A decadent twist on a classic apple crumble, this salted caramel apple crumble has apple slices that are coated with a salted caramel sauce and generously topped with the perfect golden brown crispy crumble. The smell as this bakes! This will be an immediate hit with everyone.
What’s the difference between a crisp, crumble, and a cobbler?
I had to scour the internet for the answer to this. Basically, these are all delicious desserts based off of baked fruit topped with some sort of buttery golden topping.
Crisps and Crumbles: Very similar! Some say crumbles never have oats while crisps do, I think crumble sounds more comforting so that’s why I named this recipe as that 🙂
Cobbler: Fruit filling topped with biscuit dough and baked until golden brown and puffy.
Brown Betty: I’ve never had this and now I don’t know why. It’s basically a crispy, but with a layer of crumbs UNDER the fruit a well as over. Heaven for crumb lovers. Me me!
Why add salted caramel to your typical apple crumble?
Apples and caramel sauce are a match made in heaven. This crumble takes that pairing one step further. Instead of just drizzling your crumble with caramel sauce (which you absolutely should), we also toss the apple slices with homemade caramel sauce. This makes the finished crumble so saucy and delicious. My caramel sauce is made extra special with the addition of a little rose water and orange blossom water- you can completely omit these and replace with vanilla.
How to make salted caramel sauce?
For more comprehensive information, visit this post, but the recipe below tells you all you need to know. You basically melt together sugar and water over medium high heat and let them cook without stirring for 10 minutes or until they turn amber brown. Heavy cream and butter get whisked in, then the salt and rose water and orange blossom water or vanilla.
Ingredients in the apple crumble:
Apples: I like using granny smith apples, because the tartness contrasts perfectly with the sweetness of the caramel and crumble. You want the apples to be thinly sliced so they cook through (about 16 slices per apple). I use this handy contraption from Amazon, but you can go old school and just slice away.
In other crumble or crisp recipes, you might notice the apples remain raw until going in the oven. A difference here is the apples are sauteed briefly before going in the oven. The reason is we don’t want the caramel sauce that’s tossed with the apples to dry out or burn, so we bake it a little less than a more typical crumble. The apples still need to fully cooked though, so we help them out a little by cooking on the stove top in a little butter.
Homemade Caramel Sauce: We toss the apple slices in a homemade caramel sauce until evenly coated, as discussed above.
Crumb Topping: Flour, quick cooking oats, brown sugar (light or dark), white sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and butter. The butter is cubed into tbsp sized pieces and softened, to make it easier to work into the dry ingredients. Massage the butter with your fingertips into the whisked dry ingredients to get the perfect crumb topping.
What do I do with leftover apple crumble?
Store it in the fridge tightly covered, and reheat it in the microwave or oven. The oven is your best bet at keeping it crispy.
You can also freeze any leftovers tightly wrapped, thaw overnight, then reheat for 30 minutes.
Salted Caramel Apple Crumble
For the salted caramel:
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 3/4 cup heavy cream (whipping cream)
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp orange blossom water optional
- 1/2 tsp rose water optional
For the apples:
- 2 tbsp butter
- 4 apples, peeled, and sliced 1/4 inch thick (about 16 slices per apple)
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
For the crumble:
- 1 cup flour
- 1/3 cup oats
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 stick butter, cubed and softened 100 g
- Preheat oven to 180 C (350F)
To make the salted caramel:
- In a medium saucepan, stir together the sugar and the water. Place the saucepan on the stove over medium high heat. Cook without stirring until sugar dissolves, then turns into the amber brown color of caramel. This will take around 10 minutes.
- Removing the pan from the heat, drizzle in the heavy cream slowly whisking while doing so. Return to the heat, and continue whisking. The caramel might seize up initially but will then smooth out over the heat.
- Add the butter, and whisk until combined. Remove from the heat, and whisk in the salt, rose water, and orange blossom water (if using). Let the caramel cool while you prepare the apples.
For the apples:
- In a large skillet over medium heat (a 10 inch cast iron skillet if you have one), heat the 2 tbsp of butter until melted. Add the apple slices, and cook, stirring occasionally until apples have slightly softly, around 5-7 minutes. They don't need to fully soften as they will be baked in the oven.
- After apple slices have cooked, sprinkle with the cinnamon. Add 1/2 cup of your prepared salted caramel sauce and stir to thoroughly coat the apples.
For the crumble:
- Mix together the flour, oats, brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt until well combined. Add the cubed softened butter and using your fingertips, work the butter into the mix until the mixture looks like clumpy wet sand.
- If using a cast iron skillet, evenly distribute the crumb topping right over the apple caramel mix in the skillet. If using a baking pan, transfer the apples to an 8 or 9 inch square baking pan, then cover with the crumb topping. Bake for 20-25 minutes until crumble is golden brown and apples are bubbling. Remove from oven and serve warm with extra caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream if desired.
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