Did I seriously make a dessert in the crockpot?
Wait… I’ll answer that for you.
But also… no. Because it’s not really dessert when you eat it for lunch, now is it? And then again for an afternoon snack. And not even for dessert, because at that point it has disappeared.
Don’t ask me.
I wanted to tell you that this was the best dessert I’ve had all month… I almost just said that it topped my weekend too. I was totally prepared! Except last night I ended up having my first bite of a napoleon and I practically melted onto my plate. The filling was creamy but custard-like, fluffy but thick… and all I could think about was how I wish I had some of these apples left so I could dollop a massive spoonful on top.
Well that, and how amazing the green chile cheeseburgers we ate for dinner were. And how I always seem to manage to smash both of my whole hands inside of hot chile peppers then immediately into my eyeballs. I’m a treat.
But anyway. I don’t want to get off track. It’s not like I’m sitting here watching Dirty Soap or anything because I’M DEFINITELY NOT. You have my full attention.
Dessert in the crockpot is cool. Kinda weird… but cool. I’ve always been hesitant to slow cook something sweet, considering I’m such a visual person and need my desserts to look somewhat appealing, albeit smothered in drizzled chocolate and peanut butter. But this managed to still resemble an apple dessert after taking a long, hot bath on a layer of sugar. I call it a “crumble” because the topping is not crisp enough to be a “crisp”, but is still crumbly and chewy and fantastic. If you cook it a little longer, it may get more crispy. Whatever. I want to live inside it.
And I used honeycrisp apples. Which I’m pretty sure are not meant for baking or spending a ton of time in a heat-blasted environment, but uh… they’re honeycrisps. I wait all year for these. No way I wasn’t using them. And they were delicious.
Oh and wait! Here’s a thought… how about you don’t ask me if you can forgo the sugar in this recipe? You know, like the blanket of sweetness that covers the entire bottom of the pot? It’s necessary for the whole “caramel” thing we’ve got going on here. Because of that, you really only need a tiny bowl with a small scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, and you can watch it slowly melt over each apple chunk and flow into a river of caramel. Completely decadent and fall-like. In fact, I just described my perfect ending.
Crockpot Caramel Apple Crumble
[crisp from my blueberry balsamic crisp]
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
5 large apples, cut into chunks
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2/3 cup oats
2/3 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3-4 tablespoons softened butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Toss apple chunks with salt and cinnamon.
In the bottom of your slow-cooker [mine is 7 quarts], mix brown and granulated sugars, then spread evenly to cover. Layer apples on top, keeping them in a single layer as much as possible, then adding the rest of top.
Mix the crumble topping together in a bowl, using your fingers to distribute the butter evenly and thoroughly and clump it together. Sprinkle it over top of the apples. Cook apples on low for 4 hours, or high for 2 hours. Turn off heat, unplug, and let sit, covered, for one hour. During this time the caramel will thicken a bit more. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
Note: this “caramel” sauce is not your typical thick and gooey caramel – it does thicken in the crockpot once cooled.
Ugh. You have no idea how badly I wish a plate of this was sitting in front of me right now.