To me, nothing says autumn like a trip to the apple orchard! When my son was a toddler and I was a single mom working at a tiny little hospital in northeast Iowa, we used to make a road trip to Gays Mills, Wisconsin at least twice every fall to get apples and fresh cider. We loved walking through the different orchards’ stores and sampling the goodies they always had available to try. We
might have definitely always got a fresh, piping hot, apple cider donut coated with cinnamon sugar! Those donuts alone were worth the 90 minute drive each way! Of course, I always bought more apples than the two of us could possibly eat, but thankfully, I’ve always enjoyed spending time in my kitchen, so I made many desserts and other treats featuring apples. And thankfully, health care workers are known for their love of homemade baked goods, so I could take my creations to work where I could be certain they’d be enjoyed and nothing would go to waste…or to waist…if I had kept all those baked goods at home! 😉
Of all the different apple recipes, one of my all time favorites is apple crisp. I remember my mom teaching me me how to make one when I was about 10 years old. I used to experiment with different combinations of topping ingredients and spices, and by gosh, my dad ate them all! Whether he really liked them is a different thing, but he ate them, and at least pretended to like them all! I’ve chosen to make an apple crisp today, not only because it’s always been a favorite of mine, but also because it’s a recipe that lends itself quite easily to be adapted to meet my CEBH lifestyle!
Sometimes the old stand-by recipes are the best for a reason! They’ve stood the test of time, being passed down from generation to generation. But there’s nothing that says we can’t take those traditional old recipes and stand them on their ear! And that’s kind of what I’ve done with this apple crisp! It’s got all the traditional flavors and most the original ingredients in the crisp itself. And then, I’ve topped it with a traditionally flavored sauce made from a very non-traditional ingredient! It’s an apple crisp for the ages – with a new age twist!
As for ingredients – I chose to use Granny Smith apples – they are slightly tart and perfect for baking. In addition to the apples, I used a few oats, cinnamon, a pinch of salt, maple syrup for sweetness, and a handful of craisins for another little bit of sweetness and burst of flavor. The crisp topping is whole rolled oats, walnuts, coconut oil, cinnamon, maple syrup, and a splash of vanilla – pretty straightforward! For the cashew cream drizzle I used soaked raw cashews (just as we have for our other cashew cream recipes), maple syrup for sweetness and flavor, a splash of maple flavoring, a little vanilla, and a pinch of cinnamon to tie all the components together!
I diced the apples pretty small, then mixed them with a some of the oats I ground up a little in the blender – this helped act as thickener without having to add flour or cornstarch. Then I tossed in the craisins, cinnamon, and salt, stirred in the maple syrup, and mixed it all together. To make it a little more special I used individual ramekins to make this apple crisp – something about individual servings automatically makes any dish feel more special!
After I had the apple filling in the dishes, I mixed up the crispy topping ingredients and sprinkled that over the apples.
Then I popped them into the oven to bake about 40 minutes at 350 degrees. While they were baking I blended the maple cinnamon cashew cream ingredients in the blender and placed it the refrigerator until I was ready to serve the apple crisp! I prefer it still slightly warm from the oven and generously drizzled with the maple cinnamon cashew cream. Or I could definitely go for just a big ol’ gob of cashew cream on top too…either way it tastes scrumptious!
The end result…oh my gosh you guys! It’s just as flavorful and delicious as a traditional apple crisp – only better! The maple cinnamon cashew cream takes this recipe from really good to REALLY GREAT! Forget ice cream – you won’t even miss it in this recipe….seriously we mmmmm’d and yummmmed and oooohhhhed the whole time we were eating it! 😉
- 2 Granny Smith apples, diced but not peeled
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked 2 to 12 hours, drained
- 1 cup whole rolled oats, divided
- 1/2 cup craisins
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 6 tbsp pure maple syrup, divided
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 tsp cinnamon, divided
- 1 tsp plus a splash of vanilla
- 1/2 tsp maple flavoring
- 1 1/2 tsp coconut oil plus extra for greasing the ramekins
- A few dashes of salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Prepare 6 ramekin dishes by lightly brushing the inside of the dishes with coconut oil and set aside.
- In the same blender you will be using to make the cashew cream, coarse grind 1/4 cup oats by pulsing a few times.
- In a mixing bowl combine the diced apples, coarse ground oats, craisins, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 4 tbsp maple syrup, and a pinch of salt.
- Stir well, then divide evenly among individual ramekins and set aside while making crisp topping.
- In a bowl combine 1 1/2 tsp coconut oil, chopped walnuts, 3/4 cup oats, 2 tbsp maple syrup, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, a splash of vanilla, and a dash of salt.
- Mix well until all ingredients are well incorporated and the coconut oil is dispersed.
- Evenly divide the topping mixture, sprinkling over the apples in the ramekins.
- Place all 6 dishes on a sheet pan and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, or until bubbly and golden brown.
- Remove from oven and set aside until serving. Refrigerator if not serving until the next day.
- In a blender combine the soaked and drained cashews, 1/2 cup maple syrup, 1 tsp vanilla, the maple flavoring, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, and a pinch of salt.
- Blend on high until smooth and creamy.
- Place in a covered container and refrigerate until serving time.
- Top each apple crisp with a generous drizzle or dollop of Maple Cinnamon Cashew Cream.
- Garnish as desired with chopped walnuts, craisins, and fresh apple slice.