Crumbly Apple Crisp with a Maple Finish

Posted by on July 5, 2009 | 21 Comments

As I looked around for ideas to use up some organic apples that I found in the discount bin (still nice and firm, but begging to be turned into a baked goodie!), I came across oodles of recipes for one of our favorite desserts, Apple Crisp, or is it an Apple Crumble? Really, what is the difference? My mother-in-law calls it a crumble, but I have always called it a crisp, and they both seem pretty much the same. So what is a baffled baker to do? I googled.

From Emme on the CHOW boards “apple crumble in the UK is apples baked with a topping of flour, butter and sugar. In N. America, it’s basically the same thing, but the topping is made primarily with rolled oats rather than flour. It’s almost always made with cinnamon and sometimes nuts are added to it as well.”

Another site simply noted that the topping of a Crisp was like a streusel, while the topping of a Crumble is more like a crumbly pastry.

Based on these two definitions, I decided that the recipe I ended up creating (none of the ones I found on the net sounded just right!) was indeed a Crumbly Apple Crisp rather than a Crispy Apple Crumble.

crumblyapplecrisp

My entire family loves any dessert with apples, so for my grandma’s birthday, I made this delicious crisp. Everyone loved it. It is high on the streusel to apple ratio (can you ever have enough streusel topping?), and the light drizzling of maple seals the deal, quite literally. Not only does it add a heavenly flavor, it also binds the streusel to form a crust that crumbles beautifully when you dig your fork into it. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any dished up photos since we devoured it too quickly! But, I have to give you a close-up of the yummy topping …

crumblyapplecrispcloseup

Crumbly M-Apple Crisp

This recipe is Vegan, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free, and Soy-Free. I haven’t tested it, but you could probably swap your favorite gluten-free flour blend and certified gluten-free oats to make a tasty gluten-free crisp.

  • 4 medium to large apples (I don’t peel them)
  • 1/2 Cup All-Purpose or Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Dairy-Free Margarine (I used the new Earth Balance Soy-Free, perfect!)
  • 3/4 Cup Brown Sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 Cup Quick-Cooking Rolled Oats (not instant; can reduce and use part nuts, if desired)
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon, divided
  • ¼ Teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 2 Tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup (mine was spiked with vanilla! – stir ¼ t vanilla into the maple if desired)

 Preheat your oven to 350º.

In a medium bowl, combine the oats, flour, sugar, ½ teaspoon of the cinnamon, and the nutmeg. Add the margarine and combine with a fork until the mixture looks like big, coarse crumbs. Set aside.

Core the apples, and thinly slice them (about 1/8 to 1/4-inch thickness). Toss them with the remaining ½ teaspoon of cinnamon, and place them in an 8 x8 inch baking dish. Top the apples with the oat mixture. Drizzle the maple syrup over everything. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the apples are soft and tender and the crumble is as crispy as you like it.

Baking Note: If you are like me, then you probably made sure the topping was very evenly distributed, and covered all of those apples. The maple drizzled over top almost creates a seal then. So even when you remove the dish from the oven, the apples will keep cooking a bit under the crumbly crust. For that reason, I wouldn’t cook this for too long. Depending on your apples, you may even be able to get away with 25 or 30 minutes of baking time, but 35 minutes worked well for us.

Yields 6 to 8 crumbly crispy servings

 

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5 Good Things Since My Last Post

  1. Enjoyed a leisurely lunch with my dad at Whole Foods. Their sushi rolls are actually a decent value overall, and of course, the company was excellent.
  2. I can finally do chin-ups! – Successfully finished week 10 of a fitness program we are trialing … and still going strong. What program? More on that later.
  3. Had delicious pancakes two mornings in a row. Yum! Just a few tweeks to test in one of the recipes before I can share. 
  4. My husband mopped all the floors and vacuumed AND cleaned the carpets in the whole house voluntarily!
  5. We literally made it just in time for the fireworks show (stopped the car and the first one went up) and had a great view.

Sinful Cinnamon-Apple Sauté (Breakfast or Dessert?)

Posted by on April 22, 2009 | 25 Comments

Actually, this little dish isn’t sinful at all, but that title just sounds so good doesn’t it? Well, this saute does produce tender, juicy apples with a wonderfully rich, sweet, and cinnamon-y syrup, rendering it indulgent enough for a healthy dessert.

Cinnamon Apple Saute

However, I had it for breakfast. I ate it on its own as a part of my multi-course Sunday grazing. But, this simple recipe (just 10 minutes!) is incredibly flexible when it comes to serving options. You can:

  • Serve the apples with your favorite yogurt (mine being this one), stirring a bit of the resultant cinnamon apple syrup into the yogurt if desired.
  • Top waffles with the apples and resultant cinnamon-apple syrup.
  • Spread nut butter on a bagel, toast, or rice cakes, and top with slices of cinnamon apples (one of my faves).
  • Serve over rice or other grain (I don’t know why I just thought of this one, but it really sounds good).
  • Sprinkle the apples with ground flaxseed or your favorite granola (homemade if you can!).
  • Top the apples with a scoop of ice cream (this one and this one being my picks), drizzling some of the resultant syrup over top of everything for a sundae flare. Oh what the heck, sprinkle on some granola too!
  • You say you’ve finished the apples, but have a little bit of leftover syrup? Use it to sweeten your favorite tea! Problem solved.

Okay, now that you are brimming with ideas, lets get to the kitchen …

 

Simply Scrumptious Cinnamon-Apple Sauté
Recipe adapted from the October 2007 issue of Natural Health Magazine

This recipe is Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, optionally Vegan, and optionally Soy-Free

  • 2 Medium Apples (around 3/4 to 1 lb), sliced 1/4-inch thick (no need to peel!)
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice (fresh squeezed if you have it)
  • 1-1/2 Teaspoons Oil or Margarine (I used coconut oil)
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey or Maple Syrup (I used honey, but I think maple syrup may be even better)
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • Generous Pinch of Salt (especially if using oil rather than margarine)

In a medium sized bowl, toss the apple slices with the lemon juice and briefly set aside.

In a large skillet, melt heat the oil or margarine over medium heat. Add the honey or maple syrup and the vanilla extract, giving everything a quick stir. Add the apples, and stir to coat them with the sweet sauce. Sprinkle on the cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt, and once again, stir to ensure the apples are evenly coated.

Cover, and allow the apples to cook for 3 to 5 minutes (or until desired tenderness) checking in to stir once or twice.

They are ready! Enjoy them as is, or see the beginning of this post for some serving options.

Cinnamon Pears Option: Use 2 medium pears instead of the apples. Pears are generally softer than apples, so you will only need 2 to 3 minutes of cooking time once covered.

Yields 2 Yummy Servings of Apples

Cinnamon Apple Saute

 

My Earth Day Note: One of my Earth Day resolutions is to try to eat more seasonally. While I was sure that apples were a fall fruit, it seems the crops are brimming right now. I purchase organic apples, since they are a top “pesticide crop.” An abundance of northwest apples (as local as it gets for this area) allowed me to purchase a bag of these beauties (Fuji I believe) for less than a dollar a pound.

 

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