Apple-Cherry Pecan Crisp

This blog is the first in a 3-part series; whole-heatedly dedicated to my favorite fall food, apples. 

To say I'm obsessed with apples would be an understatement. I can be caught almost any hour of the day sinking my teeth into a crunchy apple (I have the far-from-elegant habit of scarfing them so quickly that I was once told that I eat apples like a trucker - whatever that means!) They're hydrating, sweet and satisfying. To me, the perfect conclusion to a meal, mid-morning snack or late afternoon pick-me-up. 

Since my mom always told me, "Life is unpredictable, better have dessert first," I'll kick off this "apples 3 ways" blog series with some sweetness. 

apple picking.jpg

After stuffing myself silly in the apple orchards, I still had more apples than even I could eat. In these predicaments, there is only one solution; baking. 

My mission began with the muffins pictured below. I had set out in hopes of a protein-packed breakfast treat. I mixed Greek yogurt, eggs, almond meal, apple and dried cherries. Despite the pretty picture, they were a flop - dry and dense (which didn't stop me from eating them, but does not make for a blog-worthy recipe). 

This kind of screw-up in the kitchen helps me to keep a playful attitude. It's a great reminder that I'm doing this for fun; because I love trying new recipes and more than anything, I love fueling with nourishing treats that satisfy the monster in my belly. So, I set the muffins aside and moved on. 

Second go at baking was definitely worth it. Here is how it went:

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup crumbled pecans and 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 cups nonfat milk (milk substitute is fine, but I wanted the protein in real milk)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract (when feeling frisky, I substitute vanilla for bourbon - I highly recommend giving it a try)
  • 3 cups thinly sliced red apples. No need to waste time peeling; most of the antioxidants are in the skin. I like to use the sweet varieties like Fuji, HoneyCrisp or Pink Ladies (if using a tart variety, try tossing the sliced apples in 1/3 cup honey + 2 tsp ground cinnamon)

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 and grease a baking pan (I use coconut oil spray from Trader Joe's)
  2. Mix dry ingredients: oats, pecans, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in large bowl
  3. In another bowl, whisk together liquids: honey, milk, egg and vanilla, then combine well with the oat mixture
  4. Layer apples (with optional addition of more honey & cinnamon) on the bottom of the pan. Layer the batter of goodness evenly on top and lightly pack down
  5. Bake for ~40 minutes or until top is crisp and lightly browned, and apples are soft
  6. Let cool, then dig-in!  If you have the willpower to save some, this crisp is also great alongside a scoop of yogurt for breakfast

Maybe not as picture-pretty as the muffins, but a warm, sweet treat I was more than happy to partake in. Hope you love it! 

If you try this recipe, let us know how it goes! We love to hear how you modify our recipes to make them yours. Share your pictures on our facebook page or on instagram by tagging @eatwithzest.