All call for the apple haul! It’s that time of year to take advantage of sweet, crisp apples. This Crock Pot Apple Crisp won’t require you to turn on your oven, is an easy way to make dessert for a crowd, and any leftovers are excellent topped with yogurt for breakfast the next day (trust me!).
Without fail, every apple season, I go bonkers at the orchard.
It’s as if the moment I step into the rows of apple trees, I temporarily forget that I am feeding a household of two, not a family of fruit bats.
Bring on the surplus!
Apples have a good shelf life.
Plus, my friends who often apple pick alongside me have come to count on me showing up with a great big apple dessert.
It would be a pity to let them down.
Today’s simple slow cooker apple crisp is laced with cinnamon and ginger, sweetened with maple syrup, and has a generous, buttery oat topping, just as any good crisp should.
You can make this apple crisp with any mix of baking apples.
Take a look at what’s available near you and embrace the apple craze.
How to Make Crock Pot Apple Crisp
The most challenging part of making a crisp in a crock pot is getting the topping crispy.
Fortunately, I learned a thing or two from this Slow Cooker Triple Berry Crisp and have you covered.
Your topping will be golden, glorious, and worthy of the name “crisp” indeed!
- Apples. You can use a single variety of sweet, crisp apples (Honeycrisp is my go-to) or a mix. Just make sure that the apples are a good variety for baking, or your crisp will turn out watery.
- Pure Maple Syrup. Provides rich, caramel-like natural sweetness that pairs wonderfully with the apples and spices.
- Cornstarch. Helps thicken the apple mixture to ooey-gooey perfection.
- Lemon Zest + Juice. Adds a tasty pop of freshness while also keeping the apples from turning brown.
- Spices. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger are the warm, cozy spices this apple crisp needs to truly shine.
- Oats. Oats are what make a crisp a crisp, not a crumble or a cobbler. They also give this recipe a certain homeyness and are key to the topping’s crispy texture.
- Flour. To create big, yummy clumps of topping (YES, you want this), this slow cooker apple crisp is made with flour, in addition to the oats. To make this slow cooker apple crisp healthy (or at least healthier!), I used white whole wheat flour for the whole grain boost.
- Butter. Not only does butter make our topping extra rich and delicious, but it also helps it get brown and crispy.
- Sugar. Brown sugar and granulated sugar add scrumptious sweetness to the crisp topping.
- Peel and cut the apples.
- Add them to the slow cooker.
- Add the remaining filling ingredients.
- Stir and spread everything into an even layer.
- For the topping, stir the dry ingredients together.
- Stir in the melted butter.
- Sprinkle the mixture over the filling.
- Lay a towel over the top of the slow cooker, then place the lid on top.
- Cook on high for 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours or on low for 5 to 7 hours. Serve with toppings and ENJOY!
- To Store. Refrigerate apple crisp in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
- To Reheat. Gently rewarm leftovers in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F or in the microwave.
- To Freeze. Freeze apple crisp in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Meal Prep Tip
Did you know crisp topping is freezer-friendly? Mix up the topping and freeze it in a ziptop bag. Anytime you are craving crisp, scatter it over your fruit and bake.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Slow Cooker. This one is ideal for crock pot apple crisp.
- Apple Corer. A simple way to remove the apple cores.
- Mixing Bowls. A set of mixing bowls are a kitchen must-have.
Frequently Asked Questions
While both recipes utilize toppings, apple crisp is not the same as apple crumble. An apple crumble topping typically does not include oats or nuts, making it more dense than an apple crisp topping.
Absolutely! Make sure to use certified gluten free rolled oats and swap a 1:1 baking blend for the flour. Or, you can try this Gluten Free Apple Crisp, which is made with almond flour.
If your apple crisp turns out watery, you likely used a soft variety of apple that isn’t suitable for baking, such as McIntosh. See “The Best Apples for Baking” above for suggestions of crisp apples that won’t let off so much liquid.
Also, make sure you use enough cornstarch. To substitute flour for cornstarch, you’ll need 2 tablespoons of flour for every 1 tablespoon cornstarch (1/4 cup total for this recipe).
Ahhh, this is why slow cooker recipes are tricky and most crock pot recipes suggest a range of cooking times. There is not a standard for what temperature “high” and “low” means on different models.
Until you get to know how your particular crockpot performs relative to the suggested cook times in crock pot recipes, check early to make sure you don’t overcook and allow some buffer time afterward, in case your cook time runs long.
Crock Pot Apple Crisp
FOR THE APPLE FILLING:
- 8 medium or 6 large apples I recommend a sweet/crisp variety such as Honeycrisp, Jazz, or Pink Lady; or use half Granny Smith and half of another variety (about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds)
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- Zest of 1 small lemon
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
FOR THE CRISP TOPPING:
- 1 ½ cups old fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour to make gluten free, swap a 1:1 baking blend
- 1/3 cup brown sugar light or dark
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter melted
- Vanilla ice cream, vanilla Greek yogurt, caramel sauce optional
- Make the Filling: Peel the apples and cut them into 3/4- to 1-inch chunks.
- Place in the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker.
- Add the maple syrup, cornstarch, lemon zest (I zest it right over the crockpot), lemon juice, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt.
- With a large spoon, stir to combine. Spread the apples into an even layer.
- Make the Topping: In a medium bowl, stir together the oats, flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
- Pour in the melted butter, then stir until evenly moistened.
- Sprinkle over the top of the apples.
- Place a clean kitchen towel or a double stack of paper towels on top of the slow cooker so that the sides drape over the long ends. Place the lid on top, using it to secure the towel(s) in place** (the towels absorb moisture, helping the topping better crisp up).
- Cook the crockpot apple crisp on high for 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours or on low for 5 to 7 hours, until the apples are soft and cooked through when pierced with a fork. Remove the lid and towels. Serve hot with toppings of choice.
- TO MAKE AHEAD: Prepare the topping as directed. Freeze it in a ziptop bag until you’re ready to bake the crisp.
- TO STORE: Refrigerate apple crisp in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
- TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm leftovers in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F or in the microwave.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze apple crisp in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
- **DISCLAIMER: Please note that using a towel with a slow cooker could be a fire hazard. Proceed at your own risk. I have done it many times over the years with different recipes and different slow cookers and have never had an issue. That said, different slow cookers can reach different temperatures. If this is your first time using the towel method with your slow cooker, I recommend checking the towel an hour into cooking to be sure that it isn’t too hot.
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