I Made Ina Garten’s Apple Crisp—and It’s the Best Way to Eat Fresh-Picked Apples

This apple crisp proves that Ina Garten is queen of the kitchen.

Ina Garten is known for her homestyle recipes, from her famous coconut cake to the best potato salad. But when fall comes around? The Barefoot Contessa makes one of her all-time favorite Thanksgiving desserts: apple crisp.

This old-fashioned apple crisp starts with plenty of apples and is piled high with an oat streusel topping. It’s the ideal dessert after you’ve been out apple-picking. Ina says to top it with good vanilla ice cream for a simple yet fabulous dessert.

Ina Garten’s Apple Crisp Recipe

Ina Garten's apple crispMolly Allen for Taste of Home

Ina Garten’s Old-Fashioned Apple Crisp recipe calls for 5 pounds of McIntosh or Macoun apples. I couldn’t find those types of apples where I live, so I used Honeycrisp apples instead. You can use the apples Ina suggests or pick another type of apple like I did.


Ina Garten's apple crisp ingredientsMolly Allen for Taste of Home

  • 5 pounds apples
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg


  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 2 sticks cold unsalted butter, diced


Step 1: Prep the apples

Ina Garten's apple crisp applesMolly Allen for Taste of Home

Preheat the oven to 350°F and butter or grease a baking dish (Ina’s recipe uses a 14×9-inch oval baking dish). Peel and core the apples and cut them into large wedges. Mix the apples with the zests, juices, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour the mixture into the dish.

Step 2: Make the topping

 Ina Garten's apple crispMolly Allen for Taste of Home

Combine the flour, white sugar, brown sugar, salt, oats and cold butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is the size of peas.

Step 3: Top and bake

 Ina Garten's apple crispMolly Allen for Taste of Home

Scatter the oat topping evenly over the apples. Place the baking dish on a sheet pan and bake the crisp for one hour until the top is brown and the apples are bubbly. Serve warm.

Tips for Making Apple Crisp

Ina Garten's apple crispMolly Allen for Taste of Home

Apple crisps are a simple, delicious dessert. Here are a few tips that will help make Ina Garten’s apple crisp even better:

  • Use your hands: The Barefoot Contessa says to zest oranges and lemons before juicing them. Then, once the zest, juices and sugar have been added to a bowl with the cut apples, use your hands to mix them together. This will make combining the ingredients easier, without apples flying out of the bowl.
  • Switch the oats: Ina uses quick-cooking oats, which are great oats for baking, but you can use old-fashioned oats too.
  • Use a baking sheet: When baking the crisp, put it on a baking sheet in the oven. If the apple crisp does bubble over out of the baking dish, the baking sheet will catch the drippings, keeping the bottom of your oven mess-free.
  • Serve with ice cream: Ina says an apple crisp is one of her favorite desserts—in fact, she loves lots of apple desserts including Trader Joe’s french apple tart—but it has to have ice cream. She serves this old-fashioned crisp warm with really good vanilla ice cream or homemade vanilla ice cream.

Looking for a perfect sweet treat? Check out Ina’s outrageous brownies.

Molly Allen
Molly Allen is a previous bakery owner and former event planner. Now, a freelance writer and editor focused on food and beverage, lifestyle, travel and parties, she brings her years of experience and industry knowledge to readers across a variety of platforms.