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About This Recipe
It’s apple season and what better way to use your fresh apples than this delicious maple pecan apple crisp? This easy apple crisp is my favorite dessert this time of year with some vanilla ice cream and is perfect to make any time this season!
Plus, this homemade apple crisp seriously couldn’t be easier! I love it because it’s naturally sweetened with pure maple syrup and use whole grain oats for the “crisp.” This dessert is amazing served warm right out the oven with a side of vanilla ice cream or add a scoop of your favorite greek yogurt for a healthier, higher protein option!
This healthy apple crisp is a great option for any week or holiday! But if you’re looking for more delicious recipes to use your sweet apples, try my Healthy Homemade Apple Butter, Apple Puff Pastry or Apple Blondies with Cinnamon Glaze!
Why You’ll Love This Healthy Apple Pecan Crisp
- Tender, cinnamony apples, topped with a crunchy oatmeal pecan topping and served with a scoop of ice cream!
- The perfect fall dessert made with natural sweeteners and no added sugar!
- SO EASY to make – you could make it with your toddler!
- Requires minimal simple ingredients!
- So fun to make after a day of apple picking with the family.
- Red apples – use any fresh, red apples that are good for baking! For more tips on the best apples for baking, see the bottom of this post!
- Maple Syrup – I love using pure maple syrup for this recipe because it’s a natural sweetener and adds a rich, caramel flavor. You could also substitute for honey if you wish.
- Rolled oats – rolled oats are gonna work better than quick oats or steel oats for this recipe.
- Chopped pecans – you could also sub with hazelnuts or another nut if you prefer!
- Baking essentials: cornstarch, lemon juice, cinnamon, vanilla extract, brown sugar, salt, butter.
- Scoop of vanilla ice cream (optional for serving) – but trust me, you NEED it…takes this apple crisp to a whole other level!
- Make vegan: use vegan butter or coconut oil.
- Nut free: skip the pecans and just add extra oats!
- Different nut options: substitute the pecans for walnuts or almonds for a fun variation.
- Switch up the fruit: want to make this a summer dessert? Sub the apples for your favorite berries like blueberries, raspberries and strawberries!
- Apple varieties: use a red apple variety that bakes well! You can use honeycrisp, pink lady, Braeburn, Rome, or Golden Delicious.
- Lower the fat: use less pecans and light butter for a lower fat option!
- Serve with greek yogurt: looking for a lower calorie, higher protein option? Serve with a side of vanilla greek yogurt for less calories but that same amazing taste!
How To Make
The full printable recipe is below, but let me walk you through the process so you know what to expect when you’re making it!
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch pie dish or 8×8 dish with cooking spray. In a large bowl, add the apples, syrup, cornstarch, lemon juice, cinnamon, vanilla and salt and toss to evenly coat.
2. In a medium bowl, add all the topping ingredients and mix with a fork to combine.
3. Add the apples to the prepared dish. Then add the crisp topping on top.
4. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until apples are soft and it’s crisped to liking. Serve with vanilla ice cream and enjoy!
Store leftover apple pecan crisp in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
To prepare and freeze: assemble the apple crisp through step 4 but do not bake it. Cover the crisp well with aluminum foil and transfer it to the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, take apple crisp out of the freezer and bake the frozen apple crisp at 350 degrees for about an hour or until it’s golden and bubbly.
To reheat: this apple crisp is best eaten warm, right out of the oven! If you want to reheat leftovers, I recommend reheating in the oven or air fryer. You can use the microwave but the oat topping might turn out soggy/not as crispy.
Best Apples for Baking!
The best apples for baking are crisp, firm, sweet-tart and can stand up to the heat of the oven or stove without turning mushy. I used honey crisp apples here because I think they’re perfect for baked apple desserts but you could also use any other variety, like Pink Lady apples, that are good for baking. I do not recommend using Granny Smith apples or other tart apple varieties for this particular recipe.
This apple crisp is a healthier option for several reasons! The first is that it’s made with pure maple syrup and whole grain oats! The pure maple syrup is a great way to add additional sweetness without a ton of extra sugar. Plus, the whole grain oats are not only gluten-free but are high in fiber.
Apples are one of the healthiest fruits packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber so you not only get the delicious apple filling taste but a bunch of health benefits too! Pecans are also extremely heathy and are a good source of protein, healthy fats and fiber! Plus, they have calcium, magnesium, and potassium which can help lower blood pressure!
This is delicious apple crisp is great to make for a crowd because it’s gluten-free and can easily be made vegan or nut-free! To make this dessert vegan, just swap the butter for coconut oil or dairy-free butter.
Can I make this healthy apple crisp recipe in advance?
Yes, you can make this healthy apple crisp ahead of time! Simply prepare it as directed, cover your pan or skillet with foil, place it in the refrigerator and then bake it as directed before you’re ready to serve. Easy!
How do I get my apple crisp crispy?
Make sure you bake the apple crisp long enough! Make sure everything is well baked through and your oat topping should crisp up. You can also broil the apple crisp for 1-2 minutes to really crisp it up but be sure to keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t burn!
What is the difference between apple crisp and apple crumble?
Crisps are typically made with oats as the base, while crumbles typically have a flour/butter based topping.
Why did my apple crisp turn out watery?
Depending on the type of apples you used, your apple crisp may be more watery. Different apples do have more liquid than others so it could be the apples you chose. To avoid a watery and mushy crisp, be sure to use an apple variety that bakes well. You want to use an apple that can stand heat well and doesn’t become mushy.
- 5 medium red apples (800g) peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (60g)
- 1 Tbsp EACH: cornstarch and lemon juice
- 1 tsp EACH: cinnamon and vanilla
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup rolled oats (100g)
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans (56g)
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup butter (56g) melted
- Vanilla ice cream optional (but not really!)
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- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch pie dish or 8×8 dish with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, add the apples, syrup, cornstarch, lemon juice, cinnamon, vanilla and salt and toss to evenly coat.
- In a medium bowl, add all the topping ingredients and mix with a fork to combine.
- Add the apples to the prepared dish. Then add the crisp topping on top.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until apples are soft and it’s crisped to liking. You can broil for 1-2 minutes to crisp up the top even more, but watch it carefully so it doesn't burn!
- Serve with vanilla ice cream and enjoy!
Nutrition is hand-calculated and accurate. No autocalulations! However, note that values can vary based on the brands you use and if you substitute ingredients.