I’m certain in another life I was a southern belle.
The food, the music, the scenery, the outdoors…goodness gracious – there’s nowhere in America I’d feel more at home than down south. I’m not sure where it comes from, but I feel very at home amongst all things southern, though the food particularly stands out.
Southern cooking is very hearty, and very homely. Southern food for sure ain’t health conscious, it purely aims to feed and to please. Recipes are treasured and passed down through generations, and food is the ultimate gesture of love.
Just like any southern cook, I believe if you’re going to go to the effort of making dessert, you may as well go all out. I make a nice healthy banana ice-cream any night of the week as a sweet snack, but if I’m making dessert I’m going to do something fabulous – even something as simple as this! This recipe literally requires one bowl to mix and one tin to cook, and only a small chunk of your time to prep – leaving you ample time to go chat with your guests, fix a nice drink, and enjoy the smells wafting from your oven as your delicious dessert bubbles away.
I’ve made many a crisp before and I’ve posted the recipe for my fairly healthy yet still incredibly tasty Berry Cherry Crisp on here, but this beauty is up there in the “super-duper-unhealthy” crisp category. But really, if you’re eating dessert you shouldn’t be worrying which category it falls into, you should just be enjoying it!
This particular apple crisp is one of my FAVOURITE desserts, I’m not normally a fan of warm fruit, but this is just too good. The apples are spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, drowned in brown sugar, and there is quite a nice helping of bourbon in there too – all creating a beautiful rich caramel when it comes out of the oven. The bourbon isn’t overpowering either, rather adding a layer of depth to the caramel you just don’t get from juice. The topping is mostly sugar of course, but the rolled oats add heartiness and the maple a touch of warmth, leaving you with an incredibly moorish crisp you could eat all by itself.
It has to be served with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream, I would be most disappointed in anyone that skipped out on that crucial element. The ice-cream adds a cool and creamy element, melting around the warm apples and my goodness, it just wouldn’t be complete without it. Though I’m sure if you’re partial to a dash of double-cream that’d still go down quite a treat!
Southern Apple Crisp
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 Hour
Serves: Easily 6-8 hearty serves, depends on how big you scoop!
For the Apples
- 6 Large/8 Medium Tart Apples*
- 2/3 Cup Brown Sugar
- 1½ Teaspoons Cinnamon, Ground
- 1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg, Ground
- 3 Tablespoons Arrowroot (Tapioca Starch)
- Juice of 1 Lemon
- 1/4 Cup Bourbon Whiskey*
For the Crisp
- 1 Cup Rolled Oats
- 1/2 Cup Almond Meal
- 1/2 Cup Plain Flour
- 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
- 1/2 Cup White Sugar
- 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon, Ground
- 1/2 Cup Coconut Oil, Melted
- 1 Tablespoon Pure Maple Syrup*
- Pre-heat your oven to 180°c, and prepare your pie-tin or dish of choice. I used a 9″ enamel pie-tin for a sky-high crisp, but you can put it into a large dish for fuss-free preparation and serving, even a rectangular casserole dish would work a treat! There’s no specific size, as long as it all fits and you’re happy!
- Start by peeling all the apples and coring them – it’s a huge bonus if you have one of the fabulous little corer things! Otherwise jut slice in half and remove the core. Slice ’em all up into wedges, and throw the wedges into a large bowl.
- Add the 2/3 cup brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, arrowroot, lemon juice, and bourbon to the apples, and mix well until all the slices are well coated.
- Pour all the apples and every last drop of that delicious liquid into your dish, and give the bowl a quick wash and dry. Ready for the crisp!
- Add the oats, almond meal, flour, brown and white sugars, and cinnamon to the bowl and mix well until combined. Add the melted coconut oil and the maple syrup, and mix until it resembles a dough.
- This might get messy depending on your dish, so be prepared to be strategic! Pop all the crisp on top of the apples – I do it spoonful at a time, light pressing the dough-mix onto the apples so it forms a crust of sorts.
- Once it’s looking good, into the oven it goes! Time will depend on your dish, though you can’t really over do it (though it’s not magic and can still burn so don’t ignore it!), so I would say give it at least 50 minutes before you consider removing it. You want a lovely golden crisp, and just poke the apples to make sure they’re lovely and soft!
Most definitely let the crisp cool for a bit before serving, as the caramel will be piping hot! But it is so delicious warm, so don’t wait too long to tuck in!
The beauty of classic recipes like these is you usually have most, if not all, of the ingredients at home already, so they’re super to whip up before dinner ready for a delicious dessert.
Hope y’all enjoy!
*Any tart variety is great – I used new season Pink Ladies for this! As for quantity, it honestly depends on the size of your apples! I used 7 Apples exactly for this particular one, but I’ve found its always between 6-8, unless they’re super tiny! It’s a very forgiving dessert in that regard.
*I used Makers Mark Bourbon Whiskey for this, though you may use any Bourbon of your choice! If you want to omit the alcohol, you can easily substitute it for apple juice, or even just water.
*I used pure raw Maple Syrup, but you can use any pure Maple, as long as it’s not that imitation business. B grade Maple is also extra points if you have that, it’s so much richer.