Apple Cranberry Walnut Crisp
Amanda Love's Cooking
Delicious, Healthy Seasonal Recipes from the "The Barefoot Cook" for November
Serves 6 to 8
Preparation time: 15- 20 minutes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
I have some sweet memories of apples in my life. Some of the best apples I have ever had are the ones I picked and ate right off the trees. When I lived in Sonoma County in Northern California, I rented a room in a house behind an overgrown apple orchard. Some of the apple trees were said to be almost 100 years old. I remember wandering around the orchard with delight as I discovered and ate so many exotic varieties of apples that I had never seen nor eaten before. Every spring came the apple blossoms. The whole area would be blanketed with a snow of white blossoms. One of the highways was even called Gravenstein Highway named after the delicious, tart Gravenstein apple. Once, while perusing a farmers market in Mendocino, I came across an apple that was pink inside. It was one of the best apples I have ever had.
Apple trees are related to the rose family. To me that gives them an elevated status as a fruit. Though most of us stick to eating only a few different kinds of apples, 7,500 varieties of apples actually exist.
Not only are apples delicious, they have medicinal benefits as well. They serve to release gas from the stomach and promote good digestion in general. Apples are very alkaline and detoxifying to the liver and gut. The pectin in apples is a natural fiber that gently cleanses the intestinal tract and helps to remove heavy metals. The apples I used in this recipe are from Love Creek Orchards in Medina, TX. Not only are these apples delicious, but the people who grow them are very kind as well. I have given you a couple of options in this recipe to make it either gluten free by using almond flour (almonds go quite well with apples) or to make it with sprouted grain flour. I made sprouted grain flour by soaking wheat berries overnight, sprouting them the next day and then placing them on a sheet pan in the oven on low over night until they were dried. I then ground them into flour in my blender. This is a more digestible version of flour and is fresh. If you are not this ambitious to make either of these afore mentioned flours, you can simply use organic white wheat or spelt flour.
8 medium organic apples (or about 2 ½ pounds) – peeled, cored and cut into 1 inch chunks (use Gravenstein, Pippin, Braeburn or whatever local apples you can find)
Juice of 1 lemon
¾ cup organic sprouted wheat or spelt flour
(Gluten free version - use ¾ cup almond flour – grind almonds in food processor until they are the consistency of flour)
¾ cup sucanat or organic cane sugar (or zylitol)
1 tablespoon natural sugar of choice (choose from above choices)
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder (optional)
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
½ cup or 1stick cold butter cut into small pieces (make sure it is very cold)
½ cup walnuts
½ cup fresh cranberries (frozen or dried is okay too)
Place sliced apples and cranberries into a 2 quart baking dish or 9 inch deep dish pie pan. Stir in lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of natural sugar and arrowroot. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and mix together. Add butter and vanilla and cut in with a pastry blender or with hands until mixture is course and crumbly. You may also use a food processor to do this. Place the topping over the apples and pat in the walnuts. Bake until the juices are bubbling and the topping is golden brown, about 50 to 55 minutes. Check crisp half way through baking and place foil loosely over top if the topping is already golden. Serve with a dollop of whip cream or vanilla ice cream.
Alternate suggestions: You may use any fruit in place of apples and use the same topping. Also, double the topping recipe and save half in the freezer for a future crisp.