I think there are two basic categories of throwback foods. There are the ones that are sort of horrifying that folks like to make fun of (Ham and Bananas Hollandaise, anyone?) And then there are the foods that, when we eat them, snap us back to a particular time and place and make us feel like a kid again. Apple crisp falls into the latter category. I don’t recall my mother making many apple crisps, although she made a lot of apple pies. What she did make though was baked apples, which she would sometimes top with streusel. As the apple skin dulled in the heat of the oven,  the flavor of the apple itself intensified as its texture softened. What came out of the oven, all bubbling and buttery, was like a self-contained apple crisp, bright and mellow, soft and crunchy. A perfect little portion. Serve it with some vanilla ice cream on top, and it’s right at home as part of my hot and cold desserts round up! My friend Barb from Creative Culinary shared one of her family’s favorite crisps just the other day. Her Pikes Peak Spiked Apple Crisp calls for Grand Marnier and Amaretto along with citrus zest and a touch of cinnamon. It sounds just about perfect. I didn’t own everything called for in her recipe, so I went with what I had, choosing also to substitute some rolled oats for part of the flour in the streusel. Because who doesn’t want a big buttery oatmeal cookie with their spiked apples, right? I also shot and edited a video of the whole crisp production, condensed into about a minute and a half. Please take a look, and pay particular attention to both the dish I made the crisp in and the lovely acacia wood bowls and plates I used for serving. The lovely folks at Pacific Merchants sent them to me to take for a test drive, and I love them. The Enamour baker is very retro-cool and is a great size for a fruit crisp. It’s also a bit more elegant than your standard Pyrex, and it’s right at home on the dining room table. The acacia wood bowls and plates are lightweight, smooth and just feel good in your  hand. They aren’t dishwasher-safe, but they wash up quickly and can air dry. Plus, they’re gorgeous, aren’t they?
boozy apple crisp
I used a combination of two Jonagold, two Honey Crisp and two Tango apples because I happened to see a display at the grocery store. Using 6 Granny Smiths or 3 each Granny Smith and Golden Delicious would work really well also.
boozy apple crisp

Boozy Apple Crisp

Jennifer Field
An easy-to-make apple crisp with a touch of alcohol to bring out all the flavor. This fruity dessert is hard to stop eating!
5 from 2 votes
Tried this recipe?Please give it a star rating!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Cobblers, Crisps and More
Cuisine American
Servings 9 servings


For the Apples

  • 6 medium baking apples (2-3 different varieties is nice, but use what you like)
  • 2 Tablespoons each Grand Marnier and Frangelico
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar (I used Sugar in the Raw)
  • ½ teaspoon apple pie spice (cinnamon/nutmeg/allspice)
  • healthy pinch of salt

For the Streusel

  • 1 cup dark brown sugar (does not have to be packed down, just scooped and leveled)
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ cup toasted hazelnuts , chopped finely (optional)
  • ¼ cup rolled oats
  • heavy pinch of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon apple pie spice (cinnamon/nutmeg/allspice)
  • ½ cup butter , softened


For the Apples

  • Peel, core and slice apples into about 1/4" slices and put in a 2 quart baking dish.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and toss everything together evenly.

For the Streusel

  • Combine all the ingredients in a bowl.
  • Work the butter in with a pastry blender or your fingers until no longer sandy but almost like cookie dough.
  • Break the streusel up into small pieces and spread evenly on top of the apples.

To Bake

  • Preheat your oven to 350F and put a rack in the middle position.
  • Bake the crisp for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the streusel is nicely browned and the juices are bubbling.
  • Let cool slightly before serving. Top portions with sour cream (my preference), slightly sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, depending on how sweet you like things.

Did You Make Any Changes?

Did you make this recipe?Please tell us what you loved!
In case you’re wondering why there are no gorgeous photos of my apple crisp, it’s because it’s gone. Yes, I made it yesterday. And yes, it’s gone. All of it. When I make some more, if I can contain myself I promise to photograph it. For now, you’ll just have to make your own boozy apple crisp and see for yourself! Thank you so much for spending some time with me today. Have a lovely day. And make some crisp.

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  1. 5 stars
    I’ve been on an apple kick lately – and will stagger right along with Barb and Brooks into the Boozy Baking Babes! I think this might be dessert tonight – need a happy place and the kitchen seems like a good direction!

    1. Yes, be a Babe, Ruth Ann! Huzzah! And let your fellow babes know how you enjoyed it! (And I highly recommend going to Food Lion and grabbing 2 each Jonagold, Honey Crisp and Tango apples. I am telling you–symphonic! =)

  2. Crisps do take me backward to home and Mom and flat out good memories. I am impressed with your version. The hazelnuts in the streusel is a grand idea. One of my favorite nuts for taste. The Grand Marnier in the apples is another wonderful addition. I can’t wait to make it.

  3. 5 stars
    I’m with Barb for a new group―Barb’s Boozy Baking Babes! I love it when friends inspire friends, and your crisp is a lovely as can be. So good to see you on video again. Keep ’em coming.

  4. So glad you loved it too Jenni; not kidding; simply one of the best desserts EVER. But then I think booze amps of the flavors of baked goods in general without really adding a boozy taste. Jamie has teased me for years and now you see where she’s going lately right?

    It’s a club and you are now a member. I need to think of a name. Barb’s Boozy Baking Babes. Who cares if there is another similar group. They do not do booze. 🙂

5 from 2 votes

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