The short time between Fall and Winter is one of my favorite times of the year. The holidays are off and running, Christmas music begins playing on the radio and the cool temperatures finally hit southern California. When you visit the grocery store it’s lined with apples and pears, the peak of their finest season. I’m a sucker for winter fruits and love a good fruit crisp. They’re easy to make, sweet and warm with that wonderful crunchy oatmeal topping. I like to bake mine in individual ramekins so each of my kids get’s their “own” dessert.
You can google apple crisp and get a lot of recipes, all pretty much the same. They’re hard to mess up. I like to mix apples and pears in the same crisp with a touch of cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom. The cardamom can be omitted but if you have it…use it. It adds a really special flavor to the crisp.
Even though your apples and pears are peeled, the flesh still provides fiber and Vitamin C despite what you may hear. The oatmeal and whole wheat flour provide additional fiber. The recipe below is lower in sugar than your average crisp but feel free to play with it. If you enjoy it with even less sugar you can eat this for breakfast. Yum!
- 1 large apple, cored, peeled and sliced
- 1 large pear, cored, peeled and sliced
- 1 tablespoon plus 1½ tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom
- ⅓ cup quick-cooking oats
- 2 Tablespoons oat bran flour (can use whole wheat flour)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place apples and pear slices in a small bowl and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom, stir to blend. Let the apple and pear slices stand until sugar dissolves and coats the fruit.
- In a separate bowl, stir the oats, flour, salt, and remaining 1½ tablespoons brown sugar. Add the melted butter and rub in with fingertips or fork. Stir in the almonds until blended well.
- Spread the apple mixture evenly in 4 buttered ramekins. Sprinkle each one with the oat mixture evenly and bake the crisp until apples are soft and topping is golden, about 35 minutes. Serve warm.
Meri Raffetto is the founder of Real Living Nutrition, triplet mom and author of the Glycemic Index Diet for Dummies and coauthor of the Glycemic Index Cookbook for Dummies, and Mediterranean Diet Cookbook for Dummies.