Though a simple apple crisp at its heart, the addition of Jim Beam Apple liqueur with Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, elevates this crisp to something truly special. Must be that American oak that wafts over the apples that sets its apart.
Preheat oven to 350oF. Butter an 8×8 or 2 quart baking dish.
Prep topping: Add butter, brown sugar, flour and salt to the workbowl of a food processor. Pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the oats and pulse about 4-5 times, chopping coarsely. Add the walnuts and pulse 6 times more. The goal is that the butter/sugar/flour is fine, but that the oats and nuts retain some texture. Sprinkle ½ cup of the topping in the baking dish. Refrigerate remaining topping until needed.
Prep the filling: In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, sour cream, bourbon, flour, eggs, and salt. Add the apples. Pour the mixture into the baking dish.
Bake on a sheet pan to avoid spills, in the center of the oven for 50 minutes. Sprinkle remaining topping over fruit, baking an additional 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
Serve warm with ice cream.
Be sure to choose an apple that can stand up to cooking. Sometimes we tend to grab a favorite eating apple, but that is not always the best choice. On my first try, the farmer suggested Jonagold, Snow Sweet or Ida Reds. I chose Snow Sweet and they were perfect, though I suspect not that easy to come by. They are also delicious “eating apples”.
The next time I tested the recipe, I used Northern Spy – a classic cooking apple. This fall I have fallen in love with Sweet Tango, but my farmer told me don’t bother. They cook to mush. That was a real surprise because they are so very apple-y tasting and super crunchy. But, I trust the farmer.
For the non-drinkers in the crowd, feel free to omit the bourbon and consider some extracts like vanilla or almond. I used vanilla on one of my tests but found it in competition with the bourbon, so ended up eliminating it. If you are not using the alcohol, try adding in some alcohol-free extracts.
For those adding the alcohol, consider a straight bourbon, Hotel Tango Whiskey (from a new-ish Indiana distillery run by friends), or even Calvados, in lieu of the JB Apple.
Serve with ice cream. Vanilla is classic or salted caramel would be a serious upgrade.
Keywords: Apple Crisp