    • farmgirl replied on October 11th, 2010 at 8:59 pm

      Hi Staci, I’m so glad us two SD girls got introduced today – thanks for stopping by!

  3. #
    Cheryl — October 11, 2010 at 10:42 am

    LOVE this post! Will be trying the apple crisp this week. Love the family photo too.

    • farmgirl replied on October 11th, 2010 at 9:03 pm

      Oh yay!! Makes me wonder what apple varieties you have over there? And, yes, that last photo is a very special one. :-)

  4. #
    Paula — October 11, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    I love apple crisp and have only baked my MIL’s recipe. This is one I will definitely try. It looks wonderful and the crunchy topping is what is enticing me!

    Your Great-Grampa certainly looks fit & healthy at 90 in the picture. WOW!

  5. #
    farmgirl — October 11, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    Hi Paula! Please let me know how this compares to your MIL’s recipe. I would love to try the recipe you use, too! Yep, my Great Grandpa was something else. I am so blessed to have memories of him and my Great Grandma. His signature was Juicy Fruit gum. He was NEVER without a pack in his pocket, to share with everyone.

  6. #
    Amanda — October 13, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    Adoring your blog… everything is wonderful!!

    • farmgirl replied on October 14th, 2010 at 8:37 pm

      Thank you so much, Amanda!

  7. #
    Renae — October 22, 2010 at 1:08 am

    That is THE best cookbook! I am jealous I was born a year too late! haha :)
    This is my grandma’s recipe! I think it’s about time she made it again… Yum!

    • farmgirl replied on October 22nd, 2010 at 8:08 am

      Hi Renae – well, having just met you this week, and now knowing it’s your grandma’s recipe…all I can say is, wow, this is fun!!

  8. #
    Jessica — October 27, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    Jonah hadn’t been to Hoversten’s Apple Orchard yet this year, so we decided to go last Friday when he arrived home from school…one last time before the end of the season… We played with the puppies and picked apples…Haralsons!!! We left with 20+ pounds. I made two batches of this apple crisp this week…one for home and one for work… Everyone loved it!

    Yeah, and I love the picture too! I can remember it being taken!!!

    • farmgirl replied on October 28th, 2010 at 1:41 pm

      Your little apple orchard is so dang quaint – wish we had one like that, without all the commercialization. Yay for Haralsons!! Glad your family enjoyed the apple crisp and that you shared with all your work friends!

  9. #
    Jessica — October 2, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    This is now officially my “go-to” apple crisp recipe!

    • farmgirl replied on October 5th, 2011 at 9:19 pm

      Yay! :)

  10. #
    Elyse — October 2, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Ohh my this looks amazing!

  11. #
    Gabriela — November 2, 2014 at 9:07 pm

    I tried this tonight. It tasted delicious but was not at all crispy….more like a french apple pie. I followed the directions exactly….any suggestions?

    • Brenda replied on November 10th, 2014 at 6:20 pm

      I really don’t know what to tell you, Gabriela. I’ve made this recipe too many times to count and always have a crispy topping. Was your butter at room temperature (not melted), so you got pieces of crumble for the topping, at least the size of peas?


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