Thursday, September 23, 2010

Gluten-Free Fall Specials: Individual Flourless Apple Crisp from The Messy Chef

Why do you eat gluten-free? This is a question I get often (and you can find my answer here). Years ago, most of the people eating gluten-free were doing so because they had been diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Today you'll find many people eating gluten-free who have not been given that diagnosis, but have found the lifestyle to be beneficial to their health. Sara is one of those people. Sara blogs at The Messy Chef and her story of turning to a gluten-free, whole foods diet is inspirational and educational. After being plagued by a host of health problems, she and her husband took their health (and their kitchen) back into their own hands and changed the way they ate. The result was a combined weight loss of 70 pounds and a fresh outlook on life. Today, Sara is sharing one of her easy dessert recipes with us, an apple crisp that is perfect for an afternoon snack on a chilly day. And for those of you who only dabble in gluten-free eating or are perhaps just thinking about it, this is a wonderful "beginners" recipe because it doesn't require any gluten-free flours other than a small amount of arrowroot powder (which could probably be subbed for cornstarch if that's what you have on hand).




















When I was asked to create a guest blog post all about fall, I jumped at the chance. You see fall is my absolute favorite time of year, closely followed by winter. Why do I love it so much? For one thing, there are the colors of the trees. Here in Colorado we are lucky enough to experience four seasons. Granted, the colors we see here aren’t nearly as stunning as the Midwest or East Coast. I love how the temperature starts dropping and snow starts to make its wonderful first appearance of the year. Most of all, I love the flavors of fall. I love anything and everything pumpkin. I love the smell of apple cider simmering on the stove for hours on end. I love coming home to a crock-pot full of soup that has been simmering all day. Yep, I love fall!

I love that apples are truly coming into season during the fall months. The very idea of being able to pick your own apples in the morning and have an amazing dessert in the evening is so appealing, in fact it’s making my mouth water now just thinking about it. So when Iris asked me to do this guest post, I just had to do something with apples.

It’s been about a year since I started cooking gluten free. I think my biggest struggle has been around all of the different flours. Each one has its own delicate consistency, texture and flavor that makes it extremely challenging for beginners. So I decided to try to steer away from flour for this post. I still wanted to do a dessert though. So why not try a flourless apple crisp. The only thing was that pretty much every blogger has their own fruit crisp recipe; I didn’t want to copy everyone else’s. Why not make it into individual servings instead of a large pan? Kids would love to fill a muffin tin full of dessert in a way that’s different than cupcakes. Why not try a granola topping for the crisp? I think this is one of my favorite things – mixing a few different concepts to come up with something delicious. In this case, it was apple pie filling topped by granola. I am very satisfied by the results and I hope that you’ll try it. Its very simple and you will have an awesome dessert in an hour at the most.

Individual Flourless Apple Crisp

Ingredients
3 large organic honey crisp apples (or 6 medium granny smith)
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ Cup agave nectar or honey
1 Tbsp arrowroot powder
2 ¼ Cup gluten free rolled oats
1 Cup almonds, crushed
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground ginger
½ Cup agave nectar or honey
2 Tbsp grapeseed oil
1 tsp vanilla extract (gluten free)

12 muffin tins
1 muffin pan

Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 300˚.
  2. Peel and chop the apples into bite-sized pieces.
  3. In a large saucepan over medium heat, mix the apples, first round of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, agave nectar (or honey), and arrowroot powder.
  4. Cook this, stirring every minute or so for about 10-12 minutes (the liquid should be thick and bubbly and the apples should be a little crisp).
  5. In the meantime, in a medium-sized mixing bowl, stir together the oats, almonds, second round of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
  6. Add the second round of agave nectar (or honey), oil and vanilla extract and stir until well combined.
  7. Prepare the muffin tins in the muffin pan.
  8. Fill each tin about 2/3 of the way full with the hot apple mixture.
  9. Top each tin with enough of the granola mixture so that it’s even with the top of the muffin tin (make sure you can see some of the paper so its easy to pull out of the pan after its done).
  10. Place the muffin pan in the oven for 40-45 minutes, checking every 15 minutes to make sure its not getting too brown.
  11. Pull the pan out of the oven and let it sit for at least 15 minutes. Serve. This makes 12 individual apple crisps.
Sara is the author of The Messy Chef. It’s a blog that’s all about creating food from whole, fresh ingredients rather than processed, refined or preservative-laden “foods”. Because of a wheat sensitivity for her husband, she decided to play it safe and cut out all forms of gluten.



I'm putting gluten-free oats on my grocery list so I can make this recipe. I love the idea of individual apple crisps. Also a good way to practice portion control and not eat half of the pan in one sitting! Stop by The Messy Chef for more simply delicious gluten-free recipes. Then come back here on Sunday for a treat from Ginger Lemon Girl, the amazing creator of hundreds of gluten-free (and now soy and dairy-free) recipes.

5 comments:

Sara said...

Iris, Thank you so much for asking me to participate - I feel so honored. This was such a great idea, I can't wait to try them all.

Tasty Eats At Home said...

These sound so delicious! I too love fall - for the same reasons! I can't wait to break out the pumpkin recipes!

I Am Gluten Free said...

These are perfection in a muffin tin! I love the idea of making apple crisp without the flour, and in small, portion-control individual sizes. And this couldn't be easier. I read through the recipe and agree, this is a great way for people just beginning to cook gluten free to venture into baking. Great job!

Alea said...

I love breaking up large recipes into muffin tins. My kids have noticed that if I make a cake it is gone in days as we "even up the edges", but if I make cupcakes we have dessert for a week. I have never thought to break up a crisp into individual servings before, but it is a brilliant idea!

JMM said...

I recently tried the apple crisp recipe and found the apple part was too sweet. Also, I had tonnes of extra topping which I ended up turning into granola. Overall, the recipe was excellent and I enjoyed the flavour from the crushed almonds.

In order to improve the recipe I recommend halving the topping as well as the honey in the apple portion.

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