Fall is in the air! The leaves are falling, the smell of Autumn is coming, and the time for fall flavors beckons. And my new Fall cookbook just came out, Ritzy Mom Pumpkin Treats & Tonics! During the fall we get the most flavorful, crisp, and juicy apples that are just perfect to be used in a crisp. This bourbon apple crisp adds a sultry, smoky ladle of bourbon salted caramel that drips into every crevice and cranny. And let me tell you, this is one of the best bites of dessert I have ever had in my life. The deep sweetness of cinnamon spiced brown sugar coating fresh apples that are covered in brown butter and bourbon with a nutty topping of oats and pecans make this the perfect fall dessert to cozy up with. Add on a scoop of vanilla ice cream and drip on bourbon salted caramel, and well, you’ll feel like you just took a bite into Autumn!
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Every Fall we go apple picking at an orchard about an hour away. There are rows of every kind of apple you can imagine. The girls love running through the orchard, filling buckets with all the apples their little hands can grab. They crunch the fresh fruit, juice dribbling down their chins, and gleefully eat as many apples as they can. The best is watching them hold onto the big apples with both hands. We climb ladders, hunt for the best ones on top and hidden within branches. We really have the best time!
We do fruit picking every time there’s something in season, but apple picking is one of my favorites of the year. Some of my best recipes come from the family fun we have and the essence of a spirited day. Somehow apple picking always ends with sticky hands, sleeping kids on a long ride home, and grant and I having a bourbon cocktail when the day is done. The next few days I spend canning apple butter, baking pies and Apple Spiced Cupcakes with Maple Cinnamon Frosting, and scarfing down tons of bourbon apple crisp!
Honeycrisp and Granny Smith apples are the best kind to use for this bourbon apple crisp. Granny apples are firm and have a tartness that plays well in Apple crisps and pies. Honeycrisp apples are tart in a more subtle way, and are so full of juiciness that they are perfect apples for dishes like crisps and pies. If you’re feeling extra spunky then use a mix of both!
This bourbon apple crisp is definitely how I’ll be using the baskets of apples we will pick throughout the Fall.
Enough drooling! Let’s bake the best apple crisp you’ve ever had!
The topping for the bourbon apple crisp is an oat and pecan mix that has a hint of cinnamon and salt to enhance all the brown sugar and nuttiness.
To make the topping you will get a medium-sized bowl and put your brown sugar, flour, oats, cinnamon, and salt. Give it a mix before cutting in your cold butter. Use either a Dough Blender and Cutter or your hands to get it crumbly. Then mix in some chopped pecans. *These are optional and can be left out.
Then put the mixture in the fridge while you work on your filling.
Bourbon Apple Crisp Filling
The first step to the filling is to brown your butter. Browning the butter will deepen up the flavor so each bite you take has different notes of warmth, nuttiness, and caramel. For a tutorial on how to brown butter, check out one of my first videos ever, https://youtu.be/vlbmZXOSn0U! Then stop laughing at me and get back to the apple crisp business!
Once the butter is browned, set it to the side to cool off while you work on the rest of the filling.
Peel the apples and thinly slice them. Toss them in a big bowl with some lemon juice to keep them from browning.
Next, add dark brown sugar and cinnamon to the slightly cooled browned butter, along with a hefty splash of bourbon. The filing is going to smell beyond amazing! Pour it over the apples. Take your topping and use a handful, or a 1/3 cup, of it to mix in with the filling. The flour in the topping mixes with the filling to get it saucy and bubbling and give it some thickness.
Then put the rest of the topping on top.
Bake this baby up for about 50 minutes. Then allow to cool for about 20 minutes while you make your bourbon salted caramel.
Bourbon Salted Caramel
This bourbon salted caramel is so smoky, sticky, and sweet that you’ll want to drink it or eat it by the spoonful all by itself!
When making caramel use a long-handled whisk since it sputters up at times.
Use a big saucepan and scatter the sugar across the bottom. Use the whisk while it’s melting. Once the clumps are gone, just swirl it until it deepens in color. Have softened butter ready and sliced up.
Once the caramel turns amber, put in all the butter. It will foam up. Whisk it until incorporated and then drizzle in your heavy cream and whisk constantly. Lastly, remove from heat and add bourbon and flaky sea salt. The bourbon salted caramel thickens as it cools.
Drizzle it all over bourbon apple crisp and get the taste of Fall! Follow me on Instagram and tag photos of this bourbon apple crisp with #ritzymom for a chance to be featured on my stories or feed!
Bourbon Apple Crisp
This bourbon apple crisp has the sweetness of cinnamon spiced brown sugar coating fresh apples that are covered in brown butter and bourbon with a nutty topping of oats and pecans make this the perfect fall dessert to cozy up with. Add on a scoop of vanilla ice cream and drip on bourbon salted caramel, and well, you’ll feel like you just took a mouthful of Autumn!
- 1 cup flour
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 2/3 cup old fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup butter cold and diced
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans optional
- 6 medium apples, granny or honeycrisp peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup butter browned
- 6 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3-4 tablespoons bourbon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Make topping first:
To make the topping you will get a medium-sized bowl and put your brown sugar, flour, oats, cinnamon, and salt. Give it a mix before cutting in your cold butter. Use either a Dough Blender and Cutter or your hands to get it crumbly. Mix in the chopped pecans, if using.
Then put that mixture in the fridge while you work on your filling.
Brown butter in a saucepan by melting on medium high, then swirling until it foams and begins to brown. A nutty aroma and brown color will give way, then remove from heat.
Add brown sugar and cinnamon and whisk. Then add bourbon and whisk and set this aside.
Peel and slice the apples. Put them into a large bowl and immediately Toss with lemon juice to prevent browning.
Then Pour the sauce over the apples and combine.
Take your topping and use a handful, or a 1/3 cup, of it to mix in with the filling. The flour in the topping mixes with the filling to get it saucy and bubbling and give it some thickness.
Then put coated apples into a buttered 9 x 13 baking dish.
Then Sprinkle the remaining topping all over the apples.
Bake for approx. 50-55 minutes.
Allow to cool for 30 minutes.
Then top with ice cream and drizzle on bourbon salted caramel!
Bourbon Salted Caramel
Smoky, Thick, Sweet, with a hint of salt, this bourbon salted caramel is perfect for topping ice cream, crisps, pies, cupcakes, or eating by the spoonful!
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/8 cup bourbon
- 1 teaspoon salt flaky or coarse
In a large saucepan, over medium high heat, start melting your sugar. Do this by sprinkling sugar all over bottom of the pan.
Then whisk as it melts and clumps form. When it is completely melted and without clumps, set aside whisk and swirl the sugar until it becomes deep amber.
Then add butter all at once. It will sputter up, so whisk with a long handled whisk, and whisk until all butter is melted through.
Then drizzle in heavy cream while constantly whisking through the bubbles and foaming up. Whisk until all of the cream is incorporated, about 45 seconds.
Then remove from heat and add salt and bourbon.
Store in airtight container for up to 2 weeks in refrigerator.
Caramel thickens as it gets cooler. If you want thicker caramel, just cook it for a minute longer after adding heavy cream.
To make this salted caramel, just leave out the bourbon. Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract in place of bourbon, if desired.
Check out my new cookbook all for pumpkin lovers!
Tools For This Bourbon Apple Crisp Recipe
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