It’s Apple Crisp Time!

It’s apple season and that can mean just one thing: apple crisp! It’s my signature dessert. And the really funny thing is that the recipe is from a greeting card. Well at least I think it is. I have had it for as long as I can remember, just a white card with blue writing with a Gibson barcode on the back of it. Too funny, because I have been making this recipe for over 20 or 30 years long before I was vegan. When I became vegan, I just needed to tweak one ingredient to veganize it. AND…I call this no fail apple crisp, because no matter what I vary, it comes out great every time! I have brought it to parties, pot lucks, you name it, and I always get compliments!

Before I share my version of the recipe, let me say this. You have to know that my all time favorite spice is cinnamon. I believe it goes with everything and should be in everything. So, even though the original recipe doesn’t include any, mine of course, does. Next thing you must know about me is that I am in love with walnuts. They are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids and I like to put them in all my baked goods. My apologies to those of you with nut allergies—you can simply omit them, it’s still good without them.

Last thing, this is one recipe where it’s okay to experiment. Put your own touches on it. Don’t be afraid that you’ll mess it up. It has a few key ingredients that you must have: apples, oats,a fat of some sort and a sweetener of some sort. That’s really it. Oh, and always get everything out ahead of time…mise en place. 


I can’t tell you how many times I start a recipe without doing this and realize halfway through that I don’t have a key ingredient. Like last week, we didn’t have any Earth Balance sticks, so I used coconut oil. It was a little coconutty (is that a word?), but it still tasted good. I have also been playing with upping the apple and oat quantities without upping the sugar, butter, and flour quantities in an effort to make it slightly healthier. That also seems to work. (But I am going to give you the original recipe.)

Since it is a greeting card recipe, there is no specification of which type of apples to use. I have used MacIntosh, Cortland, Gala, Granny Smith and probably others. I like to buy organic apples because apples are on the dirty dozen list. Apple trees are sprayed with pesticides and I just don’t want that stuff in my system. So, I usually buy whatever I can find that is organic and looks good. The firmer and less sweet apples work best. 

I think MacIntosh might have been my favorite in the past, but when I made it yesterday, I could only get Granny Smiths and they tasted great. It made the dish a little less sweet. Also, if you want a little fiber, you can skip peeling the apples. I did that once, but didn’t really care for the texture this creates. Also note: 1 apple = 1 cup. I always buy too many and I have never used the 8 inch square pan they call for because I usually can’t fit all the apples in it. I usually use a 13 x 9 glass Pyrex dish. They say serves 6. For 6, they are fairly decent size servings. I usually serve more than 6 with smaller portions.


Next, it didn’t specify which type of oats you want. I use rolled oats, not quick and not steel cut. I imagine the quick would work but be a little mushy. There is not enough liquid for the steel cut ones to work.

You can use light or dark brown sugar, and really any type of flour. In fact, I used Bob’s Red Mill gluten free flour yesterday and it worked. If you use gluten free oats and the gluten free flour, you would have a gluten free dessert.


Last thing….it tastes extra great with a scoop of vanilla vegan ice cream…I like Coconut Bliss Very Vanilla or So Delicious Vanilla or really any of them. You don’t want a flavor though, it takes away from the taste of the crisp.






The Recipe:


5 cups peeled and sliced apples

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 cup uncooked rolled oats

1/2 brown sugar (light or dark)

1/2 cup (1 stick) Earth Balance, melted

1/3 cup flour


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put apples in an 8 inch square pan. Add the cinnamon and toss to coat using your hands. Combine the rest of the ingredients, mixing until crumbly. Sprinkle on top of the apples. Bake 30 to 45 minutes until apples are tender. Serves 6.


Bon Appetite!