It’s always around this time of year that I really crave warm desserts like fruit crisps. I love that they are easy to make especially for someone who doesn’t really care to bake very often, like me. But like most desserts, you have to wait for them to bake. And if your sort of impatient like me and often require instant gratification, well I’ve got some good news!
I came up with a way to get all the delicious flavors and textures of an apple crisp without having to use the oven.
This apple crisp is made in the SKILLET and on the STOVETOP !
Some apple crisp recipes can be extremely high in fat, sugar and therefore, calories. So while I was experimenting in the kitchen, I figured I’d create a recipe using less fat and sugar than most recipes call for, without sacrificing any flavor. And of course, I wanted this recipe to be completely plant-based. So in other words, pretty darn good for you!
Sometimes we may forget that we can use a variety of spices in dessert dishes, not just savory ones, to add another dimension of flavor. Cardamom is an example of a spice that I use often especially this time of year.
Cardamom is a relative of the ginger family and offers a smoky, slightly sweet, slightly warm flavor to either savory foods or desserts. It’s commonly used in things like chai lattes and is popular in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. I love using cardamom with all sorts of dishes.
Ok! Let’s get to the best part…the topping! It’s made pretty much the same way most apple crisp toppings are made, except I use vegan butter and super fine almond flour to help bind the oats together and give it a rich nutty flavor. To the oats, I add in those yummy spices; cardamom (and also some cinnamon), sliced almonds for added texture and flavor, brown sugar and a touch of salt to balance everything out. I toast the mixture in an iron cast skillet until fragrant and slightly brown. The result is chewy and buttery, yet slightly crisp.
*For this recipe I used 3 medium-large apples to fill a 9 inch iron cast skillet. It’s important not to pile up the apples too high in the skillet or they will take longer to soften and may not cook as evenly.
I use gala apples for the filling. They were the perfect sweetness and texture, cooking up easily and breaking down over the heat to just the right consistency, similar to that of a baked apple crisp. I did not use any flour, but I did add in a small amount of vegan butter to make the apples smooth and silky along with a touch more brown sugar and spices. Still less fat and sugar than most recipes use.
You can top the crisp with any plant-based ice cream made from coconut, cashew or oat milk, or use regular ice cream if you prefer. I love vanilla oat milk ice cream by Oatly.
It took me about 20 minutes to make the entire apple crisp start to finish (minus the time it took to peel the apples). And that was just the right amount of time for this very impatient girl. 🙂
- For the Topping:
- 1 cup rolled oats (use gluten free oats to make gluten free)
- 2 tbsp super fine almond flour (if you can't find super fine almond flour sub in regular almond flour or oat flour)
- 2½ tbsp vegan butter (or regular butter if preferred)
- 2 tbsp light brown sugar
- ½ tsp cardamom
- ¼ cup sliced almonds coarsely chopped
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp sea salt
- For the Filling:
- 3 apples peeled and sliced about ⅛ inch thick (recommend gala)*see note above
- ¼ tsp cardamom
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp vegan (or regular) butter
- Additional toppings: plant milk ice cream
- Place the oats, flour, brown sugar, spices and salt in a medium bowl and toss to combine.
- Add the butter to the oat mixture and work in with your fingers or spoon until thicker crumbles form.
- Spray a medium sized skillet with cooking spray and heat on medium heat.
- Add the oat topping to the skillet and begin to toast, (moving the mixture around so it doesn't burn) until it becomes fragrant and slightly browned about 8-10 minutes.
- Remove the topping mixture from the pan into a small bowl so it doesn't continue to cook in the pan.
- Wipe the skillet clean.
- Spray again with cooking spray.
- Reheat the pan under medium heat and add the apples, butter, sugar and spices.
- Cook the apples until soft and silky but still intact about 8-10 minutes depending on the type of apple you use (*note you will need to continuously move the apples around to prevent burning so do not leave the stove).
- Remove the pan from heat and to let it cool just slightly.
- Add the topping to the apples.
- Serve with your favorite plant-based milk ice cream and a sprinkle of extra cardamom.