This easy Caramel Apple Crisp has warm, sweet apples with cinnamon and caramel topped with a buttery, crisp oat struesel. Add some vanilla ice cream, and you’ve got the perfect fall dessert!
It’s pumpkin spice everything right about now, but let’s not forget about apples…crisp, sweet, tart, juicy apples…the fruit of fall! Besides just enjoying them as is, there are lots of things you can make with them. The first thing that comes to mind? For me, it’s apple crisp all the way!
Truth: I don’t really love pie. Weird, right? Now, don’t get me wrong. I will absolutely eat pie and enjoy it, but it’s not usually what I would pick first out of a line of desserts. Why? I’m not big on crust. Yep, I am one of those people that eats the pie filling and leaves the crust behind.
This is why I love this Caramel Apple Crisp. It’s apple pie filling sans crust! Plus, it’s got caramel (apples + caramel = pure joy) AND (the best part) a buttery, sugary, crisp oat streusel topping that makes it sooo much more delicious than any apple pie I’ve ever had!
The bonus is that it’s super easy to make – much easier than apple pie, in my opinion (especially if you make the crust from scratch) – and you only need a few simple ingredients that you probably already have on hand.
INGREDIENTS YOU NEED:
- All-purpose flour
- Old-fashioned rolled oats
- Brown sugar (dark or light)
- Lemon juice
- Caramel sauce
- Vanilla ice cream
For the caramel sauce, you can use your favorite homemade or store-bought sauce. I have used both, and either works really well. My hands-down favorite, though, is my Homemade Dulce De Leche (it’s the best caramel ever and is so easy to make in your slow cooker or Instant Pot).
HERE’S A QUICK LOOK AT HOW TO MAKE CARAMEL APPLE CRISP:
TIPS & TIDBITS:
- As far as the apples go, you can use any apple you like. Many people prefer using Granny Smiths or Golden Delicious, but I have used everything from good old McIntosh to some apples that I hadn’t ever heard of before (like Shizuka). When I made the recipe for the photos, I used a combination of Sun Crisp and Empire. All delicious! Use what you’ve got!
- When cutting the apples, you want to make sure that you slice them thin – I would say definitely no thicker than 1/4 inch. I actually cut them a little thinner – more like 1/8 inch. And make sure you cut them all the same size. You want them to cook evenly and relatively quickly so that they all get nice and soft and the topping doesn’t get overcooked.
- Use regular old-fashioned rolled oats and not quick-cooking oats. You want that texture from the rolled oats. Quick oats will get lost in the topping.
- You can assemble the apple crisp ahead of time (a few hours and up to a day), then cover and refrigerate until ready to bake. Keep in mind that you may need to bake it a little longer since it will be cold when you put it in the oven. I like to take my crisp out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes to take some of the chill off before baking.
- This crisp is definitely at it’s very best served slightly warm right out of the oven. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes, and then serve. That’s when the topping is at it most crisp. Now, that doesn’t mean it’s not good left over – because IT IS. The topping might be a little softer, but it won’t be any less delicious!
Now, as far as I’m concerned, vanilla ice cream is a must-have, not an option, when it comes to any apple crisp. There is just something about the creamy, cold ice cream mixed with those warm, soft, sweet apples and crisp topping that is just heavenly. Don’t skip it!
Oh, and a little extra caramel sauce on top never hurts either!
I hope you try this recipe for Caramel Apple Crisp and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!
Caramel Apple Crisp
OAT STREUSEL TOPPING:
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats, not quick oats
- ½ cup brown sugar, dark or light
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ cup cold butter, 1 stick, cut into small cubes
CARAMEL APPLE FILLING:
- 6 apples, any kind
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar, dark or light (I use dark)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ cup caramel sauce, homemade or store-bought, use your favorite
- 1½ cups vanilla ice cream
- additional caramel sauce for serving, optional
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
MAKE THE OAT STREUSEL TOPPING:
- In a medium bowl, combine the ½ cup flour, oats, ½ cup brown sugar, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, and the butter. Using a pastry blender (or two knives or you could even just use your fingers), combine the ingredients until crumbly and there are no longer any large chunks of butter. Place in the refrigerator while you assemble the caramel apple filling.
MAKE THE CARAMEL APPLE FILLING:
- Peel and core the apples; then thinly slice (I go about 1/8 inch thick – don't go more than 1/4 inch thick). You can keep the slices longer or cut them into smaller pieces. Place the apples in a large bowl.
- Add the 2 tablespoons flour, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and the lemon juice to the apples. Stir until well combined and all the apples are coated. Pour the apples into a baking dish (I use a 2-quart dish).
- Drizzle the caramel sauce evenly over the apples.
- Sprinkle the oat streusel topping evenly over the apples.
- Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until the apples are soft and bubbly and the topping is golden brown and crisp (note: it will get more crisp as it cools).
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
- Top each serving with vanilla ice cream (and additional caramel sauce, if desired).
- This apple crisp is best served warm fresh from the oven (this is when the topping is most crisp). Leftovers are still delicious, but the topping will be a bit softer.
- Store leftover apple crisp in an airtight container (or covered tightly with plastic wrap) in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.
- You can prepare the apple crisp a few hours and up to a day ahead of time before baking. Just cover and refrigerate. Keep in mind that you may need to bake it a little longer since it is cold. I like to take mine out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before baking to take the chill off.
- Estimated calories include the vanilla ice cream but do not include any additional caramel sauce.