How to make old fashioned apple crisp in a slow cooker

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Crisp may not be as pretty as pie but I’ve always liked it better. The crunchy topping is the perfect counterpoint to tender fruit, and won’t get soggy if served à la mode—which I would highly recommend. Apple crisp is especially good since apples don’t release as much liquid as berries or cherries; as they cook down in the sugar and spices, they form a delicious caramel-y sauce.
The apple layer in a crisp can be made with little more than apples, sugar and cinnamon, but a squeeze of lemon for tartness, a dribble of vanilla for sweetness, and a bit of cornstarch for thickening will make your crisp stand out from the rest.
Old Fashioned Apple Crisp
15 minutes
3 hours, 30 minutes
3 hours, 45 minutes
1 tablespoon butter
6 apples, peeled, cored, and chopped (I like Fuji or Honeycrisp)
1 tablespoon (15 ml) lemon juice
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla
1 tablespoon (8 g) corn starch
⅓ cup (75 g) brown sugar
1 teaspoon (2 g) cinnamon
dash of sea salt
1 cup old-fashioned oats
⅔ cup (135 g) brown sugar
½ cup chopped pecans
⅓ cup (50 g) all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon (1 g) cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon (1 g) sea salt
8 tablespoons (230 g) softened butter
Begin by making the apple layer: spread the butter around the inside of a 5-quart slow cooker, then add the apples, lemon juice, and vanilla and toss to combine.
Sprinkle in corn starch, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt and toss again to combine.
Make the topping: combine oats, brown sugar, pecans, flour, cinnamon and sea salt in a large bowl and stir to combine. Add butter and use fingers or fork to blend into dry ingredients until combined.
Sprinkle crumble layer over apples. Lay a sheet of paper towels over the top of the slow cooker and cover with lid. Cook on high for 3 ½ hours, or until apples are tender and top is crisp.
Pro tip: To maximize crunch, remove lid and paper towels and cook uncovered for the last ½ hour of cooking time.
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