It’s apple harvest time in Colorado.
I’ve got a big jug of Ela Farms organic, sugar-free apple cider in the fridge and I’ve been busy making apple sauce, dehydrated apples, apple porridge, apple bars and apple muffins. Not that I’m complaining. But, after picking up my CSA box yesterday and finding another zillion honey-crisp apples in the fruit basket, I had no choice but to expand on my healthy options and make a full-on, traditional, sugar-laden, butter-filled apple crumble.
Seriously, I had no choice. None.
There are a handful of desserts that insist on being made with the real thing. This is one of them.
Melissa’s GF apple crumble
what you need for the apple filling
6 to 8 apples, depending on size
1/2 cup organic sugar
2 tablespoons GF flour * (I used Pamela’s GF Baking Mix, but any GF mix or regular flour will work)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
dash of salt
what you need for the crumble topping
3/4 cup GF flour * (I used Pamela’s GF Baking Mix, but any GF mix or regular flour will work)
1/3 cup organic sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup butter *
1 cup chopped pecans (or less – I love pecans in this, so I use a lot)
1. Wash, core and slice apples in thin sections and place in a large bowl. Depending on your preference and time, you can either peel them or not. I’ve done it both ways, but it does change the texture a bit if they are unpeeled (the photo below shows them peeled, but unpeeled is more-often my choice).
2. Using a whisk and a medium sized bowl, mix the remaining ingredients on the apple filling list.
3. Pour mixed dry ingredients over the apples and gently stir to cover all the pieces with filling ingredients. Place in greased pie plate and arrange to fit. If you feel as though there’s not enough coverage, mix up a small amount of extra filling mix and add that. I have a fairly large-sized pie plate so depending on my apple sizes, sometimes I end up making a touch extra. I’ve also increased all the measurements and made a big apple crumble during special occasions. Adjust as you see fit.
4. Whisk together flour, sugar and cinnamon from the crumble ingredient list. Add butter as indicated below (*) and mix well. Add the pecans, stir and cover pie with crumble mixture. Press down to cover all the area. The photo below is an example of the pre-baked crumble, but in a much larger baking dish. This version was half-again bigger than the recipe calls for (I wanted to show you some options).
5. Place in pre-heated 400 degree oven for about 45-50 minutes. Check after about 30 minutes and cover loosely with foil if it starts to burn (it may, so watch it closely). Quick clean-up tip: you might also want to put a piece of foil on the floor of your oven in case the filling boils over and makes a mess of your oven.
6. Remove from oven, serve with vanilla ice cream and swoon over your creation. No one (NO ONE) will care that this is gluten-free. Don’t even tell them. On second thought, tell them and then don’t give them the recipe. Just explain that this is what is served in our wheat-free parallel universe that they aren’t part of. Be totally snooty about it. So there, you wheat-eaters!
Of course, I’m kidding.
* Butter, here’s the deal – if I’m going to use butter, I’m going to use the best available source. My choice is Organic Valley Pastured Butter for a variety of reasons. The real thing is much healthier for you than all those nasty “I thought it was real, but it’s really a bunch of icky fake crap” butters. Plus, how the animals are treated makes a big difference in my food choices. This is a good, healthy option for me.
* Butter-using tip: I buy the big chunk of butter and store it in the freezer. Then when I need butter for pie crusts and crumbles, I take it out of the freezer and shred it with a cheese grater. That is much easier than doing that double-knife-ninja-crossover-thing to mix up butter. Then I put the butter back in the freezer for next time. Very easy and there’s less chance of a serious, pastry-mixing injury. Are you listening, GDave?
Go forth and enjoy the apple harvest!