A Walk By The Pond, Books, & Mom’s Apple Crisp

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Christina Ross
Christina Rosshttps://www.healthyfoodforliving.com/
I'm a human being on planet earth. I've lived hundreds of lifetimes. In this incarnation I'm here to advance medicine.

There’s something truly comforting about the aroma of freshly baked apple crisp wafting through the kitchen.

It’s a classic dessert that brings back memories of home and the love and care that goes into each delicious bite.

Today, we’re sharing a cherished family recipe for Mom’s Apple Crisp that’s sure to warm your heart and satisfy your sweet tooth.

Name:Mom’s Apple Crisp
Prep Time:20 minutes
Cooking Time:45 minutes
Total Time:1 hour
Servings:8 servings
Yield:1 9×9-inch baking dish


For the Filling:

  • 6-7 medium-sized apples (a mix of sweet and tart varieties like Granny Smith and Honeycrisp works well)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Topping:

  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (cold and cubed)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


1. Preheat the Oven

Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9×9-inch (23×23 cm) baking dish or a similar-sized ovenproof dish.

2. Prepare the Apples

Peel, core, and thinly slice the apples. Place them in a large mixing bowl.

3. Add the Filling Ingredients

In the bowl with the sliced apples, add the granulated sugar, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, salt, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Toss everything together until the apples are well coated with the mixture.

4. Make the Crisp Topping

In a separate bowl, combine the old-fashioned rolled oats, all-purpose flour, brown sugar, cold and cubed unsalted butter, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon. Use a pastry cutter or your fingers to mix the ingredients until they resemble coarse crumbs.

5. Assemble the Crisp

Spread the apple mixture evenly in the greased baking dish.

Sprinkle the crisp topping over the apples, covering them completely.

6. Bake to Perfection

Place the dish in the preheated oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown, and the apples are tender and bubbling.

7. Serve and Enjoy

Remove the Mom’s Apple Crisp from the oven and let it cool slightly. It’s best served warm, either on its own or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.

Tips and Variations

For an extra crunch, consider adding chopped nuts (such as walnuts or pecans) to the crisp topping.

You can adjust the sweetness to your liking by adding more or less sugar in the filling.

Experiment with different apple varieties to find your favorite flavor combination.

Drizzle caramel sauce over the top for an indulgent twist.

Leftover apple crisp can be stored in the refrigerator and reheated in the oven for a warm and comforting treat.

Mom’s Apple Crisp is a timeless dessert that’s perfect for family gatherings, holidays, or just because. It’s a simple yet incredibly satisfying dessert that will fill your home with the aroma of love and nostalgia. So, gather your loved ones and enjoy a slice of this heartwarming treat—it’s a taste of home that’s hard to beat.

This past weekend John, Shelby and I drove down to PA; John spent the weekend with some friends for their annual fantasy baseball draft and I stayed at my parents’ with the pooch.

Mom’s Apple Crisp

At a breezy 70°, the weather on Saturday couldn’t have been more perfect, and we took advantage of the spring-like temperatures by taking a walk over to the pond abutting my folks’ property.

Mom’s Apple Crisp

Shelby had a blast chasing Zack – my parents’ Bichon – around the pond…

Mom’s Apple Crisp
Mom’s Apple Crisp

… as well as wading into the mucky pond water. It was a hassle to clean her up, but she had so much fun that I couldn’t really be angry!

Mom’s Apple Crisp

We stumbled upon some early signs of Spring along our walk, including this little guy. Does anyone else call these furry brown & black caterpillars “fuzzy wuzzies”?

Just me?

Mom’s Apple Crisp

Other sightings included a patch of eggplant-colored skunk cabbage:

Mom’s Apple Crisp

A random animal bone:

Mom’s Apple Crisp

A horseshoe (horseback riding is huge around where I grew up):

Mom’s Apple Crisp

And a dried stalk of fluffy milkweed:

Mom’s Apple Crisp

It was so nice to get outside and enjoy the glorious weather, especially since it is now snowing back up in Boston!

A couple of other items from my trip home worth mentioning are these two books given to me by my dad:

Mom’s Apple Crisp

The first book is the story of Chef Grant Achatz (of Chicago restaurant Alinea) – awarded the James Beard Foundation Outstanding Chef in America title – and his battle with tongue cancer. After undergoing aggressive chemo therapy, Grant lost all sense of taste. Rather than allowing this misfortune to force an early retirement from his culinary profession, Grant embraced his remaining senses to create unique and incredibly creative dishes. I’m intrigued to read about some of his concoctions!

The second book is a memoir by Chef Gabrielle Hamilton (of New York restaurant Prune). The book follows Gabrielle as she grows up in a multitude of culinary settings throughout the years. From what I’ve heard, she’s as prolific an author as she is a talented chef.

I’m excited to read both of these books, but can’t decide which one to crack open first!

Mom’s Apple Crisp

Another highlight of my trip home was a delicious homemade belated birthday dinner, which concluded with my Mom’s apple crisp. She offered to bake a cake or other celebratory dessert, but I absolutely love her healthy apple crisp, so that was my request :).

Mom’s Apple Crisp

The recipe is adapted from this cookbook from the ’70s, which has become well-worn over the years. The apple crisp recipe is categorized under a section entitled “Desserts Can Contribute to Health” – which is clearly right up my alley!

Mom’s Apple Crisp

I love the stains on these pages; my mom has made this crisp countless times over the past few decades, and here is the visible proof. Most of my cookbooks are in pristine condition, as I rarely use them. The Internet generation has completely changed the way we retrieve recipes, and I’m counting this book as a reminder to flip through my cookbooks more often.

Mom’s Apple Crisp

My mom uses the Apple Crisp variation to the Apple Betty recipe, and adds walnuts into the topping for added crunch and flavor.

Mom’s Apple Crisp

This crisp embodies home to me.

Mom’s Apple Crisp

Tender tart apples are topped with a healthy mixture of wheat germ, whole wheat pastry flour, sugar, cinnamon, walnuts, and a touch of butter.

Mom’s Apple Crisp

I enjoyed a hearty serving for dessert topped with vanilla ice cream, as well as a few spoonfuls with Greek yogurt the next morning for breakfast.


Thanks for a wonderful weekend, Mom and Dad. I love you :).

Mom’s Apple Crisp

Mom’s Apple Crisp

Printer-Friendly Recipe

adapted from Adelle Davis’ Let’s Cook It Right


  • 5 tart baking apples (we used unpeeled Granny Smith), cored
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 Tbsp chilled butter, cut into small pieces
Estimated Nutrition Per Serving:
Calories:320 calories
Total Fat:13g
Saturated Fat:8g
Total Carbohydrates:51g
Dietary Fiber:4g


Preheat oven to 375°F.

Thinly slice apples and lay them – in an even layer – in a buttered/greased baking pan (we used a 9 x 13 inch pan, but I think an 8 x 8 inch pan is preferable as it will yield a thicker apple crisp). Pour water over sliced apples.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the wheat germ, flour, cinnamon, both sugars, and walnuts. Whisk until combined.

Sprinkle crisp topping evenly over the apples and dot with pieces of butter.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until the apples are tender and the crisp topping is golden brown.

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