Sheila's Best Apple Crisp (No Oats)

Total Time
1hr 30mins
Prep 30 mins
Cook 1 hr

This is the apple crisp from my childhood (there is no oatmeal in the topping). If I could only pick one dessert to make the rest of my life, this would probably be it. Mom always made this in her beautiful copper au gratin pan. I bought the same pan when I got married, just so I could make this dessert. Originally from the 1966 version of the "Woman's Day Encyclopedia of Cookery", Mom adapted it slightly over the years (with a little help from Cooks Illustrated I think). Cutting the apples into "cubes" (instead of slices) helps the apples keep the apples firm throughout. I have made this with pecans or walnuts. I have also made it without nuts. I like it best with pecans, but all versions are yummy!! I love it warm or cold. You can serve it with ice cream, but I usually only do that for dinner parties.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Cut cold butter into small cubes. Place in freezer to chill further.
  3. Peel apples.
  4. Cut an apple into quarters. Cut out core. Cut each apple slice one more time so that there are 8 slices.
  5. Cube the apple by cutting each slice the "short" way 2 or 3 times. Apple chunks should be no smaller than 1 inch (or they will get too mushy when cooking).
  6. Cube the remaining apples.
  7. Put apples into an 8 1/2 x 12 inch au gratin casserole dish, or an equivalent baking dish (it's pretty forgiving).
  8. Pour water over apples.
  10. In the food processor put the sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and flour. Pulse until combined.
  11. Remove butter from freezer and put into food processor.
  12. Pulse to blend. Topping should be smaller than peas but not as fine as cornmeal.
  13. Add 3/4 cups chopped pecans pulse too mix.
  14. Sprinkle topping over apples evenly.
  15. Cover dish with foil.
  16. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
  17. Uncover.
  18. Bake for 30 more minutes.
  19. Cool before serving.


Most Helpful

I have made this recipe three times in the last two weeks! My husband absolutely loves it and it was a great way to use the apples we picked from our local orchard. I followed the recipe exactly the first time but the second time I added a little vanilla extract to the water and it was even better. Thanks for sharing!

flowersandchocolates September 07, 2013

Thanks for this, I have never put a recipe for this in my book because I had an old fashioned home ec book from my youth that had the only one we've ever used. My late husband made this for our sons, and he made it so often that he committed the recipe to memory - I didn't know he had absolutely ruined the book that it was in. He loved to cook, and this has brought back so many great and wonderful memories! This is "his" recipe, and it is just as good as I remember it being! Thanks again! It is now going in my book, finally!

less2saw August 29, 2014

I like oats in my apple crisp, but my family does not, so I was pleased to find this recipe. I made it as written, without nuts, and it was one of the best apple crisps I've ever tasted. Thanks for posting!

Chocolatl October 13, 2010

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