Recipe: Grandma JJ’s Apple Crisp

One of my favorite things to do in high school was to go on long drives with my best friend JJ. We’d meander up the highway to the north for 20 or 30 miles, only turning around when we realized what time it was or when we reached the part where the highway went to a two-lane road (naturally, this was back when I first got my driver’s license and gas was less than $2 a gallon…). In the fall, the foliage we saw on our drives in northern NJ was gorgeous – all shades of red, orange, and yellow mixed with the vibrant evergreens.

After one of these fall drives, JJ and I went to her Grandma’s house and made apple crisp. Perfect thing to do with all the fresh-picked apples, right? A tradition was born. This is JJ’s Grandma’s recipe, and it is so good, so easy, and so dependable that I have adopted it as my signature fall dish for parties, potlucks, and for bringing to the office and buttering up coworkers. Thanks to Grandma JJ for encapsulating fall in this classic dessert!

Mocafe chai apple crisp

Image from

4 cups thinly sliced, peeled apples
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ cup water
1/3 cup cold, salted butter, plus additional for greasing the baking dish
1 cup white granulated sugar
¾ cup sifted all-purpose flour

To Make:
1. Preheat oven to 350 and butter a 10”x6”x2” baking dish.
2. Add the apples to the dish.
3. Add the water on top of the apples.
4. Sprinkle the apples evenly with the cinnamon and salt.
5. Rub together the sifted flour, sugar, and the butter (it helps if you cut the butter into small cubes). It should have a crumbly texture.
6. Drop flour/sugar/butter topping evenly over apples.
7. Bake 40 minutes, or until topping starts to brown, uncovered at 350.

I think this dessert tastes the most delicious in the fall, after being out in the crisp air – and preferably baked with fresh-picked apples! But in reality, it is great all year round. I’ve served it warm, room temperature, and cold, and I can’t say that I have a favorite way! Vanilla ice cream would be sinful on top. Normally I’d suggest potential alterations or additions for a recipe, but with this one my recommendation is: don’t mess with perfection (you know who you are).

Much love to Grandma JJ for the delicious food and the love (real name has been changed to protect the innocent :)).


If you’re pickin’ up what I’m puttin’ down (if you know what I mean…), head on over to some of my other great recipes!
Simple Whipped Feta
Superbowl Recipe Roundup
Apple-Cheddar Quesadillas
Three-Ingredient Cocoa Pumpkin Brownies


2 thoughts on “Recipe: Grandma JJ’s Apple Crisp

  1. Pingback: Recipe: Tomato Soup Mac N Cheese | arlington darling

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