Try this fresh take on a classic: Cranberry Bourbon Apple Crisp drizzled with a Salted Caramel Sauce!
Thanksgiving is, without a doubt, my favorite holiday. While other holidays celebrate or commemorate around a table, none quite have the same emphasis on food, and more importantly, on togetherness.
This focus on appreciation for what one has is what makes Thanksgiving so special to me. Yes, there is a table full of my favorite foods and flavors that I can’t deny the importance of. But it’s the coming together around this sustenance for the purpose of being thankful that makes my heart swell.
As a college anthropology major, I find the intersection of physical necessity and sociocultural practice fascinating. Thanksgiving is the epitome of this junction. It’s about filling our bellies, but also recognizing our good fortune and thus, filling our souls.
That food can be a means of appreciation is remarkable to me. And that our entire country celebrates that on one day? It’s heartwarming.
This Thanksgiving, I hope that you all can find this same appreciation and warmth in your day. And, of course, I hope the day is filled with lots and lots of dessert.
One dessert I highly recommend? This Salted Caramel Cranberry Apple Crisp. It’s festive and spiced and delicious. It’s flavorful without being super dense, so you can easily eat it along with at least three other desserts. Because everyone needs four desserts on their plate.
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Cranberry Bourbon Apple Crisp with a Salted Caramel Sauce
For the apples
- 5 large cortland apples
- 1 large macintosh apple
- 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons bourbon
For the crisp
- 1 cup flour
- 2/3 cup old fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 cup pecans (whole or pieces)
- 1/2 cup salted butter, cold, cut into cubes
For the salted caramel
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Peel and core apples, then cut into thin slices. Place apples into a large bowl, then toss with cranberries, brown sugar, flour, spices, salt, lemon juice, and bourbon. Place into a large pie pan or caste iron skillet.
- To make the crisp, plae the flour, oats, brown sugar, spices, and pecans into a food processor and pulse until nuts become well chopped. Pulse in butter until mixture resembles a coarse sand. Crumble mixture over apples, then bake for 30 minutes.
- While the pie is baking, make the salted caramel. Place the sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Use a spatula to occasionally stir the sugar, getting to the bottom of the pan. At first the sugar will be lumpy, but will soon melt and start turning a brownish color. Don’t stir too often, just enough to keep everything evenly cooking.
- After 5 minutes, the sugar should become fully melted. Once it becomes a medium golden hue, remove from heat immediately and stir in butter. The mixture will violently bubble. You’re doing it right.
- Use your spatula to stir the butter and sugar until they melt together completely. This can take 1-2 minutes. Next, pour in the heavy cream and sea salt. Remove from heat, then stir until combined.
- Allow the caramel to cool slightly before pouring over crisp.