Desserts Food

Brown Butter Apple Crisp

When it comes to the sweet stuff in life, I’m a fruit dessert kind of gal. Give me a cobbler, crisp, or a piece of fruit pie over a piece of chocolate cake any day of the week. Last week I made dulce de leche (which simply involved low boiling a can of sweetened condensed milk over a four hour period). This week it’s been my apple dip of choice, but I thought those flavors would work well with a crisp, so I turned that milky sweet goodness into ice cream.

My favorite apple crisp contains brown butter, a couple splashes of Cognac, and some Saigon cinnamon. I like to use a combination of Granny Smith apples (which hold their shape well when baked), and Macintosh (which break down into an aromatic sauce). My husband has trouble consuming oats, so the crisp topping contains toasted almonds in their place.

While my ice cream needs some work (it was more milky and icy than dulce de leche-y), it was a great jumping off point, and once the mixture melted and combined with the apples it was a winning combination. My recommendation is to pick yourself up a pint of Haagen Dazs Dulce de Leche ice cream to finish off this sweet stunner.



Brown Butter Apple Almond Crisp

(yield, 4 generous servings, or 6 proper servings)

Apple Crisp Filling:

  • 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 3 Macintosh apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons. cognac
  • 1 oz. brown butter
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 oz sliced almonds, toasted
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter


Move oven rack to center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and spread the sliced almonds out in an even layer. Bake until almonds are uniformly golden brown, checking every few minutes for doneness. Remove from oven and set aside. Taste the almonds to confirm they’re properly toasted. If you come across any that are too bitter (this happens sometimes) dispose them.

Generously butter your baking dish of choice and set aside.

Peel, core, and slice apples and add to a large bowl. Combine brown sugar, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and cornstarch in another bowl and toss to combine. Add to apples, and add the Cognac, brown butter, and juice of 1/2 lemon and toss well to combine. Allow the apples to macerate for at least 30 minutes so they release their juices and become pliable. This will make it easier to really pack them in to your baking dish.

While the apples are macerating make your crumble topping. Combine flour, sugar, salt, and cold butter and mix together well with your hands until the ingredients are completely incorporated. Add the toasted almonds and gently toss to combine. Do your best to not break the almonds into small pieces. You want them to retain their shape.

Split apple mixture as evenly as you can between your baking dishes.  Top with the juices that remain in the bottom of the bowl. Top with crumble mixture.

Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees, and bake for 45-50 minutes. The crisp is done when the topping is golden brown, and the apple mixture is aromatic and bubbly. Serve warm alongside some ice cream.

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