This delicious Gravenstein Apple Crisp was the crowning jewel of our wedding reception! Get our exact recipe here.
If you love the delicious flavor of baked apple, don’t miss this heavenly Blackberry and Apple Crumble! It’s the perfect way to use those frozen berries you picked over the summer. My Apple Cider Scones also have a ton of delicious apple flavor and come together quickly!
My husband and I got married August 10th, 2019.
Since my husband went through a culinary program and I used to manage a farmers market, I knew we would cater our wedding on a budget and have delicious food.
We brined, smoked, and slow-cooked pork as a main dish and prepared a hearty salad station featuring fresh, local greens. We also asked our generous family members to contribute some of our favorite dishes: potato salad, macaroni salad, watermelon, etc.
Honestly, the menu was short, but the food was delicious! Yes, it was basically a giant barbecue, but every bite was just right. When I remember that day, I still think about how perfect the food was!
When we started thinking about the wedding dessert, obviously, we thought about cake. I love cake, but I’m not sure if I could decorate a really nice wedding cake and I didn’t want to spend hundreds to hire it out. Something about cake didn’t sound right. We wanted something we could make in a large quantity that would make people feel warm and at home. Naturally, we started thinking about crisps.
My husband baked the apple crisp and served it warm with ice cream. We all know that apple crisp is good, but this one was heavenly. The apples had just enough bite and tang and that buttery, cinnamony oat crumble on top crunched on top of the ice cream. It was just perfect for an early fall night.
We decided to serve two types: apple crisp and marionberry crisp! Both were delicious, but the apple crisp is the one I remember the most.
Wait, no cake at your wedding?
Actually, we DID end up having cake, too! We asked a mutual friend of ours who used to work as a pastry chef to bake us the darkest, richest, chocolate-ist mini cake she could. It was glorious, especially served on my milk glass serving tray! (You can see the milk glass love is real.)
We didn’t share this with anyone and I totally dropped chocolate cake ON my husband’s white shirt. It was perfect. But we still had crisp, too. 🙂
A Note on Apple Varieties
Honestly, I’m a big believer in baking with what you can. There is so much variation in apples and how they stand up to cooking, but ultimately, I don’t let that hold me back. I recommend baking this recipe with whatever apples you have, but if I offer one tip? If you’re using a sweeter apple, like a Fuji, try to incorporate something a little more tart too, like Pink Lady or Granny Smith. Mixing types of apples often leads to the best pies, crumbles, and crisps!
Why Use Gravenstein Apples
For this recipe, I knew exactly what type of apple I wanted to use: Gravenstein.
It’s one of the earliest apples to ripen and is beloved by the canning crowd for its flavor, especially when cooked.
It’s definitely a favorite for making homemade apple sauce.
Gravenstein apples have the perfect texture, perfect flavor, and are my all-time favorite variety for baking!
Although we ended up making enough crisp to serve about 100 people…we downsized the recipe for just one 9 x 13 baking dish. You’re welcome.
I love that this recipe relies mostly on items I already keep in my pantry! I just needed some apples and I was ready to start baking.
Quick note on baking and apple size:
We baked this crisp for about 45 minutes with 1-inch apple pieces.
Since Gravenstein apples in particular cook down so well, we recommend cutting them a little thicker (1.5 – 2 inch pieces) OR dropping the baking time to 40 minutes instead of 45.
Of course, everyone’s oven is different. If the apples are bubbling away and the crisp is golden, you’re probably good around the 35-45 minute timeline!
Tips & Variations
Apple crisp is WAY BETTER the next day.
We ate this while it was still warm from the oven and I told my husband it wasn’t as good as the wedding! The apples tasted too tart and mushy.
I was disappointed and I told my husband it was a dud. We had to make it again. I think I hurt his feelings a little bit, but he agreed we could try it again.
The next day, we had some warmed up slightly from the fridge, and served it with homemade whipped cream.
OH, MY. I told my husband, “Nevermind! I take it all back. This is just as good as the wedding crisp.”
I’m not telling you not to eat your crisp right away, but just know that the flavors really balance out after a few hours! It might save your marriage…or maybe just mine.
Gravenstein Apple Crisp with Oats
This is a pretty classic recipe that works best with fresh apples. It’s a homey, cozy combination of cinnamon, brown sugar, oats, butter, and apples.
It’ll make you want to sit on the porch step and watch for fireflies (or lightning bugs). If only we had those here in Washington!
This is an excellent recipe to make from your pantry! The only extras I bought were the apples. Everything else was on hand.
The main tools you’ll need are a good peeler and your favorite chef knife!
If you just realized you’re low on brown sugar, don’t sweat it! Make your own brown sugar using two ingredients!
Gravenstein Apple Crisp
- 9 x 13 baking dish
- Mixing bowl
- 3 pounds apples, ideally Gravenstein 9-10 apples; peel and chop in 1.5-2 inch cubes
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 tbs cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tbs flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cup oats We used quick cooking oats
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 2 sticks butter chilled; diced into 1-cm cubes
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- 1 pinch salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Peel and dice apples in 1-inch chunks. Place into 9 x 13 baking dish.
- Sprinkle the apples with remaining apple base ingredients (flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt). Mix toppings into the apple mix with hands. Let the mixture set while you prepare the crisp topping.
- In a separate bowl, prepare the crisp topping by mixing in all of the dry ingredients.
- Add the diced butter cubes into the dry crisp mixture. Using your fingertips or a pastry cutter, press the butter into the dry mixture until it starts to seem sandy. My husband recommends keeping the chunks pretty large in general for a really chunky crisp topping.
