Bea's No-Peel Apple Crisp

November 14, 2014


Author Notes: This is your rabbit-from-a-hat when you have no time to make a "proper" pie -- or if you are scared silly of making pie crust in the first place. But this is no second best; it’s a star in its own right and far better than most apple pies! I leave the skins on the apples, as my mother did, because they add flavor and body to the filling.

Choose apples from the farmers market or get the produce guy in your market to let you sample before buying. If you include some red apples, the filling will have a gorgeous rosy hue. In a hurry? Skip the dried apricots and orange zest and juice (as my daughter used to do in college). The crisp is terrific warm or at room temperature, but it is especially flavorful cold -- even after two or three or four days in the fridge. I know this because I make multiple recipes the day before Thanksgiving every year, also as my mother always did, so we can eat apple crisp after as many meals as possible (and before bed for as many days as possible).

Whipped cream is always nice, but not essential.
Alice Medrich

Serves: 6 to 8

Ingredients

For the topping:

  • 1/2 cup (65 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (45 grams) rolled oats
  • 1 cup (85 grams) coarsely chopped walnut pieces
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar
  • 5 tablespoons (70 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

For the filling:

  • Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 1/4 cup (70 grams) dried apricots, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 to 1/4 cups (50 to 100 grams) sugar, depending on the tartness of the apples 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 medium crisp, flavorful apples with a decent balance of sweetness and acidity (I like Pippins, Sierra Beauties, Pink Ladies, and new-crop Jonathans, or a mixture)
In This Recipe

Directions

  1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350° F (176° C).
  2. To make the topping: Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Set aside.
  3. To make the filling: Combine the orange zest, juice, and chopped apricots in a small bowl. Let the apricots soften while you prepare the apples.
  4. Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl. Quarter and core the apples. Cut each quarter into 3 to 4 chunks. Toss the apples with the sugar and cinnamon. Stir in the apricots and juice.
  5. Scrape the mixture into a 2-quart baking dish about 2 inches deep and spread it evenly. Distribute the crumbly topping evenly over the apples. Bake for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours until the crisp is well browned on top and the juices are bubbling and thickened when you tilt the dish. (If your apples were a bit dry, you may not see any juices towards the end of the baking time; if so, the well-browned topping is your cue to doneness.) Serve warm or cold.

More Great Recipes:
Cobbler/Crumble|Fruit|Apricot|Winter|Christmas|Thanksgiving|Fall|Dessert

Reviews (25) Questions (1)

25 Reviews

susie1967 December 2, 2017
Tasty and simple to make recipe (particularly because of not having to peel the apples). Definitely a keeper!<br /><br />As suggested by others I added some spices to the crisp mix (cinnamon and ginger) and used a combination of brown and raw sugar. I have just a couple of other comments/suggestions:<br />- I didn't melt the butter, but rubbed it in with my fingers as I have always done when making what a 'crumble', and it worked beautifully<br />- I cut back a bit on the sugar in the topping, and used the minimum amount suggested with the apples. Even so, the finished dish was still a bit sweeter than I would prefer and next time I'll try it without adding any sugar to the fruit, especially if using dried apricots<br /><br />As I said though, this is definitely a recipe to come back to.<br />
 
Lindsey P. November 10, 2017
I'd like to make this a bit in advance. Would it work to cook it and freeze it, or would be better to construct it, freeze it, and then cook it later (in which case, should I put it directly from freezer into the oven, or thaw first)? Or is it unadvisable to freeze this ahead of time for later cooking/eating? Thanks!
 
Rose M. July 5, 2017
Could raisins or dried cranberries be substituted for the apricots?
 
Windischgirl November 22, 2016
I use Earth Balance oil-based spreads when cooking for my vegan and non-dairy friends. Should work fine !
 
Anna November 22, 2016
Perfect! Thank you! :)
 
Anna November 22, 2016
Can't wait to make this recipe for Thanksgiving! Anyone know a good substitute for the butter in the topping? I'm an omnivore but am cooking for a mixed crowd, with a vegan friend included.
 
