If you have a sweet tooth like me, or are just around tons of holiday cookies and candies at this time of year, you might be looking for a sweet treat right about now that doesn't leave you feeling comatose or like you've got high fructose corn syrup coursing through your veins. This fruit crisp uses lots of seasonal fruit and only a small amount of added sweetener. I have been making apple crisps for years, and we eat them for dessert with cream, breakfast with yogurt, or straight up for a snack. This crisp turned out better than any I'd made before and the two key elements that I think made it so good are cider and prunes (think dried plums not your grandma's source of fiber); and the apple cider, which is the only sweetener on the fruit, making and the prunes plump during cooking and adding a richness and note of complexity to the apples.
Apple Crisp with Cider, Spices and Prunes
Apples about 10 apples, or enough to fill a 9x13 baking dish
1 1/2 Cups Prunes, whole pitted
2 Cinnamon sticks (or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon)
5 Cardamom pods (or 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom)
1 1/2 Cups apple cider
2 Tablespoons butter (optional)
4 Cups oats (I used 3 cups quick oats and 1 cup rolled oats)
1 Cup brown sugar (or honey, maple syrup, agave, molasses or fruit juice concentrate)
3/4 Cups oil
1/3 Cup apple cider
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
- Peel and cut apples into 1 inch cubes or 1/2 inch thick slices. Put apples, prunes, cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods and cider in a 9x13inch baking dish. dot with butter if you are using it.
- In a separate bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the crisp topping. Pile the mixture on top of the fruit and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until the cider is bubbling rapidly, the fruit is very tender and the crisp topping is nicely browned. If your topping gets too dark but the fruit needs to cook more, drape a piece of foil over the top until it is done.
The cider cooks into the fruit sweetening the apples and plumping the prunes.
This crisp is wonderful alone or paired with a drizzle of milk or cream, yogurt or ice cream. We ate this for dessert, breakfast and snack (not all on the same day) and it was a nice way to satisfy our cravings for sweets without too much sugar.
Do you have a great fruit based recipe?
Feel free to share ideas by leaving a comment below.