stovetop apple crisp with fork

This easy recipe only needs one skillet and uses ingredients that many of us already have on hand. Featuring sweet, cinnamon-simmered apples topped with a crisped oat and brown sugar mixture, stovetop apple crisp makes a tasty, healthy breakfast or dessert.

Apples are normally associated with the fall months, and apple crisp is normally baked in the oven. However, as we all know, nothing about this quarantine time is normal. I adapted this lovely, simple recipe out of sheer necessity. And because it is quick and easy and made with mostly pantry staples, I am thinking others may appreciate it as I did.

I was motivated to find a stovetop apple crisp for two reasons. First, I had some apples that were getting a bit soft. If you are like me, you have been stocking up on fruit that stores well, such as apples and pears, since we are not supposed to be grocery shopping often during quarantine. Also, my oven recently broke. Of all times for an oven to break, right? But really, there is never a good time for an oven to break, and my oven has served us well for about 20 years. We are currently working on replacing it, but until then, I am making the most of the stovetop.

apples and topping

The recipe below is adapted from Well Floured. I added a squeeze of lemon juice to the apples, and omitted the nutmeg, but otherwise stuck pretty closely to that recipe. The result was delicious, and it also felt nourishing and healthy. As far as apples go, you can check out the varieties that are best for cooking on this chart from Michigan Apples. And if you would like a wonderful, classic recipe for apple crisp that is baked in the oven, you can take a look at one of previous posts.

stovetop apple crisp with pink

This morning, as I write this, it finally really feels like spring! The warmer temperatures and sunshine are extra welcome as we have been under a stay-at-home order for over a month now. I am very thankful we can get outside in our yard and the nearby area, and am excited that my husband has planted some vegetable seeds in our garden. Also, I found morel mushrooms coming up in their usual spot a couple days ago!

apples in skillet

It has been a challenging month in many ways, and I continue to be grateful for the essential workers and healthcare professionals who are taking care of the front lines during this pandemic. I am thankful for my family’s health, and my heart goes out to those affected by COVID-19. Yet even for those who have their health and have the luxury of staying home, it has been a challenge. Our children have been forced to completely change their lives, and as parents we are trying to support them as much as we can, while dealing with our own anxieties, including financial worries, job issues, and making sure older relatives are safe.

The simple act of grocery shopping has become a new challenge, as we try to navigate online ordering, or put on our masks and, armed with a baggie full of sanitizing wipes, brave the store. Then we need to decide what level of sanitizing we will put the food through when we get it home. Not to mention the quest for the hard-to-find baking yeast and toilet paper!

It is truly a surreal time that we have not experienced before in our lifetime. Yet there are beautiful moments too, like more time at home with our immediate family. More time for card games like euchre, more time for meals around the table, more time for searching the sky for the planet venus at night, more time simply at home. And for many of us who are used to rushing through life fitting in as many events as possible, that is an unexpected gift. I feel like I’m getting to know my home in a way I haven’t known it before, though we’ve been here for 16 years, and that part feels good. Slow days with my kids and husband feel good. Zoom meetings, phone calls, FaceTimes, and texts with friends and extended family are really helpful too!

stovetop apple crisp in hands

One thing that I really notice about this unusual time is the outpouring of love. Yes, I am worried about our economy and finding a new job. Yes, I am worried whether our government can handle this crisis effectively. But we are doing so much out of love. We are isolating ourselves, in order to protect the most vulnerable in our society. People are making signs and singing songs to thank essential and healthcare workers. We are writing letters do dear relatives whom we cannot visit in nursing homes. Long-lost old friends are reaching out from across the miles through texts and calls. Our children are resilient and resourceful, finding strength they didn’t know they had. And that is only a fraction of the examples off the top of my head.

There is a lot to think about and a lot to process these days, but this cliché sums it up and means a lot to me: We are all in this together. If you are looking for a super-easy way to make apple crisp, or if you find yourself without an oven, give this delicious recipe a try. Wishing you health and safety!

Easy Stovetop Apple Crisp

  • Servings: 4
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Ingredients:

For the topping:

  • 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons of butter
  • 1/2 cup of old fashioned oats
  • 3 Tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup of slivered or chopped almonds or pecans

For the apple filling:

  • 4 apples, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon of butter
  • 2 Tablespoons of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • a squeeze of lemon juice

Directions:

Wash, peel, and thinly slice your apples and set them aside. In a large skillet, melt 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nuts. Cook, stirring often, over medium heat until the mixture turns golden brown and feels crispy. With a wooden spoon, scoop the topping onto a plate. Carefully wipe out the skillet with paper towels. In the same skillet, melt a Tablespoon of butter. Add the apple slices and cook over medium heat until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the cinnamon, salt, and lemon juice. Continue to cook for several more minutes, until they are very tender. Cover the skillet while cooking, if you want them to soften more. When the apples reach your desired tenderness, serve them in bowls, topped with the crisp topping. If you wish, add a dollop of whipped cream. Enjoy!