Easy, Crowd-pleasing Autumn Apple Crisp

Recipe and photo courtesy of Kyla Winchester.

My dad was the one who cooked in our family, and I can only conclude he didn’t like making pies. For Thanksgiving, he made apple crisp, or occasionally ‘pumpkin pudding’—which as an adult I now realize is an easy way to get sweet, creamy pumpkin filling and vanilla ice cream without the fuss of making a crust. (Yes, pumpkin pudding was just pumpkin pie without the crust—sneaky, huh?)

Apple crisp is a great fall recipe, and an easy, less-fussy but still delicious dessert for Thanksgiving—and simply modified for various diets. It’s also easy to delegate to eager but less-experienced cooks who can help with peeling and coring apples. My dad’s recipe was of the ‘some of this, some of that’ variety: light on amounts and heavy on winging it. So if someone offers to make it while you and/or others are taking care of the rest of the meal, let them take it on—it’s pretty easy to have delicious results.

 

Portions: 6 to 8

Difficulty level: Easy

Time: 30 to 40 minutes active, and up to 1 hour passive cooking

 

Ingredients:

Note – For vegans, use non-dairy margarine. For gluten-free folks, use rice flour or another gluten-free flour mix. If cross contamination is an issue (such as with celiacs) be sure to get gluten-free oats.

6 large or 8 mediums apples

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup flour (You can use whatever flour you have on hand: white, whole wheat, pastry, whole wheat pastry, spelt, etc. or substitute with rice flour or other gluten-free flour.)

½ cup sugar

½ cup margarine, room temperature

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon salt

Pinch nutmeg, if desired

 

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Peel and core apples. Slice apple 1/8”- to 1/4”-inch thick. Put in a large bowl and set aside.

In a medium bowl, add oats, flour, sugar, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon; stir to combine. Add margarine and use the back of a fork to ‘cut’ the margarine in, until the mixture comes together and has a ‘crumbly’ texture.

Pour out half the oat mixture onto the apples and stir to combine. Add this to an oven-safe dish around 10” square.

Pour the rest of the oat mixture on top of the apple-oat mixture and spread out evenly on top. (Don’t press it down; part of what makes it delicious is the uneven texture and the crispy bits.)

Cook 45 to 60 minutes, uncovered. Check the tenderness of the apples in the middle after 45 minutes by testing with a fork. Make sure the top is crispy before removing—if it’s not, turn on the top element in your oven, place the dish on the top rack and brown for a couple minutes. (But set a timer so you don’t forget!)

If there are any leftovers, cover the dish and refrigerate.

Note – you can modify this recipe to your preference, e.g. add dried cranberries to the apple mixture, or add chopped nuts to the oat mixture.

 

 

Strawberry Rhubarb Oatmeal Bars


Photo and recipe courtesy of Emma Kula

These incredible oat bars feature the best of the much-anticipated local summer produce, and are the perfect mixture of tart and sweet. Enjoy them for breakfast, snack or dessert, or bring them to your next BBQ or backyard patio party!

Ingredients:

1 c. rolled oats
¾ c. oat flour
½ c. coconut sugar
Scant ½ tsp. Salt
⅓ c. coconut oil, melted
½ tsp. cinnamon
1 c. strawberries, small dice
1 c. rhubarb, small dice
1 tbsp. maple syrup
1 tbsp. lemon juice
½ tbsp. Cornstarch

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl (or right in the square pan you will bake them in), combine your dry ingredients (oats through cinnamon) and mix. Add in the melted coconut oil and stir to combine. Remove HALF of this mixture and set it aside. Press the other half firmly into an 8×8 square pan to form the crust.

In another bowl, combine your fruit, maple, lemon and cornstarch and stir to combine. Add this strawberry mixture on top of your crust, then use the other half of the oat mixture that you saved to crumble on top of the fruit.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until slightly brown and bubbly. Store in the fridge to help them firm up, then slice and enjoy!