If I had to list my top five favorite sweet treats, I could do it without hesitation.

Apple Crisp // Warm Vanilla Sugar

Ice cream + Apple Crumble + Butterscotch Pie + Rhubarb Pie + Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Done and done.

Apple Crisp // Warm Vanilla Sugar

But you see, it wasn’t until last year when Greg from Sippity Sup posted about apple crisp that I realized that what I had been calling “apple crisp” all these years, was in fact, an apple crumble. Whoa!


Terminology can be boring, but when desserts are involved I’m all ears!

If you’re interested, both crisps and crumbles have a streusel-like topping that gets baked until the fruit below gets cooked, but in a crumble, the streusel is usually a mix of oats, brown/white sugar, butter, and spices. An actual crisp, like the recipe I’m giving you today, is the same idea but without oats in the topping. This gives our apple crisp a topping more like a crumbled cookie crust.

Apple Crisp // Warm Vanilla Sugar

So there you have it! Classic apple crisp with lemony sugared apples and a crumbled cookie crust.

Apple Crisp // Warm Vanilla Sugar

Let’s just say that this was gone in two days.

It’s the freaking best!

Apple Crisp // Warm Vanilla Sugar

Have a great weekend everyone! It’s Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada, but I’m heading to Maine. What are you up to?

Classic Apple Crisp

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Serving Size: 6-9


    For the apple filling:
  • 6 apples (I used Honeycrisp)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 lemon, zest only
  • 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
  • For the crumble:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 cup cold unsalted butter, chopped into little cubes
  • 1 tbsp turbinado/raw sugar (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 8Γ—8-inch baking dish.
  2. Peel, core, and slice your apples and place them in a large mixing bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together 1/4 cup sugar, lemon juice and zest, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Add to the apples and mix well with a spatula or wooden spoon. Transfer the apples to the baking dish.
  4. Make the topping by placing the remaining 1 cup sugar, flour, cinnamon, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon of salt in a mixing bowl and whisk together. Add the cold butter and with either a wooden spoon or your hands (trust me, it's fun!) mix until everything is just starting to come together and the dough is smooth.
  5. Scoop up palm sized balls of the dough and flatten with your hands. Lay these discs on top of the apples. Cover the entire surface with the dough. Don't worry about gaps - they will allow steam to escape during baking. Sprinkle top with turbinado sugar.
  6. Bake until the crisp is browned and the apples are tender, about 1 hour. If the top gets too dark, cover it with aluminum foil.
  7. Let cool on a wire rack.


Recipe adapted from Sippity Sup via Tartine Bakery San Francisco


Tagged with →  

29 Responses to Classic Apple Crisp

  1. Ashley says:

    This looks so good! I love apple crisp this time of the year (especially with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream on top!)

  2. I was also totally calling my favorite dessert a crisp all these years when apparently, I guess it was a crumble! Oh well πŸ™‚ Thanks for the lesson…and this looks so delicious! I love hot fruit desserts with vanilla ice cream. Mmmmmm….

  3. Brianne says:

    Where in Maine are you heading? My brother and my father are flying in this weekend. My dad has never seen the ocean! I can’t wait to show him the Atlantic and feed him lots of lobster!! The colors here are beautiful now, too. We’ve been having a spectacular fall!

  4. Perfect, Katrina! How can you go wrong with something like this? I don’t think it’s possible. We have so many apples this year and I will be using some of them on this wonderful apple crisp, this afternoon. Travel safe, and happy Thanksgiving!!

  5. Call it what you want: if it looks this delicious, you bet I’m in! I need to try this πŸ™‚

  6. Thank you for introducing me to this. I have never heard of Apple Crisp before, it’s one to try on the weekend in place of the usual crumble.

  7. hahaha I call my apple crips a crips, but it might be a crumble… oops Oh well! Either way yours looks wonderful!

  8. I don’t know how I could stop with just a slice.
    Oh, how perfect with vanilla bean icecream. Perfect for fall.

  9. oh i had no idea about the difference – i always just assumed they were interchangable! so intruiged by the idea of a topping without oats though – i’m not an oats fan so i can’t WAIT to try this out. thank you so much for sharing, this is definitely in my top 5 desserts as well! πŸ™‚

    the hobbit kitchen x

  10. Joanne says:

    I feel like i”ve probably been misnaming crisps and crumbles my whole life!! Probably as penance, I should make this this weekend. Pay my dues.

  11. I feel like I’ve been deprived of a cookie crust for so many years. Thanks for clarifying the difference between a crumble and a crisp! πŸ™‚

  12. sippitysup says:

    YAY! Crisp beats the butt of Crumble. XOGREG

  13. Monet says:

    My goodness! Looks like I’ve been using the wrong terminology myself! I don’t think I’ve ever had an apple crisp before. This must change ASAP! Thank you for sharing. Looks and sounds just perfect!

  14. Kimberley says:

    Wait, really? All this time I had thought that crumbles were the softer, flour-based topping and crisps the nutty, oatier version. Regardless, I love apples in all incarnations this time of year.

  15. I have like a billion apples to deal with so thanks for an apple recipe!

  16. Nutmeg Nanny says:

    Apple crisp brings me back to my younger years πŸ™‚ this looks delicious!

  17. looks so yummy!! i so want a taste!!

  18. One of my favorite dessert! Great pics, my dear.

  19. Eeeek! I just learned something~haha. You can never have too much knowledge when it comes to baking and sweet treats πŸ˜‰ This looks delicious and if I had to pick 5 of my fave desserts I would have a hard time.

  20. Thanks for settling the crisp vs. crumble question… to be honest, I always thought they were kinda interchangeable. Now I know better! I live in Paris and I can’t say that I’ve ever seen any honey crisp apples. Would Granny Smith, Gala or Pink Lady apples do the trick? Thanks!

  21. This looks just so delicious. I was going to make tarte tatin for lunch today but might have to revise that and go with Apple Crisp!

  22. Jenny @ BAKE says:

    this crisp looks incredible! perfect for autumn!

  23. Happy Thanksgiving! My husband is Canadian as well so we get to celebrate it down here in CA, this recipe looks delicious!

  24. Amber says:

    Can’t wait to try this yummy! It looks totally perfect!

  25. Heather says:

    Oh my this is such a BEAUTIFUL thing- you are a genius!

  26. Terminology between countries can be confusing … I guess what I’ve been calling a crumble all of these years is actually a crisp?? But whatever it is called, I think an apple crumble/crisp would have to be one of my favourite comfort foods ever. I like to add vanilla sugar in my crumble toppings … something you might like too πŸ˜‰

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *