Frugal Foodie Friday: Grandma’s Easy Apple Crisp


Though it can be hard to narrow down, I think we all have a dessert or two that shouts perfection to our palates. I confess that my tastes are really quite simple; my two favorite desserts are still chocolate chip cookies and apple crisp. Don’t bother with the time consuming crust for me, simple baked apples with a sugar-crumble topping is all I need for a true comfort sweet.

My current favorite recipe is still this Crumbly Maple Apple Crisp. I made it for my Uncle’s birthday (he too prefers to forgo the pie crust) and everyone raved, even though I snuck in whole wheat flour, unpeeled fiber-rich apples, and oats on them! But, when grandma later requested a “traditional” apple crisp … well, I can never disappoint my sweets loving grandma. So this Grandma’s Easy Apple Crisp is made with the simple everyday ingredients!

Grandma's Easy Apple Crisp - Dairy-free traditional apple crisp made with just 6 ingredients!

All you need is six ingredients to prepare this beautifully golden apple crisp. It’s a perfect way to enjoy apples this apple season. It’s an easy dessert to prepare for any occasion as well.  I do use a bit of Earth Balance’s new soy-free margarine to keep the whole dessert dairy-free and soy-free, but if you can’t locate it, any dairy-free margarine will work. It’s also easily made gluten-free by subbing in your favorite all purpose gluten-free flour.

Special Diet Notes: Grandma’s Easy Apple Crisp

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian. Optionally soy-free and gluten-free.

Grandma'’s Easy Apple Crisp
Serves: 6-8
  • 5 to 6 medium-sized apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (about ⅛ to ¼-inch thickness)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar, divided (can sub granulated sugar in a pinch)
  • ¾ cup all-purpose or whole wheat pastry flour
  • ¼ cup dairy-free margarine (I used Earth Balance Soy-Free)
  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF.
  2. Prepare the apples and toss with the lemon juice and cinnamon, if using. Evenly distribute ½ of the apples in an 8 x 8 baking dish, evenly sprinkle with roughly half of the powdered sugar (6 tablespoons for those of us who are precise!), and top with the remaining apples. Briefly set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, sift together the remaining powdered sugar and the flour. With a fork, pastry blender, or your fingers, blend in the margarine until you get what resembles coarse bread crumbs. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over your apples, and bake for about 55 minutes. If the topping isn’t crisp enough for your liking, feel free to broil it for 1 to 2 minutes to brown it up a bit.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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