Thursday, February 7, 2013

Juicy Apple Crisp

If I had to pick the essential dessert, apple crisp would be it. You can get apples year-round (even if they're best in the fall), and the ingredients and preparation for a crisp are neither time consuming nor fussy. This dessert is pretty much guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser.

  • 1/2 cup regular oats
  • 1/3 cup packed vegan brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons melted vegan butter
  • 1 tablespoon frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
  • 2 tablespoons vegan sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 8 cups peeled and sliced Granny Smith apple
  • 1/4 cup frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 3/4 cup low-fat vanilla non-dairy ice cream (such as Soy Delicious)
1. In a bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, flour, butter, 1 tablespoon apple juice, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; set aside.

2. In a second bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and salt.

3. Place the apple slices in an 11x7-inch baking dish, and sprinkle with the cornstarch mixture.  Pour the remaining 1/4 cup apple juice and the water over the apples.

4. Top with the oat mixture, and bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes - the filling should be bubbly and the topping golden brown.

5. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

Don't forget to top each portion with the ice cream!

Nutrition Info:
6 servings (1 cup crisp, 2 tablespoons ice cream), Calories 258 

Tasting Notes:
This is apple crisp at its most classic and simple; nothing fancy, but tender, warm apples and subtle sweetness from the apple juice and sugars.  This recipe uses a light hand on the topping, which had the flavor of a toasted oatmeal cookie.  I'd say double the amount of topping if you'd like a more decadent dessert. There's a reason they call desserts with ice cream a la mode - that combination of warm apple and ice cold vanilla will never go out of fashion. For a less-standard apple crisp recipe, check out my version with cranberries.


Vegan extra:
This crisp was perfect with a hot cup of tea, especially since I prepared it in mid-February.  One of my favorite brands is Yogi tea, particularly their chai black.

My favorite of their herbal teas is "Throat Comfort," a blend of licorice, fennel, wild cherry, cinnamon, and more.  Perfect for a scratchy winter throat.

Even better, every tea bag gives you just a little bit of wisdom:

Of course another option is to visit a tea salon. Two of my favorites in NYC are the all vegan Teany in the Lower East Side and Spice & Tease on the Upper West Side.

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