Bourbon Rosemary Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp LJD-13cover

My long two-pointed ladder’s sticking through a tree
Toward heaven still,
And there’s a barrel that I didn’t fill
Beside it, and there may be two or three
Apples I didn’t pick upon some bough.
But I am done with apple-picking now.
Essence of winter sleep is on the night,
The scent of apples: I am drowsing off.”

-“After Apple-Picking” by Robert Frost

Apples, apples and apples. I think I will never tired of the smell of an apple baking in something – a pie, a crumble, a crisp, a cake, sprinkled with cinnamon and nutmeg. Sometimes, I feel as if I’m baking not for the final product, but for the sweet, deep aromas that emanate from the oven. In my small apartment, the smell wafts throughout the space, unforgiving, permeating every corner. In that rest period when the dessert is baking and I’m washing all my bowls and spatulas, I inhale deeply, taking in not those soapy suds but the smell of fall. Fall = apples.

Apple Crisp LJD-1

Bourbon and apples go so well together, don’t you think? I added in a little sprinkling of rosemary to the crumble, as well as some orange zest. I loved the result!


The apples are tossed in bourbon and then cooked on the stove. This allows the apple to soften. It’s OK to sneak in a couple of slices. I certainly did…

Next, you want to layer apples in your baking vessel. Once the crumble is properly chilled, sprinkle it over the apples. DO NOT PRESS. Only sprinkle!!! This creates that lovely texture of a crumble/crisp.


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Isn’t it so tempting to just dive in at this point?? Well, don’t!! Let it cool just a little, so that the juices and flavors can really settle. Plus, now you can make whipped cream or scoop out some ice cream.

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Because whipped cream!!! Tell me, have you all gone apple picking yet? What’s your favorite kind of apple?

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RECIPE: Bourbon Rosemary Apple Crisp
with much help from this amazing article on making crumble without a recipe from Food52.

5 baking apples, thinly sliced
3 tbs bourbon
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup heaping flour
1/2 cup brown sugar (I mixed in some raw sugar for complexity)
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 tbs finely chopped rosemary
zest of an orange

1| Crumble: Cut butter into flour – I like to use my hands and pinch the butter into the flour. It’s 100% OK to have pea sized chunks throughout. Add in sugar, spices, and oats. Sprinkle in rosemary and orange zest. Chill in fridge for 30 minutes.
2| Apples: Toss apple slices with bourbon. Cook in a large skillet for about 10 minutes on low heat. We want to soften the apples a bit as well as let the bourbon reduce. I can’t say I did not sneak a couple bourbon-coated apple slices.
3| Preheat oven to 400F.
4| In an oval dish or individual ramekins or an 8×8 square pan (anything really), layer apples. Sprinkle on crumble – do not press. Bake for 30 minutes, until bubbly.

Serve warm or with a dollop of whipped cream! Or ice cream!!!

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  • The rosemary sounds like an interesting addition, not that bourbon and orange zest aren’t (they too sound delicious!), but the rosemary is especially intriguing. I like the idea of adding a herby/savoury note to a sweet dessert. An adult version of crumble indeed.ReplyCancel

    • Betty

      Indeed :). I always love adding herbs to sweet dishes – I think it gives it an oomph (not that bourbon doesn’t already!!) I only added 1 tbsp of chopped rosemary, and I found that it actually contributes a very subtle taste. I think that if more rosemary were added, it might overpower the dish.ReplyCancel

  • Gorgeous. I love that you added bourbon and rosemary — and that you made baby crumbles! :)ReplyCancel

    • Betty

      Thank you!!! I’m all about the baby dishes :). I absolutely loved your mini cakes! Been dying to try it out!!!ReplyCancel

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