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The Divinest Apple Crisp Ever

divine apple crisp

So, I have found the perfect apple crisp recipe! My favorite apple crisp for years has only been a distant memory. A memory, of all things, the apple crisp served with hot lunch at school when I was a kid. It had a perfect crispy, sugary topping atop the succulent apples.  My perfect apple crisp does not have any of those blasphemous oats in it.  I know many people love an apple crisp with an oatmeal topping and it can make a good apple crisp, but not a divine one. So, my search went on for years….

serve it up!

Imagine my delight when my friend, Paige, came to a gathering armed with her fabulous apple crisp. She’d had a little run in about apple crisp with her mother earlier in the day. She’d told her mom she was going to try an apple crisp recipe by Paula Deen made with oatmeal.  Her mother, wise as she is, told her “Why would you want to make Paula Deen’s recipe when our family makes the best apple crisp?” Paige succumbed to her mother’s wisdom and made the best apple crisp ever, to my ever grateful delight.  I have doubled her recipe, because one 9×9 pan is just not enough. Also, Paige’s mother says you must slice the apples very thin so they cook really well. Obey her.


The Divinest Apple Crisp

Minugh Family secret recipe


  • 8 peeled and thinly sliced apples (Paige uses half granny smiths and half golden delicious)
  • 1 1/2 cup/ 2 cups sugar
  • 4 t. cinnamon
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter

Cooking Directions:

  1. Combine apples, 1 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon. Arrange in a 9x13 baking pan.
  2. Blend together (I use a pastry blender, but you can use your hands) the 2 cups sugar, flour and butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over the apples.
  3. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes.
  4. Paige says to serve it with vanilla ice cream and enjoy!

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{ 22 comments… add one }

  • Joan Robinett Wilson May 2, 2017, 12:35 pm


  • Lisa T March 23, 2017, 4:34 pm

    Finally!! I was in the mood to bake today. I was going to bake oatmeal cookies but remembered I had some apples & decided Apple Crisp would be better. My mom always made her apple crisp without the oats & I loved it!! Especially the topping!! I asked my mom for her recipe & she uses a 1/2 c of brown sugar, 1 c of flour & 1 c of butter for her topping. And uses Brown sugar w/ the apples as well. It is very yummy!! Thanks for your recipe for those of us who prefer no oats in the topping!?

  • Pamela McDonald April 10, 2016, 11:31 pm

    I grew up in Canada and we used McIntosh Apples for our apple crisp which really gave it a sweet-tart taste and being a self taught chef for many years I picked up a few ways to add some zing to your apple crisp and a couple various ideas as mentioned is to mulch the oatmeal but to a course consistency and I add roasted or ground Saigon Cinnamon which has a deep rich flavor 5 times more powerful than regular cinnamon. The other is to mulch up a 3.5 Oz bag of Honey Roasted Pecan or Almond pieces (they are both incredible) and lastly some fresh lemon zest which just enhances your palette and takes away that that gummy taste. Remember use a little less flour if you don’t want your crisp to be hard and overly chewy and add 1/2 dark brown sugar and 1/2 white sugar to infuse a more caramel note to your crispness. I serve mine with homemade vanilla bean ice cream that you do not have to use a ice cream maker to prepare. Contact me if you would like both recipes!

  • Joan Robinett Wilson November 1, 2014, 12:17 pm

    great, I’m glad you liked it….not everyone has a sweet tooth like me :)

  • RC October 27, 2014, 4:42 pm

    This is soo yummy! I did cut back on the sugar by a 1/2 a cup in each part and it is a hit !

  • Joan Robinett Wilson October 16, 2014, 3:31 pm

    Yes, it is very, very sweet! I hope you like it with less sugar :)

  • Pat October 14, 2014, 3:18 pm

    I made this yesterday. I love the concept of this dessert, but it is way to sweet for me and my husband. I’m going make this again. I will cut the amount of sugar in both the apple mixture and topping.

  • Joan Robinett Wilson September 30, 2014, 8:11 pm

    Thanks for the comment, Marianne!

