Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Boozy Apple Pear Crisp with Bourbon Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream

My mother was a terrible cook, but the one thing I can remember her making when I was little that I really liked was apple crisp.  Crunchy, warm, sweet.... it's still one of my favorite desserts, though you rarely find it anywhere at restaurants.  I'm sure someone's country grandmother is making it right now!  This version has a little bourbon, which makes everything better.

Yield: 4-6 servings

5 small apples (I used Granny Smith)
3 small pears
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cloves
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup bourbon

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup oats
1/2 cup flour

Bourbon Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, scraped

3 tablespoons bourbon
3 tablespoons white sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Butter a 9 inch pan and set aside.

Peel the apples and pears and dice into bite-sized pieces.  Mix the fruit in a bowl with the spices, salt, and 1/4 cup bourbon.

In a separate bowl, make the topping.  Using a pastry blender or your hands, cut the butter into the oats and flour.  Add the brown sugar and continue to blend until topping is nicely combined.

To assemble the crisp, add the fruit mixture to the bottom of the pan in two layers, stopping to sprinkle a bit of topping over the first layer, but saving the majority of it for the top.  Cover the fruit with the remaining topping and bake for about 30-45 minutes, until the topping is caramelized and crisp.

To make the bourbon vanilla whipped cream, place the heavy cream and sugar in a mixing bowl.  Beat until soft peaks form.  Add the sugar, vanilla bean, and bourbon and beat until combined.

To serve, slice the crisp while warm and top with the bourbon whipped cream.  Then have seconds.  Enjoy!

Note: If you have an aversion to either apples or pears, you can just use one type of fruit. Also, if you used gluten free flour or omitted the flour all together, this would be a gluten free dessert ; )

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