Bake up an easy skillet apple crisp topped with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream. This is the perfect make-ahead dessert to enjoy all fall season.
Apples are one of my favorite produce items, especially when they're in season during the fall.
This skillet apple crisp is so easy - anyone can make it! All you have to do is place a layer of apples in a cast iron skillet and then top it with a delicious crumble.
Another great thing about this apple skillet dessert is that it's super simple to transport. This would be a great dish to bring over for a fall bonfire or Thanksgiving dinner.
What You'll Learn In This Recipe
- How to prepare this skillet apple dessert ahead of time.
- How to elevate a simple apple crisp with additional toppings.
- A quick way to soften butter if you forget to take it out of the fridge before baking.
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Ingredients You Need
The great thing about this recipe is that many of the ingredients are pantry staples. Here's everything you'll need to make the skillet apple crisp:
- All-purpose flour: Feel free to substitute with a one-to-one gluten-free flour if your diet requires it.
- Brown sugar: This gives sweetness to the whole dish.
- Old-fashioned oats: Some people prefer apple crisp without oats; however, I think they add an amazing texture and bite. Make sure to use old-fashioned oats instead of quick-cooking oats for this type of texture. Feel free to substitute with gluten-free old-fashioned oats.
- Ground cinnamon: Cinnamon is the best fall spice that pairs perfectly with apples.
- Fine sea salt: I like using fine sea salt because it incorporates well with the other dry ingredients.
- Unsalted butter: It's best to bake with unsalted butter so you can control the salt level. Be sure the butter is at room temperature. If you're impatient and need to quickly get the butter to room temperature, here's how to soften butter.
- Honeycrisp apples: It's important to choose an apple that withstands the heat of the oven. Honeycrisp is perfect for this.
- Granny smith apples: I love adding in granny smith apples for a tart bite.
- Caramel topping: You can opt for a store-bought version or try a homemade recipe.
- Vanilla ice cream: What's an apple crisp without ice cream? This is an optional, but very delicious, topping.
How To Make This Recipe
Here's a step-by-step guide to making this easy caramel apple crisp.
1. The first step is mise en place. Mise en place is a French term that refers to measuring and preparing the ingredients. This step includes peeling, coring, and slicing the apples, as well as measuring out the other ingredients.
2. Next, add flour, brown sugar, oats, ground cinnamon, and salt to a large mixing bowl. Whisk together until everything is combined.
3. Add room-temperature butter to the oat mixture. Gently work the butter with your hands until it's blended with the dry ingredients. All you need to do is pinch the butter until it has been worked into pea-sized clumps.
4. Don't forget to save your butter wrappers because you'll need them for this step. Use the leftover butter on the wrapper to grease a 12-inch cast iron skillet.
5. Next, layer the honeycrisp and granny smith apples into the greased skillet. Be sure to alternate the apples so they're mixed together.
6. Finally, evenly sprinkle the oat topping over the apples. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes in a preheated 350°F oven.
You'll know the skillet apple crisp is ready once the top has slightly browned and the apples are fork-tender.
Don't forget to serve with a drizzle of caramel topping and a couple of scoops of vanilla ice cream. This really elevates the dish for a fun eating experience.
- Making this apple crisp for a fancy dinner party? Try making individual servings using mini cast iron skillets. This would make for a fun presentation.
- For an extra special treat, try making your own homemade vanilla ice cream.
- Can't find honeycrisp apples? Try substituting with pink lady or Braeburn apples.
Yes, you can make this apple crisp ahead of time. Simply assemble the apple skillet as directed the night before you need to serve it. Then, cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate.
To bake the apple crisp, heat the oven to 350°F. Remove the foil and place the skillet in the oven to cook for 35 - 40 minutes, until the apples are warmed through and the top is golden brown.
Sure! It's a personal preference if you like to leave the skin on the apples. It tends to make the dessert a bit chewier, but you're welcome to leave the skin on for additional nutrients.
Yes! If you have a smaller skillet, try scaling the recipe down so it can all fit.
I love using and making homemade caramel. It's so much richer than the store-bought version. You can use the caramel recipe included in this cookie recipe.
More Fall Baking Recipes
If you need some more fall baking inspiration, check out these recipes:
Cast Iron Skillet Apple Crisp with Caramel
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 ½ cups old fashioned oats
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¾ cups (1 ½ sticks) room temperature unsalted butter cut into one tablespoon chuncks
- 3 large honeycrisp apples peeled, cored, sliced ¼ inch thick (about 3 ½ cups)
- 2 large granny smith apples peeled, cored, sliced ¼ inch thick (about 3 cups)
- caramel topping for serving
- vanilla ice cream for serving
- Heat oven to 350°F.
- Whisk together flour, brown sugar, oats, ground cinnamon, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add in room temperature butter (save the wrappers for later). Using clean hands, gently press the butter into the dry ingredients until all the butter has been worked into pea-sized clumps or smaller.
- Use the leftover butter wrappers to grease a 12 inch cast iron skillet.
- Layer the apples on the bottom of the skillet, alternating between the honeycrisp and granny smith. Evenly sprinkle the oat and sugar topping over the apples.
- Bake for 30 - 35 minutes until the top has slightly browned and the apples are fork-tender. Serve with a heavy drizzle of caramel topping and vanilla ice cream.