This easy, comforting and healthy stovetop apple crisp takes a total of only 20 minutes to prepare and does not compromise on flavor. You cook the apples in a skillet, then sprinkle them with a buttery and crunchy toasted oat, pecan and sesame seed topping. The recipe works equally well as a delicious dessert or a healthy after-school snack and you can easily make as many or as few servings as you want.
What's in the apple crisp base?
The apple crisp base with made with apples that are sweetened with brown sugar, flavored with cinnamon and cooked in butter.
Which apples are best for apple crisp?
I tested five different apple varieties for this apple crisp recipe (see table below) and the variety that worked best was Gala. Gala apples have a mild flavor and the perfect balance between sweetness and acidity for an apple crisp. Gala apples also require only a short cook time on the stovetop (7 minutes).
A good alternative if Gala apples are not available is Fuji. Fuji apples need a slightly longer cook time but have a nice flavor balance as well.
|Apple Variety:||Cook Time:||Flavor Characteristics:|
|Gala||7 min.||Mild, pleasant flavor. A little acidity that balances the sweetness well.|
|Fuji||9 min.||Good flavor and good balance between sweetness and acidity. A good choice if Gala apples are not available.|
|Red Delicious||9 min.||Mild flavor, quite sweet and with practically no acidity.|
|Honeycrisp||8 min.||Good flavor but the mild sweetness is not enough to balance the acidity.|
|Granny Smith||14 min.||Very, very acidic and with almost no sweetness for balance. Not suitable for this recipe.|
What's in the topping?
The topping is made with rolled oats, pecans and sesame seeds that are sweetened with brown sugar and toasted with butter. (Note that rolled oats are sometimes also called old-fashioned oats.)
How to make it:
See full ingredients & instructions in the recipe card below!
Step 1. Cut, core and peel the apples, then cut them into ½-inch chunks. Melt butter in a skillet, then add the apple chunks, brown sugar and cinnamon. Mix everything around until well combined.
Step 2. Put on the lid and cook the apples until they're soft (about 7 min.).
Step 3. Once the apples are done, prepare the topping. Melt butter in a small pan then stir in brown sugar, rolled oats, chopped pecans and sesame seeds.
Step 4. Toast the topping on the stovetop on low heat until it is crunchy.
RECIPE NOTE: One quick word of caution about the topping: it's very easy to burn it, so don’t take your eyes off the pan. No texting while cooking for this one!
How to serve it:
To serve, add the warm cinnamon apples into individual serving bowls and sprinkle them with the toasty oat/nut/sesame mix. You can put a dollop of whipped cream (or ice cream) on top but I find that the crisp already tastes mighty delicious by itself and also makes a great (and healthy) snack.
How to store leftovers:
Store any leftover apples and topping separately in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 1 day. Reheat both components separately on the stovetop.
How many servings does this recipe make?
Literally however many you need. Because you're not locked into the volume of a baking dish, you can easily scale this recipe up or down to however many servings you like (one of the great advantages of stovetop desserts). The recipe card below is set to four servings but you can use the portion slider and easily adjust the number to your liking.
Is this apple crisp gluten free?
Yes, as long as you make sure to use rolled oats that have not been contaminated with gluten-containing ingredients during processing, this apple crisp is gluten-free.
More delicious fall-flavored apple desserts:
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Full Printable Recipe
Stovetop Apple Crisp
- measuring cups and spoons
- knife and cutting board
- skillet with lid
- small pan
- wooden spoon
For the apples:
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 Gala* apples, peeled, cored and cut into ½-inch chunks
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
For the topping:
- ½ tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- ¼ cup rolled oats**
- ¼ cup chopped pecans
- 1 ½ teaspoons sesame seeds
- whipped cream and/or vanilla ice cream (optional)
For the apples:
- Melt the butter in a skillet.
- Add apples, cinnamon and brown sugar. Stir until well combined.
- Put the lid on and let the apples cook on medium to medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until they are soft (about 7 minutes).
For the topping:
- Melt the butter in a small pan.
- Add sugar, oats, pecans and sesame seeds and brown for a few minutes until crunchy. (Do this on relatively low heat and watch closely, it will burn easily.)
- Serve apples in a bowl and sprinkle the topping on.
- Top with ice cream or whipped cream (optional).
Nutrition Information (Estimated):
Nutrition values provided on this website are generated from a nutrition database and are estimates only. The accuracy of the nutrition information for any recipe on this website is not guaranteed. Nutrition values can vary quite a lot depending on which brands are used.