Smoked Apple Crisp with Caramel Drizzle and Smoked Whipped Cream

Smoked Apple Crisp with Caramel Drizzle and Smoked Whipped Cream

Other Recipes from Episode 404: Influential Grilling

Recipe courtesy of Susie Bulloch (


Smoked Apple Crisp with Caramel Drizzle and Smoked Whipped Cream

Recipe Notes

  • Yield: Serves 8
  • Method: Indirect grilling


For the filling:

  • 6 Granny Smith apples
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of coarse salt (sea or kosher)

For the topping:

  • 4 strips bacon, thinly slivered crosswise
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold salted butter, cut into small pieces

For the salted bourbon caramel:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon (optional)
  • 1 Pinch of coarse salt (sea or kosher)

For serving:

You'll also need:

  • A 12-inch cast iron skillet; apple chunks or chips, the latter soaked in water for 30 minutes, then drained

Recipe Steps

1: Set up your grill for indirect grilling and preheat to 375 degrees.

2: Make the filling: Core the apples and dice them. Add the remaining filling ingredients and mix gently.

3: On the stovetop or the side burner of your grill, saute the bacon over medium-high heat until crisp. Transfer the bacon to a mixing bowl; leave about 1 tablespoon of bacon fat in the pan. Tip the apple filling into the pan.

4: Make the topping: Add the oats, flour, and sugar to the bacon in the mixing bowl; cut in the butter with a fork or pastry blender until the butter is in pea-size pieces. Distribute the topping evenly over the apple filling. Place the skillet with the apple crisp in the grill away from direct heat. Add wood chunks or chips to the coals or your grill’s smoker box and close the lid. The crisp will take 40 to 45 minutes.

5: While the crisp bakes, make the salted bourbon caramel: Combine the sugar and water in a heavy saucepan on your stovetop or the side burner of your grill. Cook over medium heat, swirling from time to time, until the caramel turns amber-colored, about 15 minutes. (Watch carefully.) Turn off the heat and carefully add the cream (the mixture will bubble and hiss), stirring constantly. Stir in the bourbon and a pinch or two of salt. Set aside and keep warm.

6: To serve, spoon the apple crisp into shallow bowls and drizzle with the caramel sauce. Top with a dollop of smoked whipped cream or ice cream.

Recipe Tips

Our thanks to the sponsors of Project Fire Season 4:

Crowd Cow
Kalamazoo Grill Nomad Grill
Start N Grill Workman Publishing

Steven Raichlen’s Project Fire is a production of Maryland Public Television, Barbacoa, Inc., and Resolution Pictures. © 2022 Barbacoa, Inc. Photos by Chris Bierlein