whole grain apple crisp

My money’s on the hypothesis that Eve would have tempted Adam a little quicker had she served up some of this warm apple crisp with a healthy dollop of vanilla ice cream…  There’s something about this rustic fall dessert that makes you feel like everything’s going to be okay.  It’s a warm embrace on a crisp fall day and, as far as I’m concerned, the epitome of dessert comfort food.

Joe and I went down to Washington D.C. this weekend to visit our good friends, Megan and
Ray.  It’s been way too long since we’ve seen these two and I was super pumped to find out we would be meeting in the Georgetown neighborhood for lunch and then head back to their house outside the city where they were hosting a home-cooked dinner for us and a few other friends.  While dining out is always fine by me, there’s something to be said about the comforts of dining in:  filling a house with good conversation and drink, reveling in food prepared with love from your hosts’ favorite family recipes, and, of course, the relaxing notion that you are going at your own pace.  Megan and Ray put together a grill-lovers feast of perfectly prepared filet mignons, served alongside tender asparagus spears, roasted potatoes, and the most delicious grilled eggplant, goat cheese, and tomato stacks.  Afterwards, we sat around their fire pit, roasted marshmallows, and made s’mores.  It officially felt like Fall.  But that was just pre-dessert…

I was in charge of the “main dessert” and opted to bring this tweaked out version of my mom’s apple crisp.  Basically, I took her recipe and gave it a whole foods makeover.  I subbed whole wheat flour for all-purpose, added some rolled oats and nuts, and used natural cane sugar in place of white.  Oh, I also added some Jersey fresh cranberries for an extra spoonful of tartness, but feel free to nix them if you’re not a fan.  The hardest part of this recipe is peeling and slicing the apples, especially for a “lefty” like me!  After the manual labor’s done, this dessert cooks up quickly in a modest 35 minutes, with the added bonus of cinnamon and apple goodness filling the air.  It’s done when the crumbly topping is golden, oozy, and bubbly.  Enjoy it after it’s cooled slightly, but still warm, either alone or topped with a healthy scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream (I’m a HäagenDazs gal).  And don’t feel too bad about the stick of melted butter drizzled over top.  Most other recipes I came across had oodles of sugar tossed with the fruit in addition to what’s already in the topping plus more butter throughout.  I was pleasantly surprised to find out there was no typo in my mom’s recipe and the only added sugar was in the crumbles, allowing the natural sweetness of the apples to stand alone.  Bravo, mom.

Whole Grain Apple Crisp
Serves a crowd

10 – 12 Granny Smith or McIntosh apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1 cup cranberries (optional)
1 tsp. + 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup natural cane sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 stick of butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Butter a 9″ x 12″ baking dish.  Layer sliced apples and cranberries, if using, in the dish and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.  Combine flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, salt, walnuts, and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon in a medium bowl.  Beat the egg and vanilla just until combined in a small bowl.  Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and mix well until crumbly.  Sprinkle crumbled mixture over apples.  Drizzle the melted butter evenly over top.  Bake for 35 – 45 minutes until crust is golden and apples are bubbly.

A few notes:

  • If you like your apples to have texture, stay on the low end of the baking time.
  • If the top browns too quickly, place a sheet of foil over the top of the dish and continue baking.

One Response to “whole grain apple crisp”

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  1. Megan Cormier says:

    Just finished the rest of the Leftover dessert and it was still as wonderful as it was Saturday night! Love it! What a wonderful weekend with great friends! Thanks for making the trip down! Love you guys!


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