Wednesday, November 11th, 2009
This time of year I can’t seem to leave the grocery store without at least a handful of apples and often a three-pound sack. And when the Granny Smiths (my personal favorite) drop down to the neighborhood of $1/pound, I’m a goner.
I eat the vast majority of these apples sliced or simply out of hand, but I do love baking with them. I stumbled across this recipe while researching road bikes (of all things), and it’s a remarkably healthy one. There’s just enough butter present to make it hearty and satisfying, but the apples, oats, and pecans contribute the real flavor and, beautifully, lots of yummy vitamins.
What seems like a long time ago, I told you that I don’t like to alter recipes on the first try. I can’t say that any more.
I’m not sure if I’m just getting braver in the kitchen or lazier when it comes to last-minute grocery store trips, but I’ve developed a tendency to play fast and loose with the confines of a lot of recipes. Thankfully, I’ve been lucky so far and this time is no exception.
I only changed one ingredient this time, but it was kind of an important one — half the “apple” portion of what started out as Double Apple Crumble. But what can I say? The last time we went to Whole Foods (sigh!) I picked up some pumpkin butter on a whim for my all-manner-of-butter-loving husband, and you’d better believe I don’t keep apple butter laying around the house. I’m not that good a wife.
Pumpkin Apple Crumble
Adapted from Health Magazine
In the pumpkin butter’s defense, it really seemed like a natural fit for these mounds of sliced apples. I’m not sure why I didn’t combine pumpkin and apple sooner. After all, the spices that we so enjoy in both pumpkin and apple dishes are the very same. Silly me.
5 cups thinly sliced peeled apples
3 tablespoons pumpkin butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup regular or quick-cooking oats
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons chilled butter
1/3 cup chopped pecans (toasted, if you like)
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Combine apples and pumpkin butter; arrange in 8-inch square baking dish* coated with cooking spray, pressing down lightly to compact.
Combine flour, oats, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl; cut in butter using a pastry blender, 2 knives, or your fingers until mixture becomes coarse crumbs. Stir in pecans and sprinkle mixture over apples.
Bake for 45 minutes or until bubbly, golden brown, and delicious.
*A regular round cake pan works equally well.