I would like to take this time to officially welcome the Autumn season... I think. You never really know with this New England weather. Anyway, it's always been a toss up for me on whether Summer or Autumn is my favorite season. Growing up it was always Summer hands down, because I despise being cold and will go to great lengths to avoid it, and I love soaking up the summer sun and getting an amazing tan out of it (and the fact that my birthday is in July helps a bit too!).
As I've gotten older, I've really come to appreciate nature's Autumnal beauty. The colors can be breathtaking and I've found much solace in leaf peeping as soon as foliage turns (I'm sorry if you're not from New England and have no idea what "leaf peeping" is, you are surely missing out). I can't wait to get Liana outside for walks in the Autumn air (all bundled up of course) and watch her gaze at the new leaves.
In addition to leaf peeping, Autumn also lets us break into our fabulous boot collection and cozy up in our oh-so-soft scarves and sweaters while sipping on some warm apple cider. And it goes without saying that our recipes are now trending with apple and pumpkin deliciousness and spiced up with cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Yum!
I have been trying to plan for the past few weeks what my first Autumn recipe would be and I almost settled on baking an apple pie for the first time when I saw Hannah Maggs' home baked apple pie recipe (I was only slightly disappointed that she used store bought pastry crust instead of homemade), but I decided to try out something a little different. You may have had apple crisp baked in the oven, but have you had it cooked on the stove top? Neither had I... Until now.
Today's amazing creation is brought to you with the help of Julie Johnson from the cooking station at Whole Foods Market in South Weymouth! This scrumptious appley dish is the perfect dessert to end my no sugar challenge (there is no added sugar in this recipe!) as well as welcome the beautiful crisp Autumn season. --- See what I did there? Crisp? I know, I'm spending too much time around Ashton...
Let's gather our ingredients!
1 1/2 cups apple cider
1 tbsp corn starch
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 cups vanilla granola (I had vanilla almond on hand)
3 honeycrisp apples, cored and sliced
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
First we'll need to core and slice the apples.
We can put these in an airtight container in the refrigerator for now, so they don't go brown.
Now mix 1/2 cup of the apple cider with the corn starch in a small bowl and set aside.
Next let's heat our skillet over medium high heat and toast the granola. We have to first melt the coconut oil, and then add the granola. We'll stand by stirring continuously until our granola is toasted and golden brown.
Smells good already!
Next, we move the granola to a bowl and set aside. Let's add our apples, the remaining apple cider, vanilla and cinnamon.
We'll turn the heat down a bit and pop on a lid to let it simmer. As the apples become just tender, add the cornstarch slurry and heat until the mixture is thickened.
I bet your house is filled with a warm Autumnal scent by now!
We can now transfer our skillet of deliciousness to a serving dish or storing dish.
Sprinkle the top with the toasted granola and enjoy!
This apple crisp would be delicious served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or my current favorite, Almond Dream's Praline Crunch ice cream. Mmmm. If you don't happen to finish it all in one sitting (kidding, kind of..) it can be stored at room temperature on the counter for 2-3 days. I know some people swear by refrigerating it, but I don't since the 'crisp' might get soggy (I think apple crisp with added sugar should be refrigerated due to the bacteria that can grow from the combination of the apples and refined sugar).
Now that I've mentioned it, you probably only just noticed that this recipe does not call for any additional sugar. Although I officially ended my 'no sugar challenge' yesterday, I still think it is important to avoid large amounts of sugar when I can. Apples already have natural sugar, so I didn't see a necessity for added sugars--and it is still mouthwatering without it!
Do let me know if you try out this recipe in the comments or by using #RecipebyDanielle on twitter or instagram! xx