California-Style Apple Crisp

How many of us spend the month of November looking forward to that decadent piece of pie, or two, we get to have on Thanksgiving? I know I do! I get so excited about Thanksgiving dessert that I forget that there are so many other wonderful dessert opportunities leading up to Thanksgiving. This California-Style Apple Crisp is one of them.

My mother’s parents are German, and they typically come to spend the holidays with us. This is exciting to me for many reasons, but one of the sweetest reasons is that my Omi (that’s German for grandma) makes the absolute best apple crisp in the entire world. It’s a simple recipe that’s been passed down to her from her family, and now I’ve tweaked it here and there to make it my own. One main difference is that I add a handful of cranberries to the dish to brighten things up a bit! And it makes it even more festive-looking with the bursts of cranberry red dotted throughout the dessert.

I’ve started serving this for dessert the night before Thanksgiving when the whole family is in town. I almost always have a little bit left over, so I can heat it up the morning of Thanksgiving for breakfast too! It’s a holiday after all, so we are totally allowed to have dessert for breakfast, right?

California-Style Apple Crisp


For the apples:

For the crumble topping:

  • ¾ cups unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup flour


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place the apples in a large bowl and toss with the frozen cranberries, lemon juice, cinnamon and vanilla until everything is evenly incorporated. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish big enough to hold all the apples.
  3. In another bowl, combine the butter, sugar, oats and flour, and using a pastry cutter or a fork, cut the butter into the ingredients until you have a coarse, crumbly mixture.
  4. Pour the crumble mixture on top of the apples and evenly distribute so the apples are covered.
  5. Place the baking dish into the oven and bake for 50 minutes, until the top is golden brown.
  6. Remove the baking dish from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes.
  7. Serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired.
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2 Responses to California-Style Apple Crisp

  1. terry says:

    Love this recipe, I typically make a double batch. Makes a fabulous topping for Oatmeal the next morning.

  2. Gaby says:

    Hi, I noticed you have the same Name as I…Pretty cool. Of course I ma german ,bornm there ..I am a Granny now …
    This apple crisp sounds very good .I will make this .Love the recipes ,
    Happy Holidays .
    Gaby Anne