… A Baked Apple a Day Helps Autumn Stay!
At least the flavors might linger. Reds, greens, yellows, and browns turn Autumn into an array of color. This recipe uses fresh, crisp, and juicy apples of the season to bring Autumn into your home (and palate). We’ve layered red and green apple slices to create visual interest and intrigue in this dessert … we do eat with our eyes first, right? The flavors in this crumble topping are a perfect match for apple pie or cobbler, as well as pumpkin and squash dishes. The almonds and flax meal suggest a hint of nutty flavor, while the cinnamon loudly says, “Autumn and delicious.” Scents that waft through the kitchen while the apples are baking are sweet, cinnamon-y (may not be a true word, but it sure paints a flavorful picture, doesn’t it), and rich. Make your home say Autumn this season … and share our favorite time of year!
Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Cooking time: 20-30 minutes
Rest time: 15+ minutes
2 medium size Granny Smith apples, cored and sliced horizontally into 8 slices
2 medium/large size Cortland apples (or any other red apple suitable for baking), cored and sliced horizontally into 8 slices
Ingredients for crumble topping:
1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour, (I used Authentic Foods Bette’s Gourmet Four Flour Blend – Gluten/Dairy/Soy free)
1/2 cup Earth Balance Natural Butter Spread – Soy Free (in red tub)
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup finely ground almonds, or you can use almond meal
1 Tbsp whole flax meal, I used King Arthur Flour Gluten Free Whole Flax Meal
1/8 − 1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon (McCormick’s is gluten-free)
Directions for the crumble topping:
It is best to make the topping first, before slicing the apples, so the apples do not turn brown from prolonged exposure to the air.
Pre-heat oven to 350º. Combine all topping ingredients in a medium to large bowl. Using your fingertips, mix well, until all ingredients are blended together to form a lumpy crumb mixture, with no separation of ingredients.
The crumble topping is ready to use at this point, or topping can be stored in a resealable freezer bag, making as air tight as possible, and frozen for later use. If freezing for a later date, there’s no need to thaw before using.
Directions for apples:
Wash and dry apples. Remove stem and core out center of each apple. Trim bottom of each apple by slicing off just enough to allow apples to sit flat. Cut each apple into eight slices, slicing horizontally through the middle.
In individual ramekins, or a baking dish (lined with parchment paper so apples can be easily removed after baking) large enough to hold four apples, re-assemble apples by stacking alternating red and green slices. Use appropriate sizes of slices to re-create an apple shape, each apple being completed with one of the original top slices.
Spoon crumble topping into center of the apples, allowing some of the topping to overflow over the top of each apple. Place baking dish on center rack of pre-heated oven. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the apple is done to your liking. It is easy to overcook the apples because they are sliced and heat circulates through the apples more easily. When done, remove from oven and place baking dish on cooling rack to set up and cool slightly before serving. This dessert is delicious warm out of the oven, but for a little greater indulgence, try adding a dollop of whip cream topping (Rich’s Whip Topping is a great gluten-free, dairy-free substitute) or vanilla ice cream. Yum!
P.S. When my daughter, who has no food intolerances or restrictions, but knows full-well that our house is only gluten-free and dairy-free, began devouring one of these baked apple treats with reckless abandon, she suddenly caught herself, stopped, and said to me, “Is this safe?” She couldn’t believe it wasn’t a conventional recipe. “Wow, this is the best crumble topping I’ve ever had!”