Apple crisp is baked into my family's holiday memories. My grandma makes it every year, and she always makes a little extra on the side so we can enjoy it immediately. This year, like many people, I won't be able to travel home to see my family for the holidays, so I've had to figure out how to recreate my grandma's recipe. Luckily, nutritionist and chef Mia Rigden has just the thing to give me a sense of normalcy sans sugar crash: a gluten-free, vegan apple crisp that comes together using just one bowl and a skillet.
"Traditionally, apple crisp is a layer of apples with a crispy oat sugary mixture on top," Rigden says in the latest episode of Alt-Baking Bootcamp. "For our apple layer, we're really going to be cutting down the sugar to really accentuate the sweetness and the flavor of the apples. And then we have a gluten-free, low-sugar, crispy top." The entire recipe only calls for one tablespoon of coconut sugar, and two tablespoons of brown rice syrup. "We're going to be baking our apple crisp in a skillet, which I love the presentation of and I also feel like it just makes it super easy," she says.
The major swaps to make it low-sugar, gluten-free, and vegan (without tasting like dust) are in the crispy topping. "The traditional recipe calls for butter, and a lot more sugar, which is going to help bind the recipe. Since we're not any butter or very much sugar in this recipe, I want to have some stickiness," Rigden says. The dry ingredients in the topping are almond flour, oats, and crushed pecans. Then she uses a flax egg—which is one tablespoon of ground flax mixed with three tablespoons of water—and brown rice sugar to bind the ingredients together and get that stickiness minus the butter and loads of sugar.
"The apples are really well-cooked," Rigden says of the finished crisp. "To be honest I'd maybe eat this for breakfast." Retweet. Watch the video to get the full vegan apple crisp recipe.
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