Fall is my favorite time of the year. I look forward to the cooler temperatures, anticipating the fun of preparing for the upcoming holidays, my birthday, and the food–the glorious food!
I especially love the warm flavors that mark the fall holidays. The smell of pumpkin, cinnamon and cloves, toasted nuts, vanilla. Kitchen aromas can be so evocative, full of fond memories of holidays past.
I am a big fan of warm apple anything: pie, crumble, cobbler, brown betty…you name it. A crisp is an easy, low-fat way to indulge my craving. This one is kicked up with a splash of Calvados, just for fun!
Warm Apple Crisp
4 medium apples, peeled, cored and sliced ( I use 2 granny smith and 2 golden delicious)
2 tablespoons water or apple juice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons sucanat
1 1/2 oz Calvados or other apple brandy (optional)
5 vegan graham crackers (Nabisco original in the red box is vegan)
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup raisins (soaked for at least 1/2 hour in hot water, covered)
2 tablespoon walnuts, toasted and finely chopped (optional)
1 tablespoon sucanat
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Filling: Heat water or apple juice in non-stick skillet on medium high heat. When it starts to bubble, add apples and saute for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Carefully, off the heat, add brandy then return and cook until liquid is reduced by half. Sprinkle in the cinnamon and sugar, and reduce heat, stirring and allowing sugar to melt and become syrupy. Add a bit more water or juice if needed.
Transfer apples to a 1 quart casserole or 8 x 8 baking dish, VERY lightly coated with non-stick spray.
Topping: Crumble crackers into a food processor and pulse a few times to grind into crumbs. Add the oats, cinnamon and sucanat and pulse once more just to combine. Finally, add the drained raisins and process just until mixture comes together to form a streusal-like texture.
Crumble topping evenly over filling and bake for 10-15 minutes. Serve warm or cold.
Suggested accompaniment: Vanilla Hemp Ice Cream