Elle’s food blog and recipes: caramel apple crisp


Elle Hadwen

Apple crisp has always been a favorite, but sometimes it gets boring, so why not add homemade caramel?

My family loves apple crisp but I don’t love it as much as they do. It could be that I just don’t like crisps. Crisps are easy enough to make but this recipe is more advanced. I had to learn to make caramel from scratch. For those who don’t know what caramel is made of, caramel is made out of sugar, corn syrup, water, and a tiny bit of vanilla. Be warned that sugar burns easily and can boil over, just be sure to watch it and stir occasionally.

Ingredients for the crisp:
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup whole wheat flour (I left this out)
¼ cup packed brown sugar
2 tbsp sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp fine sea salt
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup oats
About 2 ½ pounds of apples (sweet and sour)

For the carmel sauce:
1 cup of sugar
3 tbsp water
1 tbsp light corn syrup
¾ cup heavy cream, warmed or at room temperature
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

For the crisp
Whisk both flours, both sugars, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Drop in the pieces of butter and mash together until you get moist clumps that golf together when pressed. Add the vanilla and oats and use your hands to mix. Cover and refrigerate the topping while you prepare the apples and sauce.
Prepare apples (skin, core, and cut into chunks). Place into bowl and set aside
To make the sauce; pour the sugar, water, and corn syrup into a medium heavy saucepan. Put the pan on medium heat (if you have a stove that heats up fast and hot, I suggest putting it on low) do not stir until the sugar has dissolved. Once sugar has dissolved and starts to color, swirl the pan. Then cook until the caramel, which may boil and smoke, turns a medium amber color. ( you can check this by dropping some on a white plate.) As the caramel cooks, it will splatter on the sides of the pan, take ice water and a silicone pastry brush. Brush the sides.
When it looks done, take it off the heat. Stand back and add the heavy cream, salt and butter. It will sputter dramatically, but it will calm down, stirring helps a lot. If there are any lumps, simply return to heat and continue to stir for a minute or two. This will smooth out the caramel. Stir in the vanilla. Pour into a heatproof container and cover when cool.
To prepare the apples and assemble crisp; center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat – you’ll need the liner to catch drips. Butter a 9-inch deep-dish pan.
Put the apple chunks in a large bowl and pour ⅔ of the caramel sauce on the apples (don’t worry, you’ll have leftover caramel sauce). Turn the apples around until they’re evenly coated, then place them into the pan.
Cover the apples with the topping you made earlier and let chill in the fridge.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the juices are bubbling. Check 30 minutes into the baking just to make sure the crisp is not baking too fast. If this occurs, tent it loosely with parchment paper or tin foil.
Transfer to a rack and let the crisp set until it’s warm or room temperature before serving with the caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream.