‘Tis the season for some apples, fa-la-la-la-laaaa-la-la-la-laaaaa.
Need I sing more?
I’m sorry… that I’m not sorry… that I absolutely love this blissful time of year. Autumn is host to my favorite flavors, including any and all desserts made with apples. Macoun, Honey Crisp, Macintosh, Granny Smith… the list goes on and on.
Everyone has their favorite variety of apple. I prefer the Cortland apple, but I’ve yet to try all of the apples in existence. One day that dream may come true.
What’s the most ironic part about my ode to apples? It’s the fact that I actually hated them as a kid.
Yes, I hated them.
I distinctly remember an occasion when my friend wanted a Red Delicious apple at snack time. I watched her chow down on that fruit as though she’d never had a morsel of food in her life. That must have meant that apples were incredibly tasty, right? I asked her mom for an apple, and when I bit into it, I cringed. I ate 2 bites and somehow faked eating the rest of it.
I didn’t eat another apple until college. I went to a school that had its own apple orchard and breeding center. A new variety of apples was created every year. I tried to taste all of them. How often was it that you had an orchard in your backyard? Some of them were okay, but others were exquisite. Each breed had differences in tartness, ripeness, sweetness, and crispness.
Who knew my taste buds were going to do a complete “180?” That’s the magic of apples, and that’s the beauty of fall.
Besides being delicious, apples are packed with nutrition. A medium apple with its skin has a little over four grams of fiber, meaning that you get almost 1/5 of the fiber you need for the day in one fruit. They also have about 15% of the daily value of Vitamin C, and they are filled with other antioxidants. Antioxidants in the diet can help prevent cell mutations from occurring, keeping the body working to its fullest potential.
I love putting apples in desserts when I can. They provide natural sweetness, extra nutrients, and healthy ingredient replacements.
Fun fact- You can replace one egg with 1/3 cup of applesauce in recipes.
This time of year provides the perfect flavors and weather for delicious apple crisp recipe creation. My decadent version turns extra rich with the additions of maple and bourbon. They add natural sweetness and crispness to enhance the flavors of the apples.
For the apple mixture: 8 of your favorite medium-sized apples, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, 1/3 cup dark brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour, 1/4 tsp clove, 1/4 cup maple syrup, 1 Tbsp bourbon, 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the crisp topping: 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 cup old fashioned oats, 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/4 cup coconut oil (slightly softened), 1/4 cup butter (solid), 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Chop the apples into 1/2 to 1/4 inch sized pieces. They don’t have to be uniform in size. It will give your apple crisp a more rustic look and appeal. Place the apples into a 9 x 13″ glass baking dish. Sprinkle the apples with lemon juice to prevent them from browning.
The enzyme that causes browning in fruits is called polyphenol oxidase (PPO).
Toss the apples with dark brown sugar, cinnamon, clove, and flour until each piece of apple is well-coated with the dry ingredients.
Put the syrup, bourbon, and vanilla extract in a liquid measuring cup. Stir them together. Pour the wet ingredients over the coated apple mixture. Mix the wet ingredients evenly onto the apples.
Create the topping in a large bowl. Mix together the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the coconut oil and butter to the mixture in tablespoon-sized pieces. Incorporate the fats into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender or your hands. The topping is well-mixed when the ingredients look like wet sand.
You can also make the topping in a food processor. Pulse the ingredients slowly until you have a wet sand mixture.
Spread the topping evenly onto the apples. Place the apple crisp into the oven for 40 minutes. Reduce the heat to 300°F, and keep the dessert in the oven for another 10 minutes. The crisp is finished when the topping has browned. In my opinion, 50 minutes is plenty of time for this beauty to cook!
Remove the apple crisp from the oven and let it cool on the counter for at least 15 minutes before cutting into it. It smelled so good in my house that I had to set a 15-minute timer to remedy my impatience.
Oh, did I mention that you can pair it with your favorite ice cream? Well, you should.
The apple crisp will not be 100% solidified the first night you eat it. Store it in the refrigerator to have it firm up for the following nights… if you don’t wind up eating it all in one sitting!
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