Browned Butter Bourbon Apple Crisp and Hassle-Free Thanksgiving Tips
Too often the winter Holiday season becomes a stressful time. I’ve partnered with EVITE® to bring you some of my favorite tips for Celebrating Thanksgiving without the Hassle and a delicious recipe for Browned Butter Bourbon Apple Crisp.
I know the beginning of the month might seem a bit early to be thinking about Thanksgiving, but if you’re prone to stressing out over hosting the big event, the best thing you can do is plan ahead.
If you’d like to try a new dish for your Thanksgiving Feast, I recommend testing those recipes out ahead of time. Nothing is more disappointing than finding you spent time and money on a dish that no one really enjoys. I have a lot of Turkey Roasting Tips to help you out if you will be roasting a turkey for the first time.
Setting up a Thanksgiving Preparation Schedule will cut the planning and preparation into smaller, more manageable chunks. By doing a little bit each week leading up to the big day, you can have a smooth-sailing Thanksgiving, no last minute craziness and lots of fun family time.
Simplify Where You Can
Simplification is a huge time and stress-saver when it comes to holiday meals! Desserts can be really time consuming to prepare, so Jamie, from My Baking Addiction, and I have both created new recipes that feature some of your favorite holiday dessert flavors in a simplified light.
This Browned Butter Bourbon Apple Crisp is a great example of simplification. It might sound complicated, but it is actually simpler than a pie when you eliminate the need for preparing a pie crust, cutting a lattice topping, and cleaning up the mess from rolling out the crust.
It feels holiday special while keeping in mind the balance of scheduling and planning your day. It isn’t a super quick dessert that you’d throw together at the last minute on a weeknight, but something that is easily doable to pair with any special evening meal.
The individual components (the filling and the crumble) can be made in advance and kept separate; either the day before or earlier in the day, and the rest of the crisp can be assembled just before baking.
You can simplify your pumpkin pie too, by trying Jamie’s No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecakes with Salted Caramel Sauce. You’ll get the delicious flavors of pumpkin pie and cheesecake without all the fussiness of baking a pumpkin cheesecake. Since these are individual serving sized, they’re also perfect for both large and small gatherings because you can easily prepare what you need for the number of guests that you have.
Use EVITE’S Invitations and Tools
EVITE’S mission is to bring people together face to face and they provide tons of helpful resources to help you do that without the stress that often comes with entertaining.
Make sure you check out all of their great Thanksgiving invitations – they have both free invitations and paid premium invitations. Evite’s invitations will help you organize and track your guest list so you can have an accurate count of the number of people to plan for.
Guests can comment with what they’re bringing, if you’ll be hosting Thanksgiving potluck style, so no one brings too much of the same thing. Or they can let you know if they have other obligations and will only be able to attend part of your event, dessert for example.
Aside from the over milestone 2 million invitations that EVITE has helped hosts send, EVITE also offers Party Ideas for every occasion, Planning Tips, Thank You cards (perfect for sending your guests after Thanksgiving!), and more.
If you’re not sure yet how you want to plan your Thanksgiving Event, EVITE has lots of great Thanksgiving Party Ideas to help you brain storm. I love their Friendsgiving Open House Party Guide. You can check out the awesome resources that EVITE shares on the Pinterest page, too!
Let Other’s Help
Sometimes the hardest thing to do is allow other people to help us, even when we’re stressed out and busy. If you receive offers of help this holiday season, please accept them.
Friends and family want to help and they want to help because they care. Let someone else bring a side or dessert, set the table or help with clean up. The best part of the holidays is celebrating with friends and family. Getting together face to face and working alongside one another is a great way to share and express our love for each other.
What are your best tips for celebrating the holidays without the hassle?
Browned Butter Bourbon Apple Crisp
Yield: serves 4 - 6
For the Topping:
1/3 cup gingersnap cookie crumbs
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
5 tablespoons cold butter, cut into cubes
1/3 cup quick cooking oats
1/4 cup chopped pecan pieces
For the filling:
4 tablespoons butter, sliced
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup Bourbon
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 pounds peeled, cored, and thinly sliced apples - I prefer a mix of Jonagold or Honeycrisp and Gala
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons cornstarch
For the topping:
In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the gingersnap cookie crumbs, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add the butter to the bowl and cut into the flour mixture, using a pastry blender or two knives, until the flour mixture is a coarse meal.
Stir in the oats and pecans, using your hands to squeeze the topping mixture into larger clumps. Store in the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble and bake the crisp.
For the filling:
To brown the butter: Place a large heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add the butter to the hot skillet and melt, whisking frequently. As the butter cooks, it will foam up a bit. Continue cooking and light browned specks will form at the bottom of the pan. The butter is done "browning" when it has a nutty smell.
Add the brown sugar, bourbon, vanilla, apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt to the butter. Cook, stirring to combine all of the ingredients, until the apples release their juices and begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Whisk the cornstarch in and cook just until the sauce thickens, about a minute more. Remove from heat.
To assemble and bake:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish with butter.
Pour the apple filling in the prepared pan. Remove the crisp topping from the refrigerator and crumble over top of the apples.
Place the casserole on a rimmed baking dish. Bake at 375 degrees F until bubbling and golden, approximately 30 - 45 minutes. Tent loosely with foil if the topping begins to brown too much. Let cool for 5 - 10 minutes before serving.
To prepare the gingersnap cookie crumbs, place store-bought (the crunchy variety) gingersnap cookies in a food processor and pulse until they are a fine crumb.