I warn you before you read this post that the accompanying picture is weak at best. I am including it because it seems as if a blog post without a picture these days is like a movie that goes straight to DVD: nobody bothers. The thing about movies that go straight to DVD is that the production company KNOWS that’s going to happen, so they choose the route of not even attempting to garner interest from theater-goers. I’m going the opposite route here by attempting to draw you in with the promise of a picture of delicious food. Which I will provide. Quality not guaranteed.
In the meantime, I also made another apple pie. This one had extra EXTRA crumbly cheese topping. And was mildly photogenic:
Regarding the crisp, now that you’re prepared. I warned you:
Keep reading, though! Especially if you are in need of a good autumnal gluten-free dessert recipe that doesn’t involve flourless chocolate cake or something equally dense. And all you need is a knife, a bowl, a glass pan, and a cutting board!
Apple Crisp with Cornmeal Crust
- 7 or 8 large baking apples (I used Ida Red, but I suspect Gala or a similar variety would be fine. Remember: delicious in the name = not delicious for your taste buds!)
- 1/3 C dark brown sugar
- 2 tsp corn starch
- 1.5 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp cloves (optional)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1/2 C dark brown sugar
- 3/4 C organic yellow corn meal
- 3/4 C finely chopped pecans
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter
1. Wash your apples, even though you’re going to peel them. Then peel them and chop into ~ 1/2-inch cubes. Approximate size is all that matters to make sure they cook about the same. Add all the other filling ingredients and mix to distribute evenly.
2. Preheat your oven to 375. Use your stick of butter to grease the glass pan (I think mine is 9″x13″). I did this. I don’t know if it’s necessary because the recipe is pretty juicy, but I’m just telling you how it went in my kitchen. Pour the apple mixture into the pan, then rinse out the bowl and use it to make your crust! Handy, right?
3. Finely chop your pecans. I usually buy pecan halves and then use a chef’s knife to chop them. A couple big chunks are OK but since you don’t have any flour in the recipe, you want most of them to be pretty small. (If you are a crazy person with a food processor, that might work, but I have no way of knowing that, so it’s on you if it doesn’t work.)
4. Mix the dry ingredients of the crust into your shiny clean bowl. Then chop your butter into about tablespoon-sized pieces, and knead them into the mixture. The mixture should be a little crumbly, so if it’s a little dry, add another tablespoon or two of butter.
5. Spread the crust mixture evenly over the top of the apples. As you can see in my crappy picture, the recipe above makes enough to have a moderately thick layer covering the entire pan. I think adding some bigger pecan pieces would be nice, but the recipe above makes for a good, crunchy layer.
6. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes. After about 20 minutes you will be able to smell the deliciousness wafting through whatever room you’re sitting in, but wait until the top is nicely browned before you take it out.
You did it! Congratulations! Now, before you get all proud and set out to feed your newest accomplishment to the masses, a pro tip from someone with a lot of experience in this area: Designate a serving size before giving people access to this dessert. It makes enough to feed probably 12 to 16 reasonable servings, but I could have eaten A LOT more if I hadn’t originally baked it as a birthday present to a friend.