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Grilled Apple Crisp

Smoky undertones and a flavorful almost caramel apple like filling make this Grilled Apple Crisp one of a kind! With flavors from butter, bourbon, and cinnamon this apple crisp on the grill is a great way to bake outside in the warmth of summer or fall. Top it with vanilla ice cream for an unforgettable dessert people will ask for again and again!

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overhead shot of a cast iron on a table filled with apple crisp topped with ice cream and part of it scooped up with a spoon

Stop heating up your kitchen, Let’s Make Apple Crisp on the Grill!

Apple crisp is such a classic dessert. In the summer and fall it so often gets brought out warm after a family dinner with a big bucket of vanilla ice. It brings me cozy feelings.

The only problem about apple crisp is that if you are making it in the heat of summer having the oven on for a long period of time can make your kitchen hot, and that is usually the last thing you want! So I designed mine to be made on the grill outside!

Super easy to prep ahead of dinner I like to throw mine on the grill to cook just as I take off our grilled dinner and we sit down to eat so it is perfectly warm and ready for us to eat as we finish our meal!

This grilled apple crisp is made up of two parts.

  1. The crumb topping, or the ‘crisp’. The crispy topping is made up of mostly oats, flour, sugar, and butter. It is what sets an apple crisp apart from other desserts like a cobbler where you would use more of a batter on the top instead.
  2. The apple filling. Similar to an apple pie but a little saucier, mine has plenty of flavorings like bourbon, vanilla, and cinnamon!

Now the idea of grilling the crisp can seem daunting at first but I promise it really isn’t difficult!

freshly make apple crisp on the grill in a cast iron pan

How to Make Apple Crisp on the Grill

This recipe is fairly easy but like I said before there are two parts to get ready so it does take a couple of minutes to finish prepping both.

First off you will round up the ingredients:

  • Granny Smith Apples
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Oats (old fashioned oats/rolled oats works best, quick oats may also be used)
  • Brown Sugar
  • Baking Powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Salt
  • Butter
  • Bourbon
  • Vanilla Extract
all of the ingredients need to make grilled apple crisp laid out on a table, like apples, flour, sugar, and oats

Luckily most of these are common baking items so you should have most of them at home already!

I will note that yes I know that not everyone likes/uses bourbon and alcohol in cooking. First off I will point out that the alcohol does burn off in this recipe just leaving the flavor so it is safe to serve to everyone. Second, if bourbon is not available you can use any kind of whiskey or subsitite any variety of dark color liquor. If you want a non-alcoholic substitute I recommend subbing apple juice/cider for the bourbon!

Now that you have the ingredients you will need 2 specific kitchen tools beyond the basic tools.

A cast-iron pan. If you don’t have one of these I will tell you, get one! My cast-iron is a work-horse in my kitchen and probably on my list of kitchen items I couldn’t live without. They are relatively cheap considering that these beauties last forever! They can be a little intimidating at first yes I know but once you learn how to use them you will be absolutely smitten! (You can order a Lodge Cast Iron Skillet off of Amazon)

Next a grill. I highly recommend this recipe on a gas grill where you are able to control the temperature easily! Not saying you couldn’t make this on a charcoal grill but you will want to keep a very close on on the temperature the whole time if you did.

I recommend a gas grill because you will want consistent temperature the whole time if possible. Once you think about baking this apple crisp from a purely temperature stand point it actually makes quite a bit of sense to make it on the grill.

A standard gas grill when on low heat will hover somewhere between 375ºF and 425ºF, around the temperature you would likely bake it in the oven. See when you think about it that way doesn’t the whole thing seem way less intimidating!?

So now we have our ingredients, cast iron, and grill all ready let’s get making.

Instructions

If baking immediately pre-heat your gas grill to low heat, you will want to keep the heat between 375ºF to 425ºF while cooking. (It also can be put on after other food has been grilled just ensure that the heat is switched to low before cooking.)

You will start by making the crumb topping. Cut your cold butter into small pieces.

Add the cold butter, flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt to a medium mixing bowl. Use a pastry cutter/two forks to mix the ingredients into a crumb topping. Breaking up the butter into small chunks using the pastry cutter/using the forks in a scissor cutting motion to mix everything into crumbles a little bigger than the size of peas.

Trasfer to a cool area (the fridge if possible) while making the filling.

the ingredients for the crisp topping in a glass bowl
the crisp topping all mixed together showing peas sized like crumbs ready for topping apples

To make the filling start by peeling, coring, and slicing the apples. (I found that cutting each apple into 16 slices was the perfect size).

Next in a medium mixing bowl add the flour, bourbon, cinnamon, vanilla extract, brown sugar, dash salt, and melted butter. Whisk ingredients together until combined.