- Place the crisp into a preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes. Your crisp should look golden and you should be able to see that the apples cooked down and created their own sauce.
- Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.
Love fall flavor and apple recipes? Check out some of these popular recipes:
- Caramel Apple Galette
- Pumpkin Pie Pudding Cups
- Butterscotch Pudding Pie
- Oatmeal-Cookie Pie Curst
- 70 Cozy Fall Desserts to Make From Scratch
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Apple crisp is our favourite! We love this comforting dessert. Wishing you a very happy upcoming anniversary!
Thank you so much for the anniversary well wishes and apple crisp love! Enjoy! 🙂
Apple crisps make me think of camping at the end of summer. This recipe is easy and delicious!
Oh, Emily, apple crisp while camping sounds heavenly! Thanks so much for your feedback!
Apple Crisp is one of my favorites and I completely agree with you, it works best when you mix up your types of apples. I always use at least 2 different varieties 🙂
Yes, Sue! It gives such great texture and flavor balance. My only exception is when I bake with Gravensteins – I love using them exclusively. Thanks so much for visiting! 🙂
Looks absolutely delicious and love that this is your wedding day dessert. What lovely memories everytime you eat it!
Thanks so much, Amy! Yes, this is a family favorite and so special to us! I appreciate your feedback. 🙂
Your husband’s Wedding Day Apple Crisp is making me drool!
Me too, Chef Dennis! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂
Rachal – this looks delicious, and I just added it to my meal plan for this week! Also – Happy Anniversary a few days early. August 10 is also my birthday!
Aw, Julie, thank you so much! Happy Birthday!! Good things happen on August 10th, apparently! 🙂
Fantastic recipe for apple crisp, your wedding day sounds magical. Congratulations
Thank you so much, Marina! It was a really special day. Thanks for visiting!
What a beautiful story! Your apple crisp looks amazing!
Leslie, thank you so much! It’s so special to make new memories and traditions. 🙂
This looks insanely, incredibly good. Yummmmmmy!
Thanks, Maggie! It really is so delicious!
Recipe sounds delicious. Is it ok to use the quick cooking oats?
Yep! Donna, quick-cooking oats are great in this! Thanks for the question and hope you enjoy!
I am right there with you. I had a pig roast for my college graduation party, and it was sublime. Sounds like a wonderful wedding reception!
I’m definitely going to give this a try! Thank you for sharing. 🙂
Vette, I LOVE those sorts of food memories! I remember going to a wedding with a pig roast when I was a kid and always thought it was so delicious!
Thanks so much for coming to hang out. I hope you enjoy this special recipe from us! Take care! 🙂
Rachel, the Apple base lists 1.5 cup flour where down in the instruction it says 1 1/2 TB flour. I’m presuming you mean TBSP not cups. Thank you! I will enjoy making this. Hoping I can find Gravenstein apples. All the best.
You are totally right! THANK YOU for catching that! It’s just 1 1/2 tbs of flour in the apple base. Just updated the recipe!
The recipe states 1.5 cups of flour in the ingredients for the apple mixture, but to add 1 1/2 Tbsp to the apples in the directions. What do you do with the rest of the flour? Is it suppose to be added to the topping mixture? It doesn’t mention adding any flour to that just sugars, oats, butter…
Linda, I made a typo! Another person just mentioned it too! It’s just 1 1/2 tbs flour in the apple base. The flour is just to help everything bind together, so it’s just a small amount. SO SORRY about any confusion or stress. I really appreciate you commenting so I could take care of this issue and I really hope you enjoy this crisp! 🙂
What a gorgeous apple crisp, Rachael! I so enjoyed reading this post. Well done to your Dad for 33 years of service – wow! It’s lovely how your wedding dinner evolved, and the story behind your very lovely dessert. Thank you for sharing the recipe and the story behind it and for being a part of the Hearth and Soul Link Party Community. I’m featuring this post at the party this week. Hope to ‘see’ you there! Take care, stay well, and I wish you a wonderful week!
Amazing, April! You are so kind. I’ll be sure to pass on those well wishes to my dad and will be right over to check out the party! <3
sitting here at my computer I’m thinking how perfect a plate of that crisp would be with my morning coffee. So, of course I am printing it right up and will be making it soon!!
Doesn’t that sound so lovely?? We really enjoy this crisp the next day for breakfast! Healthy or not? Eh, we just swap ice cream for plain yogurt. Perfect! Enjoy, Gina!
Rachael, your wedding sounds lovely. I like that you had apple crisp instead of wedding cake! So there is NO flour in the crisp topping? I’ve always used flour as well as oats. So I thought I better check with you about that.
What a very special wedding day feast, this is the best kind! I know your crisp had to be a big hit it looks delicious! Thanks so much for sharing your talent with us at Full Plate Thursday and please come back soon!
Thank you so much! It was such a special day and I love we can remember it with this recipe. Will be sure to keep sharing!
I love how recipes hold memories for people. We love apple crumbles in our family but it’s always nice to have a change so will be giving this recipe a go now.
Crumbles are great, too! I agree about recipes and memories. Thanks so much for your visit!
Congratulations! Your awesome post is featured on our Top Ten at Full Plate Thursday, 499! Thanks so much for sharing with us and hope you come back soon!
What a wonderful story and classic recipe. Thank you for sharing on Fiesta Friday.
I haven’t had apple crisp in years! One of my favorites! Pinned
I hope you love this recipe, Amy! It’s so special to us!
How do I make it for 100 people?