Happy “National Eat Whatever You Want Day” (No, this isn’t a real day, but when I was deciding how to start this post, I originally wanted to choose “National Eat An Apple Day” until I Googled it to find out that this is, indeed, an ACTUAL HOLIDAY!! Where are people getting this all from? Who makes these up, and can I capitalize on that profit?)
Summertime always reminds me of fresh juicy fruits and vegetables, sunshine, drinking beer, hanging out in your bathing suit by a pool all day, and of course, BBQs. Which also means food everywhere. And delicious desserts. What can be more summer or more American that good old Apple Pie? So, I wanted to kick off this beautiful summer with my take on a “deconstructed” apple pie (Does that make me sound like one of those fancy chefs on TV? I watch too much Chopped what can I say.)
I’m totally kidding. I took the Apple Pie summer theme and made a different version, an apple crisp. And for those of you who have never experienced this mountain of melting vanilla ice cream dripping down the sides of a pile of sweet, crispy apples, creating a hallowed out sweet hole in the middle, you are surely missing out. Apple Crisp is Apple Pie’s sassy and eccentric aunt. It marches to the beat of its own drum. Instead of being a perfectly circular dessert, the apple filling hugged tightly by super flaky, moist pie crust, an apple crisp is a mix of sticky, thick, caramelly apple concoction topped with a pie-like crumble, made from the typical pie crust but also including things like nuts or coconut and crazy, warm spices. And you HAVE to eat Apple Crisp fresh from the oven to get the real effect.
Because it’s summer, in order to keep that attempt at a beach bod, I had to try to add a healthy twist on my apple crisp. The only sugar I used was all natural maple syrup (which actually added a better flavor then regular sugar since the warm spices in maple syrup melded perfectly with the tartness of the apples to create the perfect sour sweet taste signature of apple pie.) Instead of butter, I used coconut oil for my fat. Don’t worry if you don’t like the taste of coconut. The amount used in this recipe is so minimal that the coconut taste doesn’t come through at all. It is more to act as a binding to bring everything together and mimic that “buttery” taste.
The topping was a combination of oats and almond flour with some nuts mixed in for crunch. And the recipe was extremely easy to make. I would say it took less than 10 minutes to put together. The hard part was waiting while it baked for 45 minutes, the smell of it wafting through the kitchen and tempting every taste bud.
For the apple base, peel the apples and dice into cubes (with normal apple pies, you slice the apples thinly, so we are going a little unconventional and crazy here). Toss the apples with the maple syrup, water, and cinnamon.
For the topping, combine the oats, almond flour, nuts, cinnamon, salt, coconut oil, and maple syrup. Pour into the baking dish on top of the apples.
And that’s it. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until apples are soft. Cover the pan halfway through baking so the topping doesn’t burn. Don’t forget that huge scoop of vanilla bean ice cream to finish it off.
Oh, and best part about this, since there were leftovers, I justified eating it for breakfast the next morning as my necessary oatmeal and fruit servings.
For the Apples:
5 granny smith apples
1 tablespoon maple syrup
3 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons cinnamon
For the Crumble Topping:
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup almond flour
½ cup chopped almonds, walnuts, or pecans
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Peel apples and dice into cubes of equal size.
- In a large bowl, toss apples with maple syrup, water, and cinnamon. Pour into a greased 9X9-inch baking dish.
- In a separate bowl, mix oats, almond flour, nuts, cinnamon, salt, coconut oil, and maple syrup.
- Stir crumble topping together and pour into baking dish on top of apples.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes, covering pan loosely with aluminum foil halfway through baking.