  • Marianne September 28, 2014, 11:36 am

    Thank you! I just found you while searching for a no-oats apple crisp, and we agree on our favorite memory. I too, always loved and tried to replicate the divine apple crisp served with our school lunches! You must be my sister from another life! LOL THANKS SO MUCH!

  • Joan Robinett Wilson December 2, 2013, 2:31 pm

    great! I hope it worked out :)

  • Janis November 27, 2013, 2:57 am

    I have been looking for an apple crisp recipe without oatmeal. I have always made the topping with oatmeal and have even thought of grinding it up first. But I will say I am making your recipe of apple crisp without oatmeal. Looks great and this will be one of our Thanksgiving desserts.

  • Joan Robinett Wilson October 3, 2013, 2:17 pm

    Thanks so much for the healthy hint!I’ll try it out!

  • Lissa Gilson September 26, 2013, 12:13 pm

    I adore a good oatmeal, love a great oatmeal cookie…and, cannot tolerate the chewy ickiness of apple crisp with oatmeal. Apple crisp is, by definition CRISPY! Thus, I have, much to my families delight, found a way to use oats, without it being gross.

    Grind oats in the blender until it turns into coarse flour. All the oat ‘bits’ should be flour; be careful however, it is possible to over-blend the oats. When they get kind of damp and won’t fall out of the blender, you’ve gone too far.
    Use half the reg flour, and half the oat flour – still buttery, still crunchy…and your kids won’t have a clue it’s healthier!

  • architect mom November 7, 2012, 11:47 am

    Thanks for your comment..I’ll give it one more try :)

  • Marjie November 7, 2012, 11:45 am

    Give it a good try….then let me know. Thanks.

  • Marjie November 7, 2012, 11:44 am

    Hi…I was born and raised in the apple state of Michigan. My dad actually was the best apple crisp creator and we enjoyed coming home from school and the house would have that heavenly scent of fresh baked apple crisp.
    Now I know there are tons of recipes out there and we all think ours is the best…but I wanted to comment to the Oatmeal part. Please try this ingredient. It is healthy and provides a deeper level of “crispness” . My sisters and I always use oatmeal…in fact, just using sugar, butter and flour is very sweet and shall I say…it’s missing the essence of the crisp.
    I have tried this type of apple crisp before and I will not go back…oatmeal is the way to go. And to all of you nay Sayers

  • architect mom November 2, 2012, 7:34 pm

    I will try that, because I do like oatmeal in general, just not as my apple crisp topping! Sounds intriguing – can you make oat flour by grinding up oatmeal?

  • Cami November 2, 2012, 6:04 pm

    Well, maybe you don’t like oatmeal, but have you even ground it into flour? You could try this recipe, with oat flour instead of regular flour. I don’t know what it is about oat flour. IT IS AMAZING!!!! promise.

  • architect mom September 24, 2012, 9:14 pm

    I think it’s all wrong,too! Thanks for commenting & I hope the apple crisp turned out divine :)

  • Clare September 24, 2012, 8:07 am

    My Mother NEVER made Apple Crisp with oatmeal. I really hate that chewy consistency. It’s just all wrong. I have an old Paula Deen cookbook somewhere in the house and her original recipe doesn’t have oatmeal. I don’t know why she changed it. Maybe it’s “in” to use oatmeal now.

    Thanks for posting this recipe. I’m making it tonight.

  • architect mom January 17, 2012, 11:03 am

    thanks- I will update the recipe from the expert!

  • Paige Elwell January 17, 2012, 10:53 am

    For this Apple Crisp, I use 4 Granny Smith apples and 4 Golden Delicious apples for a total of 8 apples. This is the perfect combination of tart and sweet apples and both are perfect for baking. This is a tip from my sister, Wendy, who is the most wonderful baker ever. Also, a tip from my Grandma Ida – – – she used McIntosh apples and they are wonderful for baking as well.
    Joan — I love you!
    Happy baking
    Paige Minugh-Elwell

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