Using only maple syrup as the sweetener, this Healthy Apple Crisp recipe features perfectly cooked apples underneath a maple pecan oat crisp. Serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the perfect fall dessert.
Healthy Apple Crisp
There is a time and place for decadent desserts, but sometimes you just want something that is a bit on the lighter side, while still feeling indulgent. Enter this Maple Pecan Apple Crisp. This crisp is like a celebration of apple season, combined with some seriously amazing complementary flavors. The apple layer is just that: all about apples. It's sweetened with only maple syrup, which bakes up with just a slight maple flavor. The crisp layer, also subtly sweetened with maple syrup, is enhanced with a crunch from the oats and pecans.
The whole dish is healthy enough that you won't feel guilty serving it for breakfast, but still dessert-worthy, especially with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.
You can't let a fall season go by without making apple crisp, it's a must. So let's get to baking, shall we?
What Makes This Healthy Apple Crisp Special
What I really love about this apple crisp is that it is such a nice balance between being wholesome and a full-on dessert. This apple crisp is on the barely sweet side, using the unrefined sweetness of maple syrup to enhance the natural sweetness of the apples. At the same time, it uses Granny Smith apples which introduces a slightly sour element as well.
The crisp topping is a bit different than most, thanks to the use of maple syrup. It is both crisp and just slightly chewy because of the play between the liquid syrup and the flour.
Here is an overview of the ingredients used in this healthy apple crisp. Keep scrolling down for the full recipe.
- apples (this recipe calls for a combination of Granny Smith and Gala)
- maple syrup (make sure you are using pure maple syrup here!)
- rolled oats
- unsalted butter
- all-purpose flour
- vanilla extract
- cornstarch (for thickening the apples)
- lemon juice
What are the best apples for apple crisp?
For just about any apple dessert, you want to have an apple that can hold it’s shape, has a nuanced flavor and a slight tartness to break up the sweetness of the sugar. Using a combination of apples is helpful because it introduces a few different types of flavors and textures to the pie. Gala and Granny Smith apples are both good choices for apple crisp because they don’t get mushy after a long bake in the oven, and they have a sweet and tart flavor to them.
Other Good Baking Apples
- Yellow Delicious
- Pink Lady
- Ginger Gold
The Maple Pecan Crisp Topping
This crisp topping is a bit different in that it doesn't use any refined sweeteners, but instead uses just pure maple syrup. It adds a subtle maple note to it, but also makes it feel just a bit healthier.
To make it, the butter needs to be blended into the flour. You can do this with a pastry blender or you can simply use your fingers to rub the butter into the flour.
Either will work, and should result in a crumbled mixture. Next, the oats and pecans are mixed together. Then, fold in the maple syrup. At this point, do not overmix to avoid excess gluten formation between the liquid syrup and the flour.
How to Serve Healthy Apple Crisp
There is near only one way to serve apple crisp: slightly warm with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. Trust me, you won't be disappointed with this!
When the apple crisp is pulled from the oven and very hot, the apple mixture will still be very liquidy. As it cools, it will thicken up.
Apple crisp is best eaten on the day it is made. If there are leftovers, you can keep them covered, at room temperature for up to 2 days. Reheat it in the oven, at 350ºF, if desired.
More Apple Recipes:Print
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