Make Easy Apple Crisp in a Slow Cooker
Grab some apples, whip up a crumbly spiced topping, and kick back for the ultimate fall dessert
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Above: Slow Cooker Apple Crisp. Recipe and photo by Ashley Strickland Freeman.
Here in South Carolina, as soon as the humidity drops and a hint of fall is in the air, I get a craving for all things cinnamon, pumpkin, and apple — especially apple crisp. The varying textures satisfy all my cravings. Warm and tender apples, a crunchy oat and pecan topping, and a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream are heaven in a bowl. Plus, apple crisp is one of the easiest dessert recipes ever to put together. (Think flavors of apple pie, with minimal prep time.)
Making this cozy dessert in the slow cooker frees up oven space, so I love to serve it when company is coming over for dinner, and for the holidays, when oven space is scarce. Slow cooker apple crisp is a little different from the kind made in the oven, and I have a few tricks for success.
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How to make apple crisp in a slow cooker
There are a few tips to keep in mind when making my apple crisp recipe.
Best apples for apple crisp
I like to use a combination of fresh apples — both Granny Smith apples and Honeycrisp. The Granny Smith are tart and tend to hold their shape. Just like their name promises, the Honeycrisp are sweeter, and they turn softer when cooked.
To cut the apples, I peel them, use an apple cutter to slice them into 8 wedges, and then slice the wedges in half.
Best spices for apple crisp
I combine the apple slices with my favorite warm spices — ground cinnamon and nutmeg — as well as brown sugar, lemon juice, and butter. Then I put the apple mixture in the slow cooker in an even layer.
What size slow cooker should you use?
When making Crock Pot apple crisp, the size and shape of the slow cooker are key. More surface area means the oat topping can spread out further into a thin layer. I use a 6-quart oval slow cooker.
How to keep the apple crisp topping from getting soggy
After I mix together the crisp topping (old-fashioned oats, butter, brown sugar, all-purpose flour, and pecans), I squeeze the mixture into clumps, and sprinkle it over the top of the apples. Then I make sure not to skip an important trick. I layer paper towels between the crisp and the lid of the slow cooker. This helps keep the topping crispy in its damp cooking environment.
The dessert does its thing on low for about 4 hours cook time. Once the apples are tender, I turn the slow cooker off, remove the lid and paper towels, and let the apple crisp stand for about 30 minutes. This helps the juices thicken slightly (and prevents you from burning the roof of your mouth with a piping hot dessert).
How to store apple crisp
Just in case you have leftovers, you can refrigerate the apple crisp in an airtight container up to 1 day and it will be delicious, though the topping is really best the day the crisp is made.
How long does apple crisp last?
The texture of the apple crisp topping is best if the dessert is served the same day it’s made, but it will keep for a day.
Can you freeze apple crisp?
Though you can freeze apple crisp, the topping will get soggy.
Get the slow cooker apple crisp recipe
Now that your warm dessert is ready to serve, just scoop a generous amount into bowls and crown each with vanilla ice cream. And that’s it! You’ve got a simple, totally delicious apple dessert that everyone will love.
Dive into more apple and slow cooker recipes
This fall we’re slow-cooking succulent roasts and exploring all the ways to make apple recipes, from applesauce to apple crumble (AKA baked apple crisp), even healthy caramel apples featuring almond butter and dates in lieu of the usual buttery caramel sauce.