Mom’s Apple Crisp Two Ways

Note: This is a tremendously variable recipe to suit the season and your taste. In late summer, throw in a peach or two; in fall, a couple pears add earthiness. If you like nutmeg, a little bit goes well in the topping. If you prefer almonds over walnuts or pecans, they’re tasty, too. I grew up enjoying the traditional recipe, but when my mother developed an allergy to dairy and me to wheat, she created the delicious gluten-free, dairy-free version below.

Servings: 8-10

For traditional Filling:

A mix of tart and sweet apples (Braeburn, Jonathan, Rome, honeycrisp, whatever) to fill a 9-by-13-inch glass baking pan (about 3-4 pounds)

2 tablespoons butter

½-1 cup apple juice (vary amount depending on variety of apples to keep them juicy during baking)

For traditional topping:

1½ cups oatmeal

3 tablespoons flour

½ cup brown sugar

1 cup walnuts or pecans, roughly chopped

6 ounces butter, melted

1 teaspoon cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350 F.

Peel and thinly slice the apples and arrange in buttered pan. Pour juice over top and dot with butter.

Mix topping ingredients together in a bowl and crumble over the apples until covered.

Bake 45 minutes to an hour, until the top is browned and the apples are bubbling and cooked through.

For gluten- and dairy-free Filling:

Use filling ingredients above, omitting the butter

Canola oil (to grease pan)

For gluten- and dairy-free topping:

1¾ cups oatmeal

½ cup maple syrup

1¼ cups canola oil

1 cup walnuts or pecans, roughly chopped

1 teaspoon cinnamon


Follow the same method as above, using canola oil instead of butter to grease pan. Be aware this topping cooks a bit faster because it contains no flour.

Recipes by Judith Hasterok Small.