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Irma’s Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp and wooden bowl of apples

Irma’s Apple Crisp is from my grandmother’s recipe box.  Super simple ingredients and easy-to-follow directions.  You will not be disappointed!  The warm fruit base is covered with a crispy crumble topping.  Most every apple crisp recipe I know calls for oats and nuts in the ingredient list.  This topping is merely flour, butter, sugar, and cinnamon; but trust me, you will lick your spoon and ask for seconds!  When time is limited, this is the perfect home baked dessert to serve your guests.  Serve it with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and they will swoon.  It is my go-to in a pinch.


Simple Ingredient List

All you will need for this delicious apple crisp recipe are 5 simple ingredients.  In a few short steps, you will have a dessert that will delight your guests and allow you the precious time to enjoy their company.

  • 6-8 tart pie apples
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 stick of butter

Irma’s Apple Crisp Crunchy Topping

Start by greasing an 8” pie plate with the stick of butter you have set out for the crumble topping.  Set the plate aside and if the butter stick is fresh from the fridge, let it sit on the counter or give it a couple of seconds in the microwave.  You don’t want to melt it, just soften it a bit so you are able to mash it with a fork.

Pie plate buttered in prep for apple crisp

Place the butter in a mixing bowl and cover with the dry ingredients (flour, sugar and cinnamon).  Using the tines of a fork, mash the mixture, pressing the dry ingredients into the butter.  Keep mashing until you have a crumbly, sandy mixture that is light tan in color.  Set the mixing bowl aside.

Dry ingredients for apple crisp topping in white ceramic bowl
Close up of apple crisp crumble topping in white ceramic bowl

Irma’s Apple Crisp Filling

Slice approx. 6 apples into the pie plate.  You may use more or less depending on apple size.  Fill the pie dish about ¾ of the way, leaving enough space to add the crumble.  There’s no science here.  Just fill the pie plate until it pleases you.  The best apples for this recipe are good pie apples like a Granny Smith, Cortland or McCowan.  You will want a little tartness to accompany that sweet topping.  Some articles I have read say that Granny Smith are not a good choice for pie apples; but I have always had success with them in this recipe.

Sliced macoun apples in pyrex pie plate for apple crisp

Assemble and Bake

After apples are sliced into the pie plate, sprinkle the filling around the top or dump it in the middle and spread it out until you have fairly even coverage on all the apples.  That’s it!  Put it in a preheated, 350-degree oven for 45-50 minutes.  The topping will brown, and the fruit will be bubbly underneath.  Take out of the oven, let cool until warm.  Serve and enjoy!

Close-up of baked apple crisp topping crumble

Baker’s Notes

I’ve used this recipe with just about any fruit you can think of.  If you want to try something that is a bit juicier, such as blueberry or peach, you can add a tablespoon or two of dry Minute Tapioca to the fruit.  The steam while baking will cause the tapioca to gel and soak up the runny juices.  You won’t taste the tapioca; it absorbs the fruit flavor.  It is not required, however, for this apple crisp recipe.

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Dry and gel tapioca comparison in black ceramic cups

Related Links

If you are interested in other heirlooms from my recipe box, you may like these:

Irma's Apple Crisp

Irma's Pantry Apple Crisp

Easy recipe for a homemade dessert that is sweet and satisfying.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 6


  • 1 Pie Plate or Square Baking Dish - 8 inch



  • 1 cup unbleached, white flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 stick butter 1/2 cup

Fruit Filling

  • 6-8 sliced tart baking apples


  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Grease the pie plate with butter and set aside.
  • Place stick of softened butter into a medium sized mixing bowl. Pour dry ingredients (flour, sugar and cinnamon) on top of the butter. Use a fork to press dry ingredients into the butter until a uniform crumble forms. Set bowl aside.
  • Peel and slice apples placing them into pie plate until they have filled the dish and form a softly rounded mound.
  • Sprinkle crumble topping over apples, covering evenly. Do not press in.
  • Bake for 45 minutes and check. Remove when fruit is bubbly and topping is golden brown.
  • Let cool until warm. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or enjoy as is. Serves 6.

4 thoughts on “Irma’s Apple Crisp”

  1. Love the old time recipe! Grandmothers always shared the best kitchen love!

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