Apple Crisp and Bourbon-Cream Trifle

  • prep time20 min
  • total time 65 min
  • serves 12-16
Anna Olson
Anna Olson

Not a typical trifle, this holiday dessert is made by layering chilled apple crisp with a bourbon-spiked pastry cream and toasted pecans.

Courtesy of Anna Olson's new book, Back to Baking.

129 Ratings
Directions for: Apple Crisp and Bourbon-Cream Trifle


Pastry Cream

½ cup half-and-half cream

½ cup milk

4 egg yolks

¼ cup packed light brown sugar

2 ½ Tbsp cornstarch

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 Tbsp unsalted butter

3 Tbsp bourbon

Whipped Cream

1 ½ cup whipping cream

2 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 Tbsp bourbon, plus extra for sprinkling

Classic Fruit Crisp

6 cup mixed fruit, diced if needed

¾ cup packed light brown sugar

½ tsp vanilla extract

1 ¼ cup regualr rolled oats

⅓ cup all-purpose flour

½ tsp ground cinnamon

½ cup unsalted butter, melted


1 recipe Classic Fruit Crisp, made with apples, chilled

1 ½ cubes lightly toasted pecan halves

Ground cinnamon, for garnish


Pastry Cream

1. Bring the cream and milk to a simmer in a saucepot. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks, brown sugar, cornstarch, and vanilla. While whisking, slowly pour in the hot cream, then pour the entire mixture back into the pot. Whisk the custard over medium heat until it has thickened and just begins to bubble, about 3 minutes. Pour the cooked custard through a strainer into a bowl, and stir in the butter. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly over the surface of the pastry cream and chill completely. Once chilled, stir in 3 tablespoons (45 mL) of bourbon.

Whipped Cream

1. Whip the cream until it holds soft peaks. Fold 1 cup (250 mL) of the whipped cream into the pastry cream. Stir the sugar, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons (30 mL) of bourbon into the remaining whipped cream.

Classic Fruit Crisp

1. Preheat oven 350 F (170 C).

2. Toss the prepared fruit with 1/4 cup of the brown sugar and the vanilla, and spread it into an 8-cup baking dish.

3. Stir the oats, the reamining 1/2 cup of brown sugar, flour anf the cinnamon in a bowl. Pour in the melted butter and stir until evenly combined. Sprinkle this over the fruit and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the fruit is bubbling at the edges and the crisp is evenly browned. Cool for 15 minutes before serving with ice cream. The crisp will keep in the refridgerator for up to 2 days.


1. To assemble, spoon half of the chilled apple crisp into a 12-cup (3 L) trifle bowl and sprinkle with bourbon. Top the crisp with half of the pastry cream and sprinkle with half of the pecans. Top this with the remaining apple crisp, sprinkle with bourbon, and top with the remaining pastry cream and pecans. Spread the whipped cream overtop and dust lightly with cinnamon. Chill until ready to serve.

See more: Bake, Fruit, Dessert, Fall

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