IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Al Roker's Apple Crisp

Anthony Quintano / TODAY

Chef notes

Nothing says fall like the smell of cinnamon and apples in the oven. This sweet crisp also incorporates Chinese five-spice powder that gives it an extra kick.


Apple filling
  • 3 pounds apples, assorted varieties, washed well
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup unsweetened apple cider
Crispy topping
  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ generous teaspoon salt
  • Pinch ground nutmeg
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), softened


For the apples:

Halve and core apples, then cut into 3/4-inch chunks.  Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the sugar & spices. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons butter to melt. Add  the apples and stir well. Cover the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until juices are released and apples have begun to soften, about 10 minutes.  Uncover skillet and add cider.  Continue to simmer the apples until juices have thickened, another 5-6 minutes. 

For the topping:

Preheat oven to 350`F. In a large bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add butter and work in with your fingers until mixture is crumbly. Use your hands to squeeze and press mixture together so that clumps form, this gets the butter fully incorporated and moistens the crumb thoroughly. Break up large clumps into smaller pieces. 

To bake:

Place six 6-8 ounce baking ramekins on a sheet pan and divide apples between them, getting some of the syrupy liquid in each dish. Mound a generous amount of topping over each ramekin, pressing slightly to get more on!

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until filling is bubbly and topping is golden brown and crispy. If desired, serve with vanilla ice cream.  

Recipe Tags