Ina Garten Says There's 'Nothing More Comforting' Than Her Thanksgiving Apple Dessert Recipe

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We love everything about Thanksgiving. Well, almost everything. We’d be lying if we said we enjoyed the seemingly hours-long process of doing the after-dinner dishes, and fretting over the turkey for hours (is the skin crispy? are the thighs done?) has probably taken years off of our life. Another task we usually dread? Rolling out pie crust for dessert. It somehow never comes out right, and even when it does, it gets a huge section of our counter messy at a time when space is at a premium. So why not take a page book out of Ina Garten’s book this year, and make a dessert that doesn’t require that premium dough rolling space, but is still full of your favorite Thanksgiving dessert flavors? According to the star on Instagram, “For Thanksgiving there’s nothing more comforting than an old-fashioned apple crisp still warm from the oven,” and after reading her recipe, we’d have to agree.

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Before we get into the nitty gritty, we should also mention that this apple crisp dessert recipe can be started in the morning, before guests arrive, then get popped into the oven later in the day, once there’s room for it. That alone can save a lot of stress. You can even put it in the oven once the turkey and sides are out, while you’re eating dinner — the smell of warm apple crisp will fill your home, making everyone’s appetites linger after a serving of meat and ‘taters.


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Garten uses five pounds of apples in her crisp recipe, and they’re seasoned with orange and lemon zest and juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Feel free to play around with it, though. A splash of orange blossom water could help really bring out those citrusy, floral flavors, or you could add some cardamom and cloves if you’re craving more holiday spice. And though Garten’s recipe doesn’t call for it (which we can hardly believe), a splash of “good vanilla,” like Garten’s favorite Nielsen-Massey vanilla, would go a long way.


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The topping is pretty standard, a sweetened butter, sugar, flour, and oat mixture. Once you add the apple mixture to an oval baking dish, sprinkle on the crumble topping, and bake the whole thing for an hour.


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Ina Garten’s apple crisp recipe is so much easier than making a pie from scratch, but it delivers on all the same classic apple flavors that we associate with Thanksgiving. Serve with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or powdered sugar, and your guests will go to bed with happy tummies and a smile on their face.

Before you go, check out these Ina Garten-Approved holiday gift ideas:

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