Apple pie is one of my favorite desserts no matter what time of the year it is, but when fall rolls around I start to move it up in the rotation. But, even though I can be quick with a crust, apple pies do take a little bit of time to put together when you start to compare them to other apple desserts, including apple crisp, so I often make crisps as a quicker, homey alternative to apple pie on a cool fall evening.The full disclosure here is that I will take apple crisp any day of the week, just as I would with apple pie. I’m just trying to make it sound as easy as possible – and it is easy to make – so that you’ll be tempted to try making your own batch even on a busy weeknight. Especially on a busy weeknight, actually, since it’s so satisfying.
This apple crisp has a little bit of a healthy edge to it, or perhaps I should say a healthy topping. The crisp topping is made with whole wheat flour, oats and a bit of ground flaxseed, as well as with brown sugar and spices. You could leave out the flaxseed if you don’t have any on hand. The filling is lightly sweetened with sugar and apple cider. It is very similar to an apple pie filling because it contains a little bit of cornstarch to thicken the juices up during baking. This makes the crisp a lot easier to serve since the filling will stick together in nice, neat (well, neat for a crisp) scoops without juices running everywhere. Be sure to serve it warm and, if you’re feeling decadent, ice cream or whipped cream is never a bad match for a dessert like this one.
Whole Grain Apple Crisp
3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
3/4 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp ground flaxseed
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp salt
6 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
6-7 medium apples, peeled and cored
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup apple cider
Preheat oven to 350F and take out an 9×9-inch baking dish.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, oats, brown sugar, flaxseed, spices and salt. Pour melted butter over dry ingredients and blend in using a fork. Continue to mix until mixture resembles coarse, wet sand. Set aside.
Cut peeled apples into slices and place in a large bowl. Add cornstarch, sugar and apple cider (use apple juice if no cider is available) and stir with a spatula to coat all apple slices evenly. Pour apple mixture into prepared baking dish.
Use you fingers to grab handfuls of the topping mixture and squeeze them tightly so that the mixture sticks in loose clumps. Sprinkle evenly over the apples.
Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until topping is lightly browned and apples are tender when pierced with a fork.
Let stand at least 15 minutes before serving to allow filling to thicken.