On Thursday, there was plenty of sunshine but my, was it windy. You could just tell a weather system was on its way. Friday morning we awoke to snow again on the high peaks and ski runs. It was gray, overcast, and spitting a chilly alternating mix of snow and rain throughout the morning.

Zack and I drove down valley, where we’ve been looking at some real estate. While we were down there, we could see more weather coming in from the west. By the time we were back in Vail and unloading the truck, it was snowing. Big, fat, white snowflakes. And as the evening wore on, they started sticking to the grass.

Oh, mountain living.

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I decided to make our house as cozy as possible and began a number of projects- split pea and ham soup, pumpkin cheesecake snickerdoodle cookies, and this bubbly, comforting apple crisp.

Last weekend we bought a small bag of apples at the farmer’s market and I had stored them away with the intentions of baking a pie. But, I found myself more in the mood for a fruit-heavy dessert. A little perusing on the Internet and I found this recipe from Ambitious Kitchen.

The original recipe calls for oats- I had none – so I added some ground almonds in the crisp topping and made some adaptations of my own. What is brilliant about the recipe is that a portion of the crisp topping is mixed with the apples, ensuring you don’t end up with a soupy mess.  I didn’t use all the topping- I put what I wanted on the top and stored the rest away in an airtight container in the freezer for another crisp in the future.

If you’ve never made brown butter before, then you’re in for a treat. Sometimes I wonder why I don’t use it in everything!

Keep warm and happy baking.




How to make this recipe:

Brown Butter Bourbon Apple Crisp
Adapted from Ambitious Kitchen

5.0 from 1 reviews
Brown Butter Bourbon Apple Crisp
Recipe type: High Altitude Baking
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup ground almonds
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • ⅔ cups chopped pecans
  • 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter
  • 6 medium apples, peeled, cored, and cut into ¼" slices
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
  2. Grease an 8 x 8" square pan.
  3. Prepare the topping by combining the flour, ground almonds, brown sugar, salt, and pecans in a bowl.
  4. Using a pastry cutter, blend the cold butter cubes into the flour mixture until crumbly and the butter is in small pieces. Set aside.
  5. To prepare the filling, place the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Let the butter melt. It will start to foam and crackle. Turn the heat to low and whisk it until its a light golden brown- the color of chicken broth,
  6. Remove from heat and pour over the sliced apples.
  7. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and bourbon and toss to combine.
  8. Take a heaping ½ cup of the topping and add that to the apples. Mix well.
  9. Spoon the apple mixture into the prepared baking pan.
  10. Sprinkle the topping over the apples. Use as much or as little as you want (I had about a cup left over). Any remaining topping can be frozen and used later.
  11. Place the baking pan on top of a cookie sheet to catch any bubbling apple juices and bake for about 45-55 minutes, or until the topping is a light golden brown and the apples are bubbling.
  12. Cool for at least 10 minutes.
  13. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Note: This recipe can be made at any altitude (sea level included).

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  • 21 Oct, 2014
  • 19 Sep, 2018

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