Brown Butter Bourbon Apple Crisp


Nothing beats fall on the East Coast. Generally chillier (both in weather and personality) than our West Coast counterpart, we thrive in 40-60 degree temperatures. Cavorting through any apple orchard or pumpkin patch we can find, bundled in boots, sweaters, and scarves, we can't help but be our most genial selves (which isn't saying much). It's downright lovely.

Thanks to a trip to the Homestead Farm apple orchard, this week was apple everything. Luckily, I love to spend my weekends in the kitchen, and in eight hours I managed to crank out (with help) applesauce, apple butter, biscuits, doughnuts, and a brown butter bourbon apple crisp. What are Saturdays for if not to indulge, right?

Anyway, this brown butter bourbon apple crisp is a winning take on an American classic and the perfect way to end a perfect fall day. 

Brown Butter Bourbon Apple Crisp


12-14 apples, cored, peeled, and sliced
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup water

1 cup quick oats
1 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick unsalted butter
2 tablespoons bourbon (I used 1792 Ridgemont Reserve)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 inch pan.
  2. In a small saucepan, melt the stick of butter and cook until you begin to see brown speckles at the bottom. Remove from heat and add the bourbon. Set aside to cool.
  3. Toss the apples, granulated sugar, and cinnamon together in a large bowl until the apples are evenly covered.
  4. Arrange the apples in the greased pan. Evenly pour the water over the top of the apple mixture.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together oats, flour, brown sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. 
  6. Add the brown butter & bourbon mixture and stir until combined.
  7. Using your hands, evenly crumble the flour, oat & butter mixture over the apples until the top is completely covered. 
  8. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean.
  9. Serve warm with your favorite vanilla ice cream and (if you're feeling fancy) caramel sauce.

Adapted from Diane Kester's Apple Crisp II recipe.