Combine the filling mixture and the apples, toss to coat entirely. 

filling all mixed together in a glass bowl for apple crisp
caramel colored filling being drizzled down over a bowl full of apple slices

Add the apple filling to a clean cast iron pan spread out into an even layer. Gently sprinkle the crumb topping over the apples in an even layer. Cover tightly with aluminum foil.

apple slices in a bowl with the filling tossed over them
filling and apples spread out in a cast iron pan
the uncooked apple crisp assembled together in a cast iron pan ready for the grill

Transfer the skillet to the grill. Grill covered for 20 minutes. 

Uncover the pan and grill another 10 minutes or until cooked through and top is golden brown. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Best served with vanilla ice cream!

serving spoon in apple crisp in a cast iron skillet showing apples covered in the crisp oat topping

Questions, Tips, and Tricks

Can I prep this Apple Crisp Ahead of time?

Absolutely!

For ease (because cast-irons tend not to fit well in a fridge) I keep the apple filling in a container and the crispy topping in a separate container both in the fridge until ready to use. You can prep these up to a day ahead of time!

Do I have to use Granny Smith/green apples in this recipe?

Granny Smith apples are best in this recipe but you can use any medium/large size baking apple if that is what is available! Honeycrisp, Jonagold, and Braeburn apple varieties all work well for baking.

Can I freeze apple crisp?

Yes. Although if the crisp is made in the cast iron it should be transferred to to a different container, a metal or glass baking dish would work better for this. If you want to freeze it, cool completely, then cover it tightly with a double layer of aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then warm in a 350°F oven for 20-25 minutes or until heated through.

Can I bake this in the oven instead?

Yes! Maybe your grill ran out of gas at the worst time (we’ve all been there). You can bake in a 375ºF oven for 35-40 minutes or until fully cooked and a golden brown top.

overhead view of a large cast iron pan filled with apple crisp topped with 3 scoops of ice cream and a serving spoon ready to dish out a scoop
a large scoop of apple crisp in a serving spoon with melty vanilla ice cream

Looking for something to make for dinner on the grill before making this? Try these:

a serving spoon taking a scoop on apple crisp out of a pan and melted vanilla ice cream filling in the crisps empty scooped area

Grilled Apple Crisp

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

easy to make and absoutely delicious this easy apple crisp is made on the grill

Ingredients

For the Topping:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup oats (old fashioned oats works best, quick oats may also be used)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch salt
  • 5 tablespoons butter, cold

For the Filling:

  • 4 Granny Smith apples
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon*
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted

Instructions

  1. If baking immediately pre-heat your grill to low. This recipe can be prepped ahead slightly and kept in the fridge, it also can be put on after other food has been cooked on the grill just ensure that the heat is switched to low before cooking.
  2. To make the crumb topping start by cutting cold butter into small pieces. Add the cold butter, flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt to a medium mixing bowl. Use a pastry cutter/two forks to mix the ingredients into a crumb topping, breaking up the butter into small chunks using the pastry cutter/ using the forks in a scissor cutting motion to mix everything into cumbles a little bigger than the size of peas. Transfer to a cool area (the fridge if possible) while making the filling.
  3. To make the filling start being peeling, coring, and slicing the apples. (I found that cutting each apple into 16 slices was the perfect size). Next in a medium mixing bowl add the flour, bourbon, cinnamon, vanilla extract, brown sugar, dash salt, and melted butter. Whisk ingredients together until combined. Combine the filling mixture and the apples, toss to coat entirely.
  4. Add the apple filling to a clean cast iron pan** spread out into an even layer. Gently sprinkle the crumb topping over the apples in an even layer. Cover tightly with aluminum foil.
  5. Trasfer the pan the the grill. Grill covered for 20 minutes.
  6. Uncover the pan and grill another 10 minutes or until cooked through and top is golden brown. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Best served with vanilla ice cream.

Notes

*If bourbon is not available you can use any kind of whiskey or subsitite any variety of dark color liquor. If you want a non-alcoholic substitute I recommend subbing apple juice/cider for the bourbon.

**12 inch, the standard size works best but one around this size will work just fine!

This recipe can eaily be made gluten-free by using any gluten free flour blend on a 1:1 ratio.

Granny Smith apples are best in this recipe but you can use any medium/large size baking apple if that is what is available.

I use unsalted butter for this recipe. If using salted butter omit the pinches of salt.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 262Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 164mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 2gSugar: 22gProtein: 2g

Nutritional data is automated, final nutritional information will depend on ingredients used and any changes made.

Did you make this recipe?

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Peace & Love

Lauren, The Schmidty Wife

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