baked sweets

Chewy-Gooey Healthy Apple Crumble

I have a bad habit of chewing myself into discomfort. When I’m stressed because I’m rushing to finish a paper the night before it’s due, you’ll find me hunched over my desk (another bad habit), chewing on my lips and gums. I’m usually unaware of what I’m doing until I notice a throbbing, raw sensation coming from my mouth. Oops. Sometimes the tightness in my jaw reminds me to shut my mouth and stop. It’s a silly, bad habit and I’m trying to be more aware of what sparks it. Is it the feeling of working under pressure? Is it due to boredom? I’m not exactly sure, but I do know that it is time to segueway into discussing the delicious chewiness of this apple crumble.

I introduce to you the chewy-gooey apple crumble that will knock your fuzzy Fall socks right off. You’ll thank me for that later. Your toes probably need to breathe. And your lungs are probably due a deep inhalation or two of slowly-baking cinnamon and apples. Could you possibly fill your lungs with anything better? No, even oxygen comes in second. I love when cinnamon and apples marry in the warmth of an oven. Everyone benefits from their union.

This dish may be Fall inspired, but there’s no need to deprive yourself by sticking a “Fall dessert” label on it. Please make apple crumble for your loved ones every season of every year for the rest of your life. Oops, was that a little too much enthusiasm? Time enforce some boundaries. I will henceforth stick to my job and deliver the photographs and recipe. My apple-crumble-adoring comments will now cease to clutter this post. Cue warm and toasty pictures of chewy apple crumble.

I decided to take a little risk and toss shredded coconut into the streusel topping. Tossed in alongside it are the more conventional crumble ingredients: chopped walnuts, oats, and whole wheat pastry flour. The high-fat, chewy texture of coconut definitely contributed to the soft chewiness of the final streusel, so please, please don’t omit it! I think walnuts could easily be replaced with, most preferably, pecans, but since pecans are a little pricy in my book, I’d have no problem replacing them with chopped almonds or hazelnuts. A little change of flavor make take place if you choose a different nut, but as long as it’s high in fat and free of added salt and sugar, you’re doing the right thing.

This recipe is happy to comply with little changes here and there. Same goes for the brown rice syrup. If you only have honey on hand, go for it. But do keep in mind that honey is a fair bit sweeter than rice syrup. This is only an apple crumble after all. “Only” in the sense that it is a comforting, unassuming dish and thus, won’t react with a tantrum if you choose to swap out one of the listed ingredients out for a more preferred or convenient ingredient. The easy-going nature of an apple crumble makes it possible for everyone to add a little bit of their own creative energy to the mix. It’s never a bad idea to do so (unless, maybe, you’re making someone’s wedding cake or a batch of croissants. In those cases, most definitely stick to the intended recipe).

Ingredients~

Topping:
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour*
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup walnuts (pecans would also be lovely)
5 tbsps unsalted pasture-raised butter, melted
2 heaped tbsps brown rice syrup or other sticky liquid sweetener of choice
2 tbsps coconut sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt

Filling:
3 medium red apples (I like to leave them unpeeled, but do what you prefer!)
2 tbsps coconut sugar
2 tsps cornstarch
2 tsps fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1-2 tsps butter or oil for coating the bottom of the pan

* If you don’t have whole wheat pastry flour on hand try replacing it with 1/4 cup regular whole wheat and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour. The fine AP flour will balance out the heavier flavor/texture of the regular WW!

Instructions: 

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