caramel apple crisp

Warm and Comforting Caramel Apple Crisp

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It’s freezing cold where I live right now. Yesterday the high was -16C and today it’s -17. Weather like this makes me want warm, comforting baked food so yesterday, I did a fully baked meal of vegetable pot pie and I experimented with my favourite apple crisp recipe to see if I could make it even better. Spoiler … I think I did!

The key to making this recipe even better was to add dulce de leche in the filling. I just love dulce de leche and could eat it plain with a spoon if I let myself! It’s made by caramelizing sweetened condensed milk and has a slightly more tangy and nutty flavour than regular caramel. The creamy texture when it’s at room temperature reminds me of smooth peanut butter. If you combine dulce de leche with apples, you end up with a match made in heaven! You can find it at the grocery store, but it’s also very easy to make if you follow my easy dulce de leche recipe.

I hadn’t originally planned to do this dessert but knew that I wanted to do something with apples and dulce de leche. The cold weather solidified the idea of baking an apple crisp in my mind. When I was a child, my mother would often make apple crisp in the winter so it’s a dish that I associate with cold winter nights.

I knew that the dulce de leche would go well with the apples but wasn’t sure how much to put in as I was worried about it being overly sweet. I took out all of the sugar from the filling that the original recipe had as I figured the dulce de leche would be sweet enough. I also added a tbsp of rum to the filling for extra flavour. As I was pondering how much of the recipe of dulce de leche I had made to add to the apples my husband said, “just put the whole thing in. It’s delicious!” So I went ahead and added the whole amount, which was about 1 cup. To balance the sweetness, I added 1 tsp of fleur de sel. Then I popped the crisp in the oven and waited as the delicious aroma filled the kitchen.

After letting the crisp cool for 20 minutes so that the molten filling wouldn’t burn our mouths, I divided up the crisp into bowls and topped it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Success! The crisp wasn’t too sweet and had a wonderful flavour from the marriage of apples and dulce de leches. We all gobbled up our dessert 🙂

caramel apple crisp
Yields: 8 Servings Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 15 Mins Cook Time: 30 Mins Total Time: 45 Mins
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This caramel apple crisp is a comforting cold-weather dessert. Instead of making caramel, I use dulce de leche in the apple mixture. The combination is a match made in heaven! If you don’t have an oven-safe skillet, you can transfer the cooked apple mixture to a casserole before putting on the topping and baking. The nuts add a wonderful crunch to the topping, but if you would like a nut-free version, use 1 1/3  cup each, flour and oats. You can use store-bought dulce de leche or one full recipe of my Easy Dulce de Leche


0/15 Ingredients
Adjust Servings
    For the Topping
  • For the Filling


0/8 Instructions
  • Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 450F/230C
  • For the Topping
  • In a medium bowl, combine the flour, pecans, oats, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon and salt.
  • Stir in the butter and mix until the mixture is moistened. Set aside.
  • For the Filling
  • Peel, core and cut the apples into 1/2 inch (1 cm) dice.
  • Melt the butter in a 12-inch (30 cm) oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Add the apples, raisins, cinnamon and rum. Cook stirring frequently until the apples begin to soften and are beginning to turn translucent. Do not fully cook the apples or the final result will be overcooked.
  • Add in the dulce de leche and salt and stir to coat the apples.
  • Crumble the topping evenly over the apples. Bake until the topping is a deep golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.
  • Cool on a rack for about 15-20 minutes until warm. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream for an amazing, comforting dessert!

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