Judy’s Crunchy and Juicy Apple Crisp (Passover too)

Make this delicious apple crisp- it’s so much easier than making pie! 

I developed this recipe because I wanted to have an easy alternative to baking an apple pie.  I probably make this dessert recipe for holidays and special occasions more than any other because it’s so easy to make, and it is an absolute crowd pleaser.

for the topping:

  • 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) frozen unsalted butter (substitute margarine for a pareve dessert)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

for the filling:

  • 10 very large apples (Rome, Winesap, Granny Smith, or a mixture of those)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar, depending on the tartness of the apples
  • 2 tablespoons flour (or matzo cake meal during Passover)
  • 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice (preferably fresh or Minute Maid frozen from concentrate)
  • 1 teaspoon  cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Generously grease the sides and bottom of a large oval, round, or  9 x 13 x 2 in. rectangular ceramic or glass baking dish with butter or margarine.

For the topping,  combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor; pulse a few times.  Take the butter out of the freezer, and cut it into small cubes.  Put the butter into the flour mixture in the bowl of the food processor.  Pulse until the mixture looks like coarse meal.  Put the topping in a bowl covered with plastic wrap or a plastic container and refrigerate until you are ready to bake the crisp.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. For the filling, peel and slice the apples.  Cut them into thinnish, irregularly shaped slices or chunks into a large mixing bowl.  Sprinkle the lemon juice over the apples and mix gently with a rubber spatula.  Then sprinkle the cinnamon, sugar, and the flour over the apples, and toss together gently.

Pour the apple filling mixture into the prepared baking dish.  Take the topping out of the refrigerator.  Flatten the top of the fruit out as much as possible.  Sprinkle the topping evenly on top of the apples.  Then sprinkle with cinnamon.  Bake the crisp for about 35-40 minutes until it starts to bubble around the edges.  The syrup around the edges will look a little caramelized.  Serve right from the oven or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream.

Note:  You can make the topping a few days in advance and refrigerate it until you’re ready to use it.  You can also make the filling in advance, put it in your greased baking dish, wrap it well with freezer wrap or heavy duty aluminum foil and freeze it for a few weeks or up to 2 months.  When you are ready to serve it, take it right from the freezer, sprinkle the topping over it, and bake it.  I would not recommend freezing it with the topping, because the topping will get soggy from any ice that may accumulate on it. 

Topping For Passover:

2 cups matzo meal

2 sticks butter

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar packed

3/4 cup pecans

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt 

Process all in food processor, nuts last.