Are you feeling that holiday cheer? I’ve been to two Friendsgivings this weekend so I am in full holiday mode. I’ve been bringing this simple apple crisp with me to get-togethers lately. It’s a cinch to put together: just chop up some apples, mix in some honey and spice, then top with an irresistible mixture of oats, almond meal and chopped pecans.
There’s just enough butter and sugar in there to make sure this crisp tastes like a treat, but it’s pretty light and healthy compared to most holiday desserts. (Don’t worry, pumpkin pie, I still love you.)
The apples transform into gooey goodness during a 50-minute bake in the oven, during which time you’re free to do whatever you’d like. If you’re like me, this is probably when you scramble to make yourself look presentable before the holiday party and don’t hear the timer going off while you’re busy blow-drying your hair in the other room.
That’s why the crisp you see above borders on too golden, but I pulled it out just in time. Crisps are so forgiving, which makes them perfect for forgetful bakers like me.
Somehow, I made it home with just enough leftovers to eat apple crisp for breakfast. I suppose I’ll top it with yogurt instead of ice cream this time around, can’t wait. You have my full support if you want to make this crisp and serve it for breakfast. It’s just apple oatmeal, right?
- 4 large honey crisp and/or granny smith apples (I used 2 of each variety, they came to about 2 pounds total), peeled, cored and sliced into 1" chunks
- 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch or 3 tablespoons cornstarch (for a gooier crisp, use half of these amounts!)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats (use certified gluten-free oats for a gluten-free crisp)
- 1/2 cup firmly packed almond meal or almond flour
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional but recommended)
- 1/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons plain yogurt (Greek or regular)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a 9 by 9-inch square baking dish, mix together the apples, honey, arrowroot or cornstarch, lemon juice, cinnamon and allspice.
- In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the oats, almond meal/flour, walnuts or pecans, brown sugar and salt. Mix in the Greek yogurt and melted butter. Stir until all of the flour is incorporated and the mixture is moistened throughout.
- Dollop spoonfuls of the oat mixture over the filling and use your fingers to break up the mixture until it is evenly distributed (no need to pack it down). Bake for about 45 to 50 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling around the edges and the top is nice and golden. Let the crisp rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream, I insist.
Make it nut free: To make this recipe nut free, omit the walnuts and use 3/4 cup whole wheat flour and 3/4 cup oats instead of the almond meal and oats specified above. It will no longer be gluten free. If you want to keep it gluten free, I suspect that you could replace the almond meal with oat flour or more oats (haven't tried that, please comment if you do!).
Make it vegan: I believe you could use olive oil or melted coconut oil in place of the butter/yogurt (use 4 tablespoons oil and add up to 3 more, until the topping mixture is moistened throughout) and maple syrup instead of the honey. I haven't tried it, though.