I have this protocol I follow, where after I make a recipe I add it to my queue of recipes to post. They’re always in chronological order, so they get posted in the order that I made them. I’m such a rule follower– I feel guilty about breaking my own self-inflicted habit. But tonight I’m a rebel. I’m posting a recipe out of line. I’m going to close my eyes and pretend I don’t notice, and let this one cut, because honestly, it can’t wait!! And since apple season is upon us, I can’t let the opportunity to make this dish pass you by!
Last post I asserted that the best recipes come from friends (and family). Well, here’s further proof. This crazy-delicious Caramel Apple Crisp came from a friend back at school in Utah. I’m not sure where she got it from- maybe, reader, it was you! All I know is, I had it once and was hooked! I made a minor change (or two). We’ll call them enhancements. First, I made my own caramel sauce. And it was easy. And second, I spiced it up with several dashes of cinnamon. The result would make any apple pie jealous.
This dessert must be served a la mode. With the best creamy vanilla bean ice cream you can get your hands on (Breyer’s Natural Vanilla is our top choice). Drop a scoop of vanilla bean on top of your caramel-oozing warm apple crisp and take a taste. Now you know why it couldn’t wait.
2 cups all-purpose flour + 1/2 cup for thickening the caramel sauce
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups oatmeal
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
5 apples, peeled and chopped (tart green ones works best for baking)
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
Caramel Sauce: (OR use a 12 oz. jar of canned caramel sauce)
1 1/4 cups (packed) brown sugar
1/2 cup salted butter (I always use unsalted butter for baking, but in this case salted is necessary)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1. To make the caramel sauce, whisk sugar and butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat until it melts. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, and whisk in cream and stir until sugar dissolves and sauce is smooth, about 3 minutes. Let cool. It can be stored in the refrigerator until ready to use.
2. Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, oatmeal, baking soda, and cinnamon. Add the butter, and with your hands, incorporate until the mixture is crumbly. Press half of the crumb topping into a 9×13 pan and bake for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven.
NOTE: You can add the cinnamon to the crumb topping or you can toss it with the apples to coat (which is what I did). Either way, I’m sure it will taste splendid!
3. Meanwhile, bring the caramel sauce and 1/2 cup flour to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and cook until it thickens, about 5 minutes.
4. Sprinkle apples and nuts (optional) on the crust. Pour caramel sauce over the apples. Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture on top. Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven. Let sit for 30 minutes before serving warm with vanilla ice cream. (If you serve it immediately it will be too runny.)
Fills a 9×13 pan.
(Recipe courtesy of Jamie Adcox, Caramel sauce from Bon Appetit)