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These easy bourbon apples are cooked with butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Serve them as a side dish, dessert, or as a topping for pancakes, French toast or oatmeal!
We’ve been eating lots of apples this fall.
Most of the time we eat the apples sliced with peanut butter, but recently I’ve been craving fried apples.
It’s probably no surprise that I like to shake things up a little and add some bourbon to the apples.
I already add bourbon to my apple pie filling and to this brown butter apple galette, and guys, it’s perfect in fried apples.
These easy bourbon apples are tasty as a side dish, a (sort of healthy?) dessert, and as a topping for your favorite breakfast meals!
I like them on these slow cooker grits, slow cooker oats, and coconut French toast. I don’t make pancakes often, but they’d also be amazing piled onto pancakes.
Looking for more apple recipes? Try this apple French toast bake, apple puff pastry crostata and apple puff pastry tartlets.
Can I Omit the Sugar?
Know that the leftover liquid will be very thin (but still tasty).
I recommend using sweet apples if you’re omitting the sugar.
Why Is the Cooking Liquid Thin?
Traditional Southern fried apples use a lot of sugar. That sugar thickens with the butter and forms a thick, syrup-like sauce.
I prefer my fried apples to be a little less sweet.
The liquid in this recipe will thicken slightly, especially as it sits off-heat, but will not be as thick and syrupy as traditional fried apples.
If you prefer sweeter apples with a syrupy sauce, check the recipe card notes for tips to adjust this recipe.
Can I Make These Bourbon Apples Vegan?
You sure can!
Simply swap the butter for a vegan butter. I really like Miyoko’s vegan butter.
Does the Alcohol “Burn Off”?
To some extent, yes.
You’ll be simmering the bourbon for about 15 minutes, so some (but not all) of the bourbon will burn off.
To make these bourbon apples kid-friendly, skip the bourbon.
Can I Use A Different Alcohol?
You can swap the bourbon for any unflavored whiskey.
I haven’t tested this recipe with any flavored whiskeys, but I’d guess a cinnamon-flavored whiskey would be pretty delicious too.
How to Make Bourbon Apples
Start by melting some butter.
If possible, use a heavy-bottomed pot. I used this Lodge enameled cast-iron Dutch oven.
Next, stir cinnamon and nutmeg into the melted butter.
Next, add a bunch of sliced apples to the spiced butter.
Top the apples with sugar and bourbon, and then stir.
Cover the pot and cook for about five minutes.
Remove the lid and continue cooking for about 10 minutes, or until the apples soften.
Serve these bourbon apples while they’re still warm along with a warm mug of herbal tea.
- ¼ cup butter
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon Or use Five Spice
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 2 pounds apples, cored + thinly sliced Peeling optional
- 1 ½ ounces bourbon Or use another unflavored whiskey
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar, plus more if desired
- Melt butter over low heat in a heavy-bottomed pot.Stir in the cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Add the apples, bourbon and sugar. Stir.
- Cover the pot and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Uncover the pot and continue cooking for about 10 more minutes, or until the apples are tender.Taste the apples and add more sugar if desired. Serve warm along with the liquid left in the pan. Leftovers can be refrigerated and served within 3 days.
- The liquid in the pan is thin and I want it to be a syrup: For a thicker syrup, increase the sugar to ½ cup.
- My apples fell apart: Some varieties of apples (like McIntosh and Golden Delicious) tend to fall apart and turn to applesauce when cooking. Use another variety or only cook until just tender.
- The amount of liquid will depend on how juicy your apples are.
- Make sure to adjust the sugar to taste. Some apples are much sweeter than others.
- The bourbon can be swapped for any unflavored whiskey.
- Omit the bourbon to make this recipe kid-friendly.
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