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Caramel Apple Crisp On Your Traeger? You Betcha

Posted by mmillet on March 5, 2013

What could be more American than apple pie? How about apple crisp? Apple crisp is the faster, easier and potentially gooey-er fraternal twin of apple pie. When you want the satisfying taste of apple pie but are just too tired to deal with the hassle of the crust, apple crisp will hit the spot. We'll take it one tasty step further and give you Caramel Apple Crisp because apples and caramel have always and should always be best friends.


Pellet Recommendation: Apple or Cherry



1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 tablespoon water

2 tablespoons red wine (or apple juice)

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped or 1 teaspoon of vanilla

A pinch of Smoked Sea Salt (or coarse sea salt)

1 lemon, juiced

4 apples (I love using a mix of Jazz and Granny Smith)

1-2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon


1/2 cup oats

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup cold butter (REAL butter)

A pinch of Smoked Sea Salt (or coarse sea salt)


Don't be intimidated by the long list of ingredients. It's an easy recipe to make and the little details and nuances go far. This dessert is the warm, sweet, buttery taste of home.

First things first; pick good ingredients! When it comes to the apples, I love a balance of sweet and tart. I used both Jazz (or Pink Lady) apples and Granny Smith.

Fill a large bowl with cold water and squeeze in the juice from the lemon to keep the apples from browning. Peel and slice the apples in thin slices and put into the bowl of lemon water. If you have this handy peeler-corer-slicer, it will save you some serious time. But cutting them up the old fashion way is just as good.

To make the addictive caramel sauce, place the sugar and water in a small pot and cook, stirring constantly over medium-low heat until the sugar has melted and caramelized. DO NOT cook the sugar on too high of a heat or for too long. This will take about 10 minutes.

Remove the pot from the burner and slowly add in the wine and the cream. Be careful because it may bubble and spit. Return the pot to the stove and add in the vanilla bean and a pinch of Smoked Sea Salt and heat it slowly. Cook until it has reduced by half.  Remove the caramel from the heat. As it cools it will continue to thicken.

Drain the apples and toss them in the flour and cinnamon.

Start your Traeger on Smoke with the lid open for 4-5 minutes or until it is emitting white smoke. Close the lid and preheat the Traeger to 350 degrees F for 10-15 minutes.


While your Traeger preheats, it's time to make the super simple crisp topping. Mix the oats, brown sugar, flour, nutmeg, cinnamon and Smoked Sea Salt in a bowl.

Cut the butter into small pieces. (Make sure the butter is cold.) Put the butter pieces in the bowl with the flour mixture and cut them in with a pastry cutter or just a good ole fork until the mixture resembles crumbs.


Now it's assembly time. Dump the apples into an 8-inch casserole dish. Pour the silky caramel sauce evenly over the apples.

Top evenly with the crisp topping. I like to finish with a dash of cinnamon and a sprinkle of Smoked Sea Salt.

Into the Traeger she goes for about 45 minutes or until the crisp is crispy (surprise) and bubbling around the edges. Rotate the pan halfway through the cooking time for even cooking.

After you pull the crisp out, let it sit for about 20-30 minutes to allow the fruit pectin to set and for the crisp to come together.

There is no better way to enjoy a piece of Caramel Apple Crisp than with a huge scoop of vanilla ice cream. This dessert is delightful and decadent with the buttery crunchy top, rich caramel, and tart apples.

Each time you take a bite, close your eyes and you'll sitting on a stool in your mama's kitchen..or my mama's kitchen. Either way, it's the place to be.

Find the printer-friendly recipe here:

CARAMEL APPLE CRISP.pdf (44.90 kb)