This strawberry apple crisp with oats is bursting with jammy, fruity flavor. The ripe sweetness of strawberries perfectly balances the subtle tang from lemon zest. Brown sugar and vanilla provide comforting aromas and the rolled oats in the golden brown, buttery crisp topping add nutty flavor and a satisfying chewy texture.
Crisps are simple, recipes that turn a generous amount of fruit into an easy, delicious dessert.
In this strawberry apple crisp, juicy, red strawberries and tart green apples are gently sweetened with brown sugar. I kept the sugar in the filling to a minimum to let the natural sweetness of the fruit shine through, and provide a nice contrast to the sweeter crisp topping. Vanilla and lemon zest provide additional flavor and complement the jammy fruit taste.
I've made the topping with half whole wheat flour in order to add a rustic texture and nutty flavor to the crisp. Rolled oats give a toothsome texture and additional heartiness.
Fruit crisps and crumbles (similarly made, but without oats) may not be visually compelling, but the sweet aroma of strawberries and apples baking will certainly win you over to this humble, delectable dessert. And if they don't, the warm tender fruit, crispy topping, and thickened fruit juices surely will. And there's the scoop of vanilla ice cream on top...
But surely you don't need more convincing. Read on for all the details.
FOR THE CRISP TOPPING
Unsalted butter - Using unsalted butter allows you to control the total quantity of salt in the recipe. Salt content in salted butter varies from brand to brand. The butter should be cubed to make it easier to cut into the flour mixture of the crisp.
Whole wheat flour - Whole wheat flour adds a rustic heartiness and a subtle graham-cracker flavor. Alternatively, you can use rye flour for a nutty profile.
Oats - This recipe uses old fashioned rolled oats. Do not replace with quick oats or steel cut oats.
FOR THE STRAWBERRY AND APPLE FRUIT FILLING
Semi-tart baking apples - I use Granny Smith apples, which are tart and firm with a shiny, bright green peel. Braeburn apples would give a similar flavor. Golden Delicious or Jonagold have slightly different flavor but retain a comparable texture when baked.
Strawberries- Fresh or frozen strawberries will work for this recipe. There's no need to defrost the berries prior to baking. You may need to add a few minutes of bake time. To know when the crisp is done, look for the cues noted in the recipe card.
Brown sugar - If your strawberries aren't particularly sweet, consider adding an extra tablespoon of sugar. Taste the filling before you bake the crisp to get a sense if more sugar is needed.
Lemon juice - Lemon juice adds brightness and keeps the apples from turning brown.
Cornstarch - Cornstarch thickens the juices from the apples and strawberries.
* See recipe card for full list of ingredients and quantities.
Learn how to make strawberry apple crisp with oats! These photos provide visual cues. Find the detailed instructions in the recipe card.
In a large bowl, mix together flours, oats, sugar and salt. Cube butter and add to flour mixture. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, work butter into flour. The butter should be incorporated until mixture forms clumps. Cover bowl and freeze 15 minutes or refrigerate for 1 hour.
Peel, core and chop apples. Add brown sugar, cornstarch, pinch of salt, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla. Stir until apples are well coated.
Add strawberries and stir gently to blend into the apples and coat with cornstarch mixture.
Pour strawberry apple filling into dish and distribute evenly.
Pinch bits of the crisp topping mixture between your fingers to make small clumps. Sprinkle topping all over the fruit.
Place dish on parchment lined baking sheet (to catch any drips) and bake on middle rack of oven for 55-60 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177° Celsius, Gas mark 4).
The crisp is done baking when juices in the middle are bubbling (not just at the edges) and the topping is a nice golden brown color.
Hint: Chilling the crisp topping before baking will ensure that the butter remains cold. This will help the topping to crisp up well when baked.
- Whole wheat flour - Feel free to replace the whole wheat (or rye) flour in the crisp with an equal amount of all-purpose flour. You'll lose a little bit of the nutty flavor and rustic texture that whole wheat flour provides, but it won't negatively affect the outcome of the recipe.
- Strawberries- If you don't have strawberries, you can replace them with an equal amount of apples for a classic apple crisp. You could also use a similar amount of plums, blueberries or rhubarb. If using rhubarb, I recommend doubling the sugar quantity in the filling (increasing from ¼ cup to ½ cup.)
Give these variations and serving suggestions a try!
- Without oats - To make this crisp into a strawberry apple crumble, omit the oats from the recipe.
- With nuts - Add ¼ to ½ cup chopped nuts such as almonds or pecans to the crisp topping recipe.
- Extra topping- If the crispy, buttery topping is your favorite part of this classic fruit dessert, go ahead and make an extra thick layer! I'd start with a 1.5x recipe: increase the flours, sugar and butter each to ¾ cup, add 1⅛ cups rolled oats, and just a pinch more salt.
- Á la Mode - Serve each portion of strawberry apple crisp with a scoop of vanilla ice cream - or your favorite flavor! Strawberry ice cream would be particularly fitting.
- Over the top - Serve with a sprinkling of cinnamon and sugar, or a drizzle of maple syrup.
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For this strawberry apple crisp recipe, I use a 2.5 quart (2.4 liter) ceramic Corning Ware casserole dish that measures 12 inches x 9.75 inches x 2 inches. I found it at a secondhand store, but you can purchase it here. A 9 x 13 inch casserole dish provides the same area and works equally well.
A parchment or foil lined half sheet baking pan (18 x 13 inches) catches any drips or spills. Sometimes a bit of fruit juice bubbles over. Save yourself the work of cleaning the oven and use a baking sheet underneath!
