Lucinda's Apple Crisp

Serves 4 to 6
Satisfy his sweet tooth with a big, bubbling pan of a buttery, crisp-topped fruit dessert. If you’re pie-shy, try this first. There’s a lot of room for variation, and it doesn’t require precision for success. Sliced fruit—pears or any type of stone fruit such as peach, plum, or nectarine work well—fills a buttered baking dish, and a quick topping is sprinkled on before it bakes. Oats and nuts in the topping make this a reasonably healthy dessert, too.



  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of ground cloves


  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 apples, 2 tart and 2 sweet
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces


  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, light or dark
  • 1/4 cup walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Position a rack in the center of the oven.
2. To prepare the fruit, place the lemon juice in a large bowl. Peel, core, and cut the apples into 1/2-inch wedges, tossing the pieces in the lemon juice as they are cut, to prevent browning.
3. To the apples, add the granulated sugar, cinnamon, and flour. Toss to combine and pour into a buttered 8-by-8-inch square or oval baking pan. Scatter the butter on top.
4. Make the topping in the same bowl. Combine the oats, brown sugar, nuts, flour, salt, and optional spices. Cut in the butter using a pastry blender, a fork, or two knives. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the fruit and bake on the center rack for 40 to 45 minutes, until the topping is dark golden and the apples are bubbling. Cool slightly on a wire cooling rack. Scoop out with a large spoon to serve in bowls.

cook's note
Variations: For a pear version of this dish, use four or five Bosc pears. Switch lemon juice for lime, omit the cinnamon, and double the ginger in the topping. For peaches or nectarines, peel and slice 6 pieces of fruit, and toss in orange juice instead of lemon. Add 1 teaspoon of orange zest to the topping and increase the flour to 1/4 cup.
Need help with the ingredients? Check our pantry list: