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.
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 …
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
5 Good Things Since My Last Post
- 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.
- 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.
- Had delicious pancakes two mornings in a row. Yum! Just a few tweeks to test in one of the recipes before I can share.
- My husband mopped all the floors and vacuumed AND cleaned the carpets in the whole house voluntarily!
- 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.