Bourbon Apple Crisp

With apple season in full swing, it’s time to revisit my favorite apple dessert.  A great intro to baking for beginners, this recipe will make you look like a pro!  The addition of bourbon gives the filling a luscious, caramel-y kick.  Oh, and did I mention your house will smell like heaven when this comes out of the oven?

The secret to this crisp is to use a combination of apples such as Granny Smith, Pink Lady and Fuji.  Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and a pinch of cinnamon on top.  And if you’re really feeling saucy, pair it with a sidecar of Bourbon. 
Ooh la la!

We featured this recipe on our pilot episode of “Sugared” – you can click the play button below to watch!

Bourbon Apple Crisp

Makes about 8 servings


For the Topping

2 cups all-purpose flour
1  cup granulated sugar
1 cup golden brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 sticks unsalted butter , cold and cut up into 1/2 inch squares

For the Filling
3 pounds (about 5 large) apples (use a combination such as Granny Smith, Pink Lady and Fuji or your own variety based on what’s in season)
1/4  cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup bourbon
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup golden brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg*
1 cup dried cherries, (optional)


Place one oven rack on the bottom slots of your oven and place a cookie sheet on rack (this will catch any spill over from your pie dish during the baking process.)
Position another rack in the middle slots of oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees. (Don’t put the cookie sheet directly under the pie dish as this will prevent the bottom of the dessert from cooking evenly.)

For the Topping:

In large bowl, combine the flour, sugars and salt.  Mix well.
Add cold butter squares to flour mixture and begin to “pinch” butter into tiny pea-like pieces.  Mixture will eventually form into moist crumbles. This will take about 3- 5 minutes by hand.
(Note: This step can also be done using a food processor instead of by hand. Add butter squares to flour/sugar mixture in food processor and pulse mixture about 5-7 times until moist crumbles form.)
Set aside.

For the Filling:

Peel and core apples using a peeler or a paring knife.
Slice the apples thin- about 1/8 of an inch thickness- and place in large bowl.
Add the lemon juice and toss to coat apples.
Add the bourbon and toss to coat apples.
Set bowl aside.
In separate small bowl, combine flour, sugars, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Sprinkle over apple mixture and toss till well combined.
Add dried cherries and toss till combined.
In a 9 or 10 inch pie dish, transfer apple filling mixture. Generously add the crumble topping mixture, covering apples completely.
Place pie dish in oven and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Crisp is done when crumble topping is a beautiful golden brown and the filling is bubbling up around the rim of the pie dish.
Let crisp sit for at least 15 minutes to cool a bit before serving.
Using a large serving spoon, dish out portions and serve warm, preferably with vanilla bean ice cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

*Freshly grated nutmeg can be produced using a very fine grater such as a microplane.  If you do not have fresh nutmeg on hand, 1/8 teaspoon of dried nutmeg can be substituted.

2 Responses to Bourbon Apple Crisp

  1. Mary Sloan says:

    Just made the pie crust. Unbelievable! The first time in my life I have ever made a pie crust and not been so frustrated with it I wanted to throw it across the room. It’s cooling now–beautifully golden. Can’t wait to add the filling!

  2. Mary Sloan says:

    Weird. I commented on the pumpkin pie recipe, but it went to apple crisp recipe.

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