Salted Caramel Apple Crisp —the epitome of warm, sweet, rich in warm Fall spices, and absolutely creamy and smooth. Based with tender cooked apples, well coated in a homemade salted caramel and creamy sauce and Fall spices; this crisp comes topped with a crunchy sugar-oat topping and is a guaranteed staple in your house this season. Gluten-free option available.
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Any kind of crisp is really one of my favorite desserts, especially when I am craving for something easy to make. I don't know what it is about this Salted Caramel Apple Crisp, but it's so warm and cozy with each bite. It's almost like enjoying a nice cup of freshly made Apple Cider.
I truly enjoy a good scoop (or two) of vanilla ice cream on top of this crisp fresh out of the oven and the rest is certainly history. Haha. Crisps in general are really enjoyable during the Fall season, however, I'm a believer in a good crisp all year-round.
This recipe is definitely a great family activity and much like my son, your kids (or loved ones) can assist with the stirring together of the sugar-oat mixture as well as the combining of the filling ingredients. It's just a simple, easy dessert recipe that works for everyone.
How to Make Salted Caramel Apple Crisp
I love creating foods and sweets with a healthy twist without compromising flavor. If you’ve tried some of my other work, you’ll know that I’m always rooting for real, organic stuff as ingredients. I’m also always trying to come up with dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan versions of your favorite recipes! This Salted Caramel Apple Crisp is no different.
Things you need to know about some of the key ingredients in this salted caramel apple crisp.
Apples. I love using Gala or Honeycrisp apples or you can use a firm, tart apple like Granny Smith for best results.
Spices (Cinnamon, Allspice + Nutmeg). for warming fall flavor.
Brown Sugar. Make sure it’s organic for vegan.
Sea Salt. to balance out the sweetness of apples and brown sugar.
Vanilla. Another important flavor boost to these hand pies.
Unsalted + Salted butter. No need to have the butter at room temperature. You can take it right out the fridge if needed because you’ll be melting it in a skillet for the caramel sauce. Also, it will be melted for the topping.
Thick Cut Rolled Oats. Choose gluten-free if necessary.
Flour. Used for the creation of the topping.
Why You’ll Love This Salted Caramel Apple Crisp
It's very easy to whip together and uses minimal staple ingredients.
Ready in less than 1 hour and WORTH THE WAIT.
Warm and comforting sweetness + spices with every bite.
Comes with a gluten-free option for those with a gluten sensitivity.
Perfectly sliced apples that are ultra tender and soft when baked.
Nicely crisp topping made from brown sugar + oats.
That extra pizazz from the salted caramel adds a beautiful touch!
Makes for the perfect sweet treat for the entire family.
Tips for Making the Best Salted Caramel Apple Crisp
Here are my best tips for making sure this apple crisp comes out perfectly:
Cut the apples into similar-sized chunks so they cook evenly. If they’re cut too small, the filling may turn to mush. And be sure to peel your apples first to avoid any odd texture----if you're sensitive to textures!
I recommend greasing the baking dish or skillet (unless it's a high-quality non-stick) so your crisp is easy to scoop out and clean up is no big deal.
You can make the oatmeal crumble for the top of your crisp with a pastry blender or with a big fork or a food processor. The key is to make a 'crumbly' mixture. You want some larger pieces and some smaller.
Be sure to let the crisp cool for five to ten minutes at a minimum before serving. This helps the crisp cool and absorb some of the excess liquid in the baking dish.
How to Make the Apple Crisp Topping with Oatmeal
In a bowl, add the flour, oats, brown sugar, and cinnamon, stirring until combined. Add the melted butter and using a spatula, mix until combined and 'crumbly-like'. That simple.
Can I Make Gluten-Free Salted Caramel Apple Crisp?
Absolutely. If you’d like to make this dessert gluten-free, simply substitute the flour with GF All-Purpose flour or 1-to-1 GF Baking Flour, which Bob's Red Mill has a great one! Ensure that other ingredients are GF-friendly (i.e. stock, etc.). Also, ensure that the rolled oats are certified-GF.
Can I Make Vegan Salted Caramel Apple Crisp?
Absolutely. To make this crisp vegan, simply substitute the butter with vegan butter, ensure that the brown sugar is organic and vegan-friendly, and add full-fat coconut cream/milk (canned) for your homemade salted caramel sauce instead of heavy cream.
How to Store the Salted Caramel Sauce
Leftover caramel sauce can be stored in a tightly sealed mason jar for up to two weeks. When ready to use, simply reheat sauce in the microwave at 15 second intervals until softened and at room temp.
Best Way to Store Salted Caramel Apple Crisp
Best if served on the same day of making crisp. If made ahead of time (a few hours before serving), simply re-warm in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Leftovers should be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.
Honestly, I like to sometimes keep on the skin (like in this recipe) and sometimes I peel it. The only difference between the two is the texture and consistency, which doesn't truly bother me. If you prefer a particular texture, definitely peel!
How long does apple crisp take to bake?
It usually takes about 35-40 minutes for everything to bubble and become golden. However, the automatic rule of thumb is once the topping is golden brown!
How to avoid apple crisp from getting soggy?
Once stored for later, it'll get soggy in the refrigerated, however, the trick is to re-heat it in the oven for it to crisp up nicely again.
Does the filling need a thickener?
Absolutely not! The amount of brown sugar will caramelize things up nicely, don't worry! No need to add any thickener at all.
How do you best serve apple crisp?
For the most simplest, but tasty way---I like to scoop my apple crisp in a bowl and top it with my favorite ice cream or whipped cream, but you can enjoy it by itself. Of course, you can always change things up with your breakfast by serving a few scoops of apple crisp atop your favorite yogurt as a yogurt bowl.
In a medium (10-inch) skillet over medium-high heat, heat the brown sugar and stir constantly using a rubber spatula until clumps are formed. Add the butter and continue to stir until everything has melted and become a dark 'amber-like' color. Continue to stir consistently until fully melted and bubbly, about 2-3 minutes.
Now, slowly whisk in the heavy cream and continue to whisk until combined and the sauce has fully thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before using.
TO MAKE THE FILLING:
In a large bowl, add the sliced apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, vanilla, and salted caramel sauce, stirring everything together until combined and the apples are completely coated.
TO MAKE THE TOPPING:
In a bowl, add the flour, oats, brown sugar, and cinnamon, stirring until combined. Add the melted butter and using a spatula, mix until combined and 'crumbly-like'.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Spoon the coated apples into the bottom of your greased standard square baking dish or skillet and top with topping mixture. Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until apple filling becomes bubbly and topping is golden brown.
Once fully baked, remove from oven and let it cool for 5 minutes or so. Serve warm and enjoy with a scoop of your favorite ice cream or Coolwhip!
Tips & Tricks
STORAGE: Best if served on the same day of making crisp. If made ahead of time (a few hours before serving), simply re-warm in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Leftovers should be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.
STORAGE (CARAMEL SAUCE): Leftover caramel sauce can be stored in a tightly sealed mason jar for up to two weeks. When ready to use, simply reheat sauce in the microwave at 15 second intervals until softened and at room temp.
APPLES: Best apples to use for this crisp are: Granny Smith, Gala, Honeycrisp, Fuji, etc.
GLUTEN-FREE OPTION: To make this crisp GF, simply substitute the flour with GF All-Purpose flour or 1-to-1 GF Baking Flour, which Bob's Red Mill has a great one! Ensure that other ingredients are GF-friendly (i.e. stock, etc.). Also, ensure that the rolled oats are certified-GF.