Store: Store leftover crisp in the refrigerator, covered in plastic wrap, for up to 5 days.
Freeze: To freeze leftovers, wrap in plastic wrap and place in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 month. Defrost in the refrigerator prior to serving.
Make ahead: Make the crisp topping ahead of time. You can prepare it up to a week in advance and store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Alternatively, you can also freeze it in a zippered storage bag for up to 3 months.
You can also make the filling ahead of time and freeze it in the baking dish. See details in the FAQ below.
It's up to you! I often don't peel apples for pies, tarts and applesauce. I did choose to peel these apples because shiny apples like the Granny Smith variety usually have a considerably thicker skin. If the peels don't normally bother you, feel free to leave them on.
It's truly a matter of preference. In this recipe, the apples are cut into smaller pieces and baked in the oven for nearly an hour. In that amount of time, they become quite tender, so I don't recommend pre-cooking them here.
If you prefer firmer apples, simply cut the apple pieces larger when preparing them.
Having the right ratio of butter to flour is important! Chilling the topping ensures the butter remains cold, which prevents the butter from melting prematurely.
Pressing the crisp mixture into small, firm clumps before placing on top of the fruit helps ensure a craggy, textured top that will bake up crispy.
Baking the crisp in a medium oven (350 degrees Fahrenheit, 177° Celsius, Gas mark 4) allows plenty of time for the fruit to break down without the topping getting too brown.
Yes! If you want to freeze the crisp before baking, freeze the fruit filling and crisp topping portions separately.
Seal the topping in a zipper sealed freezer-safe bag. Place in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Prepare the fruit filling as written. Line the baking dish with a double layer of plastic wrap covering the entire interior surface. Press the lining in firmly to remove air bubbles. Place fruit filling into dish on top of plastic wrap. Cover with another layer of plastic wrap and place in freezer for several hours, until frozen.
Once fully frozen, remove plastic wrap with frozen filling from dish and wrap well. Place in the freezer in a well sealed layer of aluminum foil or sealed freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months. (This way you get your dish back for other baking projects!)
When ready to bake, unwrap frozen fruit and place into dish. Spread the crisp topping onto the filling just before baking. Baking time will need to be extended since ingredients are frozen. Do not adjust oven temperature. If topping is getting too dark towards the end of baking, loosely cover top with aluminum foil.
More Fruit Desserts
If you liked this strawberry and apple crisp recipe, you'll want to try these other recipes highlighting seasonal fruit too!
Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star ★★★★★ rating in the recipe card below, and scroll down to leave a review. Your comments, suggestions and adaptations are very helpful to other bakers. Thank you for visiting!
Strawberry Apple CrispPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
CRISP TOPPING (WITH OATS)
- 60 grams (½ cup) all purpose flour
- 56 grams (½ cup) whole wheat flour (or rye flour)
- 60 grams (¾ cup) rolled oats (not quick oats)
- 100 grams (½ cup) light brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt (I use Diamond Crystal)
- 113 grams (½ cup; 8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter (chilled)
STRAWBERRY APPLE FILLING
- 900 grams (2 pounds; approximately 4 large) Granny Smith apples (or other semi-tart, firm baking apples)
- 454 grams (1 pound) strawberries
- 50 grams (¼ cup) light brown sugar
- 30 grams (3 Tablespoons) corn starch
- 1 pinch Kosher salt (I use Diamond Crystal)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 30 mL (2 Tablespoons) lemon juice
- lemon zest (from ½ lemon)
- In a large bowl, mix together flours, oats, sugar and salt. Cube the butter and add to the flour mixture. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, work the butter into the flour. The butter should be incorporated until the mixture forms clumps. Cover bowl and freeze 15 minutes, or refrigerate for at least 1 hour.If making ahead, place crisp topping in a zippered storage bag and freeze for up to 3 months.60 grams (½ cup) all purpose flour, 56 grams (½ cup) whole wheat flour, 100 grams (½ cup) light brown sugar, ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt, 113 grams (½ cup; 8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, 60 grams (¾ cup) rolled oats
STRAWBERRY APPLE FILLING
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177° Celsius, Gas mark 4) with rack in center of oven. Set out a 9 x 13 ceramic casserole dish.
- Peel, core and chop apples into medium pieces (see photo for reference). I quartered my apples, sliced each quarter into 4-5 lengthwise, and then cut those in half. Place apples in a large bowl.900 grams (2 pounds; approximately 4 large) Granny Smith apples
- To the apples, add brown sugar, cornstarch, salt, lemon juice and lemon zest. Stir until apples are well coated. Add strawberries and stir gently to blend into the apples and coat with cornstarch mixture. Pour into ceramic dish and distribute evenly.454 grams (1 pound) strawberries, 50 grams (¼ cup) light brown sugar, 30 grams (3 Tablespoons) corn starch, 1 pinch Kosher salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 30 mL (2 Tablespoons) lemon juice, lemon zest
- Pinch bits of the topping mixture between your fingers to make small clumps. Sprinkle clumps of topping all over the fruit to cover it. Bake for 55-65 minutes, or until juices are bubbling in middle of crisp and topping is golden brown. Place on a rack to cool for 30 minutes (this will allow the juices to thicken). Serve warm or cold with vanilla ice cream, lightly sweetened whipped cream, crème fraîche, yogurt or custard sauce.
The Floured Table
Recipe Author: Kathleen Culver