Warm, cozy apple crisp recipe for two! Spiced apples are covered with a cinnamon oat crumble topping and baked until hot and gooey for the perfect small batch fall dessert.
I wear my Apple > Pumpkin badge loud and proud, so here’s a long time favorite fall recipe of mine: apple crisp! But here’s the thing… it’s just me and my husband at home, with no guests here for the last 7 months and not anytime in the near future.
Therefore, I’m looking to make just about everything a small batch recipe – where it makes sense. In this house, things like breakfast casseroles and lasagna are made with the intention of having leftovers for the rest of the week.
But apple crisp? Nope. Needs to be eaten shortly after it’s been baked, because otherwise the topping gets soggy.
What serving dishes should I use?
I absolutely adore my Le Creuset 8 ounce mini cocottes. We got them as a wedding gift, and they are the absolutely perfect size for single serving desserts. They have little handles, which makes serving easy – and you can put the lid on top to keep it warm until you’re ready to eat!
Or to keep a nosy cat out of it. Either way.
Which apples are best for apple crisp?
I personally like to use a mix of tart apples and sweeter apples, but it will work with pretty much whatever you have on hand You just want to make sure you’re using firm, crisp apples – if they’re soft, they’re going to be mushy after they’re baked.
Here are some of my favorite apples to use:
How to make the best apple crisp from scratch
Here are some of my tips on making the best apple crisp of your life. Dramatic? I mean, probably. But since you typically eat dessert less often than any other meal, let’s make it count.
Squeeze a little fresh lemon juice over the chopped apples. This helps prevent them from browning, which just makes it look less appealing – but it also adds a little welcome zing to the finished product!
Speaking of chopped apples, don’t obsess over making them uniform in size. As long as they’re chopped small enough to comfortable fit in your serving dishes, you’re good. Aim for roughly 1/2″ cubes.
Add ground ginger and nutmeg for more spiced flavor. I have them listed as optional ingredients in the recipe card, but I highly encourage you to add them. I really love the subtle additional spicy flavor the ginger adds to the filling, and the nutmeg in the topping has a lovely aroma that just screams Fall.
Like a stronger spiced flavor? Add more of… whatever! More ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger – whatever flavors you love.
Don’t have cornstarch for the filling? Substitute with all purpose flour.
Don’t have enough all purpose flour for the topping? Swap it for gluten free flour or almond meal.
Use old fashioned rolled oats in the topping, not steel cut. I don’t recommend using steel cut oats because they’re more firm than rolled oats and take longer to absorb liquids and cook. So while the apple filling might be ready to go, the topping would still taste a bit raw.
Can I make this recipe for one person?
Of course! Just slash the recipe right in half and bake in a single serving dish.
1 medium apples, peeled, cored and chopped (about 1 cup chopped)
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Small pinch of ground ginger (optional)
Crumb topping ingredients:
1/8 cup all purpose flour, gluten free flour, or almond meal
1 1/2 tablespoons old fashioned rolled oats (not steel cut)
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
Tiny pinch of nutmeg (optional)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cold and cubed
Can I make this for more than two people?
Sure can! If you want to make this for a crowd, triple the recipe and bake it in a 9″ pie dish instead. You’ll likely need to bake it for a bit longer than indicated here, so check it at 30 minutes.
Tip: Click on the “3X” in the recipe card and it will do all the math for you!
What should I serve with apple crisp?
I love a scoop of cold ice cream on top of it, right before serving. It gets a little melty and complements the rest of the dish beautifully.
The go-to for most people is vanilla ice cream, and that’s totally fine. But you know what’s even better? Believe it or not, Ben & Jerry’s Strawberry Cheesecake ice cream is freaking fantastic with apple crisp! Don’t knock it til you try it.
You could also add a drizzle of caramel sauce, pomegranate arils, or even some crushed walnuts or shredded almonds.
After you’ve made this recipe, please leave a comment below with a rating – and if you came from Pinterest, add a photo to the Pin of what you make to the pin to share your experience!
In a medium bowl, combine chopped apples and lemon juice and toss to coat. Add brown sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, cinnamon (and ginger, if including) and stir or toss to coat and combine.
Divide the apple filling evenly between the two prepare dishes, and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg (if including) and whisk to combine.
Add cold, cubed butter and use a pastry cutter(aff link) or fork to combine. Once the mixture forms a large crumb that sticks together, spoon half the crumb mixture in an even layer on top of each dish of apple filling.
Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the topping is lightly golden brown and the apples are cooked through and soft. If desired, at the end you can set the oven to Broil to let it quickly brown the tops. Keep a close eye on it, as it will happen quickly!
Carefully remove from the oven, let cool slightly, then serve. Top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce, or just serve as is – enjoy!