Brown Butter Bourbon Apple Crisp is the Perfect Autumn Dessert


There are two types of people in this world. Those who mourn the end of summer and those who rejoice, I am the latter. As soon as a slight cool breeze sweeps through my hair, I’m trading in the linen shirt for the soft cozy sweaters. My cooking hardly changes–though seasonal, I still bake bread and cakes and pies all year round. But there are some things that are saved for the glorious Autumn season, like this Brown Butter Bourbon Apple Crisp.

This was my first year to ever go apple picking. The stunning orchards in Austin remind me of the dry farm lands of southern Italy. Rows and rows of apple varieties begging to be plucked and savored at home. Gala and Honeycrisp are sweet and hold their shape which means great texture, and it means your dessert won’t become a pile of mush. Macintosh and Granny Smith give that classic saucy thick texture, plus a splash of tartness. When baking with apples, I always mix a variety of sweet and tart as well as those that melt into a syrupy stew and those that keep their bite. Who doesn’t want the best of both worlds? 

I like to lean into the tart and syrupy with lots of texture. Which is why my go to are Granny Smiths and Pink Ladies/Gala with a 2:1 ratio. It’s also important to keep in mind the size in which you cut your apples: those that break down, I tend to cut larger chunks and those that keep their shape, I cut a little smaller. Varying the sizes also gives a great mouth feel. This recipe takes note of these varieties and cooking time doesn’t affect the end product. You’ll know when your crisp is done when the topping is golden brown and the filling is bubbling to the sides. 

Apple crisp is a yearly treat—once you get the fundamentals it’s so easy to make and customize. I often add frozen berries for extra tartness and a pop of color. This Brown Butter Bourbon Apple Crisp recipe is my tried and true, classic Autumn dessert that properly welcomes the transition from warm to cool weather. For no-alcoholic drinkers, you are welcome to omit the bourbon, though the alcohol is cooked out when baked. It’s there to add a warmness and sweet honey-like aroma. The brown butter though I will not skip. It compliments the apple, oat, and cinnamon and adds richness to the filling and beautiful specs of nutty toasted browned butter. This dessert has less than 10 ingredients and is a must try for a low-key Saturday baking project or for your holiday dessert table.


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