This recipe showcases autumn's quintessential fruit in all its glory, and does it in a way that's almost as good for the body as it is for the soul.
Indeed, my version of Apple Crisp is delicious enough to taste like an indulgent dessert, yet is only slightly sweetened, so it's sufficiently healthy to double as a wholesome breakfast.
Choose your favorite type of apple to make this classic dessert. I've used Gala apples in these photos.
Quick tip: If you haven't tried Envy apples yet, keep an eye out for those at your local market... they're amazing!
No need to peel the apples first; there are so many nutrients in the peels, it's best to leave them on. However, I do recommend buying organic whenever possible, so you can feel better about eating the skins.
Whip up a batch of Vanilla Cashew Cream, if you'd like, to use as a topping, and the whole yummy vision is complete.
Equipment: 1.5-quart baking dish, small blender or food processor, mixing bowls
For the apple base
For the crumble topping
For the Vanilla Cream (optional but recommended)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Remove the pits from 6 Medjool dates.
Transfer the pitted dates to a heat-proof bowl and pour hot water over them to cover. Set aside for about 15 minutes, or until the dates have softened.
3. In the cup of a small blender, combine ¼ cup of water or apple juice, 2 Tbsp maple syrup and 1 tsp vanilla extract. I recommend a NutriBullet, but any household blender or small food processor will work.
Drain the soaking water away from the dates, and transfer them to the blender cup, as well. Blend until the mixture forms a smooth paste.
4. Chop your apples into small pieces.
5. Transfer the chopped apples to a 1.5-quart baking dish, and add 1 Tbsp lemon juice. Stir to combine. Do this quickly; adding lemon juice keeps the apples from turning brown after chopping.
6. Add the pureed date mixture to the apples, along with a half teaspoon of cinnamon.
Stir to combine, and press the apples into the bottom of the baking dish so that they form an even layer across the dish.
Set this aside for now.
7. Chop 2 Tbsp each, pecans and walnuts.
8. If you didn't buy your flaxseed pre-ground ("flaxseed meal"), you'll need to grind your flaxseed now. This is another task the NutriBullet is perfect for. Set aside.
9. In a medium mixing bowl, combine ½ cup rolled oats, 2 Tbsp almond flour, 2 Tbsp oat flour, 1 Tbsp coconut sugar (or sucanat), 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed, ½ tsp cinnamon, 2 Tbsp chopped pecans and 2 Tbsp chopped walnuts. Stir to combine.
10. Add 3 Tbsp coconut milk to the topping mixture.
Stir to combine until the mixture is wet and a little bit sticky.
11. Transfer the crumble topping to the baking dish of apples. Spread the topping out as evenly as possible over the surface of the apples.
When you've finished, it'll look something like this:
12. Slide the baking dish into the oven and bake for 45 minutes.
13. While it's baking, this is a good time to whip up a batch of Vanilla Cashew Cream, if you wish.
When the Apple Crisp is done, it'll be golden brown on top, and the apple base will be bubbling. Allow it to cool completely before serving.
Scoop it out into small bowls.
Top with a dollop of Vanilla Cashew Cream, if using.