*Sigh* Don’t apples have the most pleasant fall and winter vibes? It always gets me in the spirit of the season. Plus, my guy loves apples. Totally loves them. So I love coming up with new recipes that include apples. Everyone wins!
That’s why I created this easy to bake and knock your socks off Apple Crisp Recipe with Caramel & Toasted Pecans. It’s a fun spin on a traditional apple crisp. The pecans give it a nutty richness and the caramel makes it a little sweet to balance some tart apples.
So let’s make it! Scroll to the bottom to go straight to the recipe and read on for tips and tricks.
Ingredients to Make a Caramel Apple Crisp
In this recipe, we’re making 3 different things that fit together. Possibly 4. We make the crumble topping, the caramel apple filling, the caramel sauce and if you are feeling ambitious – the vanilla ice cream too! So there are a lot of supplies.
You’ll need the basics like flour, white sugar, and brown sugar. Plus a couple of oddball ingredients like half and half and granny smith apples. The full list of supplies can be found at the bottom of this post!
Make the Crumble Topping
This recipe starts with the crumble topping. There are a million ways to make a crisp or cobbler topping – but this one is caramel apple perfect. First, start with flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. The spices are just perfect for this recipe.
Be sure the spices are evenly blended by whisking them together. You can also use a fork to blend these dry ingredients.
Then cut in cold butter like you would for a pie crust. Continue to blend in your butter until you get a crumbly consistency.
Now add oats and pecans to make a rich and flavorful topping! When the pecans crisp in the oven, it’s truly special.
Coat the Apples
After you peel and slice your Granny Smith apples, you are going to coat them in flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. As you would with any dry ingredients, blend them together first. Make sure they are even before tossing your apples in the coating.
If you want softer apples, you can place your coated apple slices in the fridge in a plastic bag overnight. Not only is it totally flavorful, it has a lovely old-fashioned texture. If you want fresher apples, use them immediately.
Then you can layer your apples in a greased baking dish. It may seem silly to grease a baking dish for a crumble, but it really will help with both serving and clean up!
How to Make the Caramel Sauce
I made the caramel sauce from scratch and you should too! It will make your recipe even richer and more decadent. But if you are in a rush and want to make a quick version. Just find a pre-made caramel sauce.
Most of the sauce is actually used to top the finished dessert before serving and even the ice cream. Be careful that you are only using a few tablespoons inside the apple pie filling.
Make Your Caramel Apple Crisp Cute
Since this dessert is so simple and southern, it’s fun to find little ways to make it cute. I chose to make a flower out of pecan halves for the center of this Apple Crisp. It just adds a touch of charm!
How to Bake Your Caramel Apple Crisp
Your Caramel Apple Crisp bakes just like other crumbles – at 350°F for around 45 minutes. This is a dish that you will always want to check and turn a little past halfway through cooking time. Look for any brown areas in the topping – where the oven is hotter. Be sure to rotate that area so you won’t accidentally burn a corner of your Apple Crisp.
Your Apple Crisp is ready when the entire surface is a gorgeous golden brown.
How to Serve Your Caramel Apple Crisp
I chose to serve this Caramel Apple Crisp warm straight from the oven with a bit of vanilla ice cream. If you really want to go for it, you have to try Mexican Vanilla (that’s vanilla with a hint of cinnamon) or a Maple Ice Cream. Buttered Pecan would be amazing and decadent too or you could try frozen yogurt for a healthier alternative!
Be sure that you left enough of your caramel sauce to top your Apple Crisp and your ice cream. You may want to warm the caramel sauce before drizzling it over the dessert.
And viola! You have a gorgeous finished Caramel Apple Crisp with Toasted Pecans! So yummy and a perfect twist on apple desserts. This would pair so well with a classic entree like a grilled garlic steak.
What would you pair this Apple Crisp with? Tell us in the comments!
Caramel Apple Crisp with Toasted Pecans Recipe
Crisp Topping Ingredients:
- 1 ⁄2 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 ⁄4 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 ⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1 ⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Pinch of ground ginger
- 1 ⁄2 cup cold unsalted butter cubed into small pieces
- 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
Caramel Apple Filling Ingredients:
- 5 cups Granny Smith apples sliced (around 5 large apples).
- 1 ⁄4 cup white sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 ⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup caramel sauce store bought or use the easy recipe below
Caramel Sauce Ingredients:
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup half and half
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Caramel Sauce Instructions:
- Add brown sugar, butter and half and half to a small pan.
- Slowly bring it to a boil, stirring the entire time. Boil for 2-3 minutes, or until sauce thickens (it will thicken more as it cools)
- When the caramel reaches a desired thickness, remove it from heat and stir in the vanilla. This can be used immediately as a sauce or chilled for dipping apples later. Simply reheat to thin it out. Keep the caramel sauce in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Cooking Instructions for Caramel Apple Crisp with Pecans:
- Preheat oven to 350°F and grease one 9 inch pan.
Crisp Topping Instructions:
- In a medium sized bowl combine the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Use a whisk to make sure it is thoroughly mixed.
- Add cubed butter with a pastry cutter by chopping it in.
- When the topping becomes crumbly and consistent, add in the oats and the chopped pecans.
- Place in in the refrigerator while you make the filling.
Caramel Apple Filling Instructions:
- Peel and thinly slice 5 large apples or 5 cups total.
- In large bowl combine sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Toss the apple slices in mixture. Stir the apples to evenly coat them.
- Place the coated apples in a 9 inch greased baking dish. Atop the apples, add a tiny drizzle of caramel sauce. Don't add too much! You will want to use around 2 tablespoons or less.
- Bake for 40-48 minutes. Topping should be browned and the apple filling should be juicy, hot and bubbly.
- Cool slightly before serving.
- Just before serving, drizzle more caramel sauce onto the warm Caramel Apple Crisp. Serve with vanilla ice
- cream and a side of caramel sauce for dipping.
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