Nothing quite says fall like an apple crisp. Cinnamon and spices mingled together with tender apples and a buttery, crumbly, crispy topping oozing with flavor and decadence. Yet, not all apple crisps are created equal. This crisp is loaded with flavorful seasonal apples and topped with an oat and nut mixture sweetened with maple syrup and dates. Decadent enough for dessert - healthy enough for breakfast.
Apples are a seasonal staple for the Northeast in the fall. One of my favorite fall activities is to head upstate, take in the fall foliage, and make a b-line to an apple orchard to load up on local goodies - apple cider doughnuts typically included.
Crunchy, crispy, sweet, and tart, apples come in a myriad of varieties. Slather them with nut butter, add them to an oatmeal bake, or toss them in a salad. Apples are full of fiber, vitamin C, and poloyphenols. Poloyphenols are the micronutrients which are present in the fruit and help combat cancer, cardiovascular disease, and degenerative conditions. Apples are a hearty and durable fruit that can withstand being tossed into a bag or lunchbox and serve as the perfect grab and go snack. Look for apples that are firm without bruises, have vibrant skin, and smell fresh. Some of my favorite apple varieties are Pink Ladies, Paula Red's, Northern Spy, and Macoun's.
1 cup rolled oats
5 dates pitted
1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp vanilla bean powder (i like this brand)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 tbsp ground flax seeds
2 lbs apples, cored and chopped
1/2 cup raisins
2 tbsps coconut sugar or maple crystals (i like this brand)
2 tbsps fresh lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla bean powder
1/2 tbsp cinnamon (adjust if you prefer less)
1/4 tsp salt
Yogurt for topping - I like siggis plain or vanilla, or coconut yogurt for a vegan alternative
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
In a food processor, gently pulse the oats and dates until a coarse meal is formed. Transfer to a large bowl. Repeat with the walnuts and pecans. Make sure not to over pulse the nuts and turn them into nut butter. You want the oats and nuts to maintain a coarse, crumbly texture.
Add the remaining dry ingredients for the topping into the large bowl with the oats - cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, vanilla, salt, and ground flax seeds and mix. Pour in the melted coconut oil and maple syrup, and stir to combine.
In a large bowl, toss together the apples, raisins, maple or coconut sugar, lemon juice, vanilla bean powder, cinnamon, and salt.
Pour the apple mixture into a round 8 to 10-inch cast iron skillet or 2-1/2 inch deep baking dish and spread the oat mixture on top. Give the baking dish a few shakes to allow the mixture to settle.
Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the top is browned and slightly crisp and the fruit is bubbling and soft. Allow to cool for 15 minutes, top with a dollop of yogurt or ice cream of your choice.
I like to enjoy this crisp at all temperatures and times of the day. To reheat, simply stick the pan or skillet back into the oven for 5-10 minutes or until warmed through.