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Grandma's apple crisp

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Getting an adequate number of fruit servings per day, into our diet, is not always easy. This dessert is a timeless classic from my own grandma’s recipe box. It has been modified for the diabetic, as the original called for sugar added to the apples. Apples are sufficiently sweet that you do not need to add any more sugar to them. Enjoy this dessert hot or cold. Adding a dab of whip topping or small scoop of ice cream turns this into a decadent treat. As always, remember that portion control is the key to staying within the diabetic diet. Taking a visit to a local orchard or farmers market will yield wonderful fresh apples, as well as a choice of many varieties.

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This dessert can be made ahead of time and served at room temperature, or cold.

Ingredients: Makes a medium –sized, deep dish Corning ware dish or similar baking dish. Approx. 7” x 7” x 3” deep.


  • 5 to 6 tart apples. Peeled, cored and sliced (or coarsely chopped)
  • ½ teaspoon Nutmeg (or less, to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon Cinnamon Option: Use nutmeg, or cinnamon, or both
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter or Margarine, dotted on top of the apple mixture. Butter is solid, not melted.

Option #1: Firm crumble topping

  • 1 cup All Purpose Flour, or your choice of Flour
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter or margarine. Butter is solid, not melted.
  • ½ cup Brown Sugar (or less, to taste)
  • 1/8 to ¼ teaspoon of Nutmeg Optional: May also sprinkle with some Cinnamon

Option #2: Crumble topping with added fibre (much healthier)

  • 1 cup All Purpose Flour, or your choice of Flour
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter or margarine. Butter is solid, not melted.
  • ½ cup Brown Sugar (or less, to taste)
  • 1/8 to ¼ teaspoon of Nutmeg Optional: May also sprinkle with some Cinnamon
  • ½ cup rolled oats. Fine or coarse, doesn’t matter.


  1. You may choose to make the crumble topping first, so that it is ready to pack onto the apples before they turn brown, with exposure to the air. You can prevent the apples browning by dipping the apples slices into a solution of water and lemon juice (1 cup water to 1-2 Tablespoons lemon juice), for 1 minute.
  2. Select firm, unblemished apples. Tart apples, or a combination of apple types will also work. Note: Soft apples, like a ripe McIntosh, will produce a softer filling once bake, which may resemble applesauce, in consistency. Using firm tart apples will produce a filling that still has the apple pieces intact, once baked. Both are fine, depending on your preference of consistency.
  3. Peel and core the apples. Slice the apples thin, or chop into chunks. The smaller the pieces, you will have less airspace between them, which translates to more finished filling, after baking.
  4. Pack the apple slices into your baking dish.
  5. Sprinkle the spices over the top of your apples. You can mix them together a bit, but it is not absolutely necessary.
  6. Dot the top of your apples with the butter. The butter is solid, not melted.
  7. In a mixing bowl add all the topping ingredients together.
  8. Using your fingers (clean or gloved) work the solid butter into the mixture until the mixture resembles coarse oatmeal.
  9. Place the filling on top of the apple mixture.
  10. Pack the filling down, making sure it is well into all the corners and of a consistent thickness.
  11. Using a knife, poke a small steam hole into the top of the crumble top. This will allow steam to escape and prevent bubbling over from the sides, while it bakes.
  12. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
  13. Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 5 minutes before serving. It is also excellent served at room temperature or cold.
  14. Optional: Top with whip topping or ice cream, when serving, to turn this dessert into a decadent treat.

Gluten Free alternative:

  • Use a Gluten free all-purpose flour, or mixture of your favourites.
  • For Crumble topping #2, use a certified Gluten free Oatmeal product.

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Thank-you for reading and sharing this article with others. Enjoy.



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