Mmmmm, apple crumble! Need I say more? This sort of pie, sort of pudding, sort of fruit bowl has been my go to dessert for some time now for couple of simple reasons. First of all, it does not require much careful measuring and weighing as dough and batter based desserts do if the cake or cookies are to come out just right. Second, it comes together very quickly and uses ingredients that I have on hand almost all the time. So, in the words of the American football jargon from the title of this post, it is practically impossible to fumble this recipe. But just to make it even more error-proof I simplified the recipe further.
Apple crumble goes under another name that you may be familiar with and that’s apple crisp, because the characteristic topping this dessert has is crispy and crumbly at the same time. The classic recipe starts with tart apples, like Granny Smith, and then uses lots and lots of sugar to sweeten things up, some flour to bind things together, and lots and lots of butter to get the topping, made of nuts and oats, crunchy. So basically you star from delicious fruit said to keep the doctor away, and add reasons that will in the long run likely lead you to pay your doctor a visit.
In my recipe I removed the flour to make it gluten-free (I used corn starch instead) and removed the need for butter by adding some walnuts and almonds to my topping. Walnuts excel in the amount of polyunsaturated fat they have and are a great substitute for butter here, and almonds add more monounsaturated fat and some extra fiber. Needless to say, both walnuts and almonds taste more interesting than butter so the crumble/crisp flavor will blow you away!
When it comes to keeping things sweet without adding sugar, I decided to use raisins as natural sweeteners and to get them to their juicy magnificence I soaked them in hot water for 30 minutes, then drained, before use.
One last note is that I used some lime juice and lime zest and at the end I think that this small amount of very aromatic citrus made a huge difference. The crumble was delicious and had a wonderful aroma, so much so that we ate the whole crumble in one sitting. So much for portion control!
What you’ll need:
4 large tart apples (Granny Smith or other)
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup walnuts, raw
1/2 cup almond, raw
1/2 cup oats
2 tablespoons corn starch
1 lime, juice and zest
1 tablespoon cinnamon, ground
What you’ll do:
- Preheat the oven to 375 F (190 C)
- Soak the raisins in 2 cups of warm water for 30 minutes.
- Cut the apples into slices and place in a large bowl. Squeeze the lime juice over the apple slices as you go and mix the juice in to keep your apples from oxidizing (turning brown) while you work.
- Drain the raisins and pat them dry. Add them to the sliced apples. Add lime zest, corn starch and cinnamon. Stir well to coat and combine.
- Spray the bottom and the sides of a square 8 x 8 in (20 x 20 cm) baking dish with cooking spray. Add the apple mix and spread around. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes.
- While the apple mix is baking prepare the crumble. In a food processors chop roughly the walnuts, almond and oats. You don’t want to make a fine meal, rather pulse the food processor and stop at a point where some of it is very fine but there are still plenty of chunky pieces left.
- Remove the foil from the baking apple mix and sprinkle the crumble on top. Don’t mix!
- Put the apple crumble back to the oven for another 15 minutes.
- Take it out of the oven and let it sit for 10 minutes to cool just slightly.Enjoy the Apple Crumble warm or cold!
Note on serving suggestions: I realize it is customary to serve warm apple crumble with cold vanilla ice cream, and that is swell! But give this crumble a try on its own – it is fantastic!
Note on peeling apples: I prefer not to peel my apples as peeling takes time and the peel adds a nice texture to the crumble. But if you like the crumble to be smoother then do peel them.
Note on the featured image: The featured image on the home page includes two small scoops of green ice cream. This is homemade coconut milk ice cream that owes its green color to food coloring – sorry for not coming up with something more natural… yet!
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