When life gives you apples, make a cast iron apple crisp! It’s the ultimate cozy dessert for chilly fall evenings.
As the leaves turn fiery shades of red and orange, and the crisp, cool breeze reminds us that fall has arrived, there’s nothing quite like the comforting aroma of a homemade apple crisp wafting through the air. I love Fall, and it’s the perfect time to celebrate the bounty of apples that grace our orchards and markets. One delightful way to do so is by preparing a cast iron apple crisp, a warm and inviting dessert that encapsulates the essence of autumn.
The Magic of Cast Iron Cooking
Before we dive into the delicious details of this cast iron apple crisp, let’s take a moment to chat about cast iron cooking. We own several cast iron skillets. They are timeless kitchen staples known for their durability and ability to retain and distribute heat evenly. They’re the unsung heroes of the culinary world, capable of producing everything from hearty stews to mouthwatering desserts.
Cast iron cookware also has a unique charm, a sort of rustic elegance that lends itself perfectly to the cozy ambiance of autumn. It’s a versatile tool that can go from stovetop to oven with ease, making it a natural choice for creating a dessert as warming and inviting as apple crisp. Yum!
Cast Iron Skillet Apple Crisp Ingredients
A cast iron apple crisp is a humble yet extraordinary dessert. It doesn’t require any complex ingredients; instead, it relies on the simplicity of the season’s best apples, a few pantry staples, and a generous dash of love.
The star of the show is undoubtedly the apples. While Granny Smith apples offer a tart contrast to the sweet crumble topping, Honeycrisp apples provide a harmonious blend of sweet and tart flavors. The crispness of the apples holds up well during baking, ensuring that each bite offers a satisfying crunch.
To enhance the flavor of the apples, we rely on a combination of warm spices—cinnamon, nutmeg, and a pinch of cloves. These spices, reminiscent of falling leaves and cozy evenings, infuse the dessert with that quintessential autumn taste.
We use a simple mixture of rolled oats, flour, brown sugar, and butter for the crisp topping. The oats add texture, while the brown sugar caramelizes during baking, creating a delectable contrast to the tender apples beneath. It’s a marriage of textures and flavors that’s nothing short of delightful.
Making the Apple Crisp in Cast Iron
The full printable recipe with directions can be found at the end of this post.
Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats
Heat the cast iron skillet.
Combine apples and lemon juice in a bowl. Add remaining ingredients for apple filling and gently toss until evenly coated.
Combine all ingredients for the topping except the unsalted butter. Once combined, add cold butter pieces to the oat mixture with a fork or pastry cutter.
After that, remove the skillet from the oven, placing butter and brown sugar into the skillet.
Add apple filling to the cast iron skillet and sprinkle the topping over the apples. Place in the oven at 350º F for 45-50 minutes or until the apples are cooked through, and the topping is golden brown.
- Add Nuts. Stir one cup of chopped walnuts or pecans into the oat mixture before sprinkling over the apples.
- Mix up the fruits. You don’t have to use just apples — mix it with blueberries or make a pear or peach crisp. Use approximately 6 cups of your favorite fruit mixture in place of or with the apples!
- Peeling the apples isn’t required, but a preference.
- Serve with vanilla ice cream or a dollop of Cool Whip. For extra flavor, drizzle some caramel on as well.
- Using salted or unsalted butter will not impact the flavor of the apple crisp.
Other Apple Recipes you might enjoy:
The Joy of Sharing
Finally, it’s time to enjoy. The cast iron apple crisp emerges from the oven, bubbling and golden. This is a dessert that’s meant to be shared, a warm comfort food for friends and family gathered around the table together.
Serving it in the same cast iron skillet that it was baked in adds to the rustic charm. Each scoop reveals a layer of tender, cinnamon-spiced apples bathed in their own juices, crowned by the irresistible oat crumble.
However, before we dig in — we must add the perfect finishing touch: vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream. As you take that first bite, you’re transported to the heart of autumn. The flavors are a harmonious blend of sweet, tart, and crunchy. If you love apples, it’s a symphony of flavor in your mouth.
Cast Iron Apple Crisp
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Place the cast iron pan in the oven to preheat.
- Combine the apples and lemon juice in a large bowl. Add sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt to the apples, then gently toss until everything is evenly coated.
- Mix oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add cold butter pieces to the oat mixture using a fork or pastry cutter. Work the butter into the dry ingredients immediately. The mixture will resemble coarse crumbs when it's ready.
Assembling the Apple Crisp
- Remove the cast iron pan from the oven.
- Add butter and brown sugar, mixing a small bit.
- Place the apple filling into the pan, filling it evenly.
- Sprinkle the topping over the apples, covering everything. Place the pan back into the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the apples are cooked through and the topping is golden brown.
- Allow to cool slightly before enjoying. Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream (optional).
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