Olivia C. October 20, 2016
I made this recipe with some of the suggested alterations below and it turned out perfectly! For the filling, I subbed the orange juice for 1/4 cup apple cider. I also added 1tsp vanilla extract to the filling, and it smelled delicious!<br /><br />For the topping, I used brown sugar (although the recipe didn't specify the type of sugar, I assumed it called for white, granulated. I always prefer to use brown in crisp toppings). I also added 1tsp cinnamon and 1/4 tsp cardamom to spice things up. I used Cortland apples from our local orchard and they worked really well for this crisp. <br /><br />Thanks for the great recipe! I will definitely make this again. <br /><br />Thanks for the
 
LizCo77 December 2, 2015
This is awesome! I left out the apricots and took Drbabs suggestion of toasting the nuts and adding spices to the topping. Someone had gifted me a pile of mediocre apples that we're starting to get long in the tooth, so I ended up peeling them. Rave reviews!
 
Lynda S. October 5, 2015
Hello,<br />I don't understand the line where it gives the amount of sugar for the filling.
 
Coffeecat October 25, 2015
There is a formatting typo in the recipe - you use 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup sugar depending on the tartness of the apples. The 1 tsp cinnamon shoiuld be a new line - it’s a separate ingredient
 
Lynda S. October 25, 2015
thanks very much<br />
 
judy December 10, 2014
I never peel apples or potatoes (unless green). I love the skins. Red skins add a rosy tint to the applesauce or whatever. But I rarely even notice them and all the nutrients are in or just under the skin and I don't want to throw them away. I made this with lemon in place of the orange. and just about a 1/4 of a lemons<br /> juice and zest. I learned this from a German classmate in high school and have since used leon with spiced apples of any recipe. Nice apple crisp. Thanks
 
Julie W. November 25, 2014
What can you substitute for the flour to make it gluten -free? Love this as I hate peeling apples & you can make it a day before . Have been looking for the right apple crisp recipe for weeks.
 
durun99 December 1, 2014
I just made this with brown rice flour and it was terrific, but gluten development isn't crucial in this recipe so I imagine most nonwheat flours would work well.
 
drbabs November 24, 2014
OK, now I've made this for the second time. And I have some suggestions. First, toast the walnuts. Then, put about 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and about 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg into the topping mixture. The orange flavor profile in the original recipe is really nice, but we wanted it to taste more apple-y. So in place of the orange juice, I used 2-3 tablespoons of apple cider, and I added about 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg and a pinch of kosher salt to the apple mixture. Really great--in fact, I'm thinking of updating my tried and true apple pie recipe for Thanksgiving based on this recipe.
 
karencooks September 27, 2015
I've made this delicious apple crisp a few times as written. Will be making it again in a few weeks and I will follow your suggestions for toasting the walnuts, adding a little more spice, and substituting apple cider for the orange juice. Sounds just about perfect to me!!!
 
drbabs November 19, 2014
Oh my, this is delicious. And really forgiving--I used two pears in place of the apples, sliced almonds in place of the walnuts, and I only had about two tablespoons of butter, so I stirred a little water into the topping to get rid of the raw flour. It took an extra 15 minutes or so because of the water, but it's so good! (My dish is a 12" oval, and I baked it at 350.) Thank you for a great recipe!!
 
drbabs November 19, 2014
Oh, and I didn't have dried apricots, but did use the orange juice and zest….so good.
 
Jay F. November 18, 2014
What temperature?
 
Kristen M. November 24, 2014
Hi Jay -- sorry about the missing info. The recipe is updated now (and it's 350F).
 
Windischgirl November 18, 2014
People really peel the apples for Crisp? I can't recall the last time I did that; the peels are what give the crisp its beautiful color and seem to help the apples keep their shape. Time to make one!
 
valmmh November 17, 2014
What size pan?<br />
 
Kristen M. November 24, 2014
It should be a 2-quart baking dish about 2 inches deep.
 
Madeline W. November 17, 2014
This looks great! What temp should the oven be?<br />
 
Kristen M. November 24, 2014
Hi Madeline, it's 350F. Thanks!