Rip Esselstyn says in his just launched book The Engine2 Seven Day Rescue Diet, says“an unpeeled apple a day keeps the oncologist away.” As I eat a couple of apples everyday, simply because I like them, I was very happy to read that.
Well, this morning after I ate my apple, I found myself thinking about about the apples in pies and in crumbles and crisps. I have come to the conclusion that what I like most about that category of desserts are the individual components, and so I decided to see how I could deconstruct an apple crumble to give me more apple, more crumble, a bit of syrup and a dollop of cream. What I got was a WOW!
I normally roast apples and other fruits in the oven, but I have only one oven and I needed it for the crumble. Normally, I have prebaked crumble in the freezer but not after this holiday season! Roasting fruit in a vinegar-enhanced syrup has been a popular assignment in the Essential Vegan Desserts Course because the fruit and syrup are taken up a notch, better than the parts.
The Apples: No sugar added
I cut 3 apples into medium dice, skin on (about 3 cups), and roasted them in a skillet with 1/4 cup reduced apple cider to which I added a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, just until tender. I removed the apples from the syrup with a slotted spoon, leaving the syrup in the pan to reduce a bit. The cooked apples measured 2 cups.
I kept the apples at room temperature and made the crumble.
Cream for the Deconstructed Apple Crumble Plate:
I whipped chickpea liquid (aquafaba) that I had in the refrigerator into a meringue cream. It’s easy as pie to make a stable, fluffy meringue in my Kitchen Aid Mixer. I used the recipe on a former blog but cut the amount of sugar from 6 ounces to 2 ounces as I was not making cookies. It worked a charm.
Finally, I cut refrigerated leftover Spiced Orange Cranberry Agar No Sugar Gel with apple cookie cutters to use as a garnish. Look for this sugar and fat free, gluten-free recipe in an upcoming blog post. The drizzle on the plate is the reduced cider-vinegar cooking liquid, which I thinned with a bit more apple cider vinegar for flavor and flow.
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 6 tbsp all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup finely ground coconut sugar or finely ground whole cane sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated cane sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp baking powder
- 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
- 4 to 5 tbsp (2 to 2 1/2 ounces) neutral vegetable oil
- Position a rack in center of the oven and preheat to 350F / 175°C.
- Measure and sift the flours, sugars, cinnamon, baking powder and salt into a medium mixing bowl.
- Pour the oil over the dry ingredients and mix until the dry ingredients are crumbly and coated with the oil. The mixture should be damp, not wet. Add more oil, a little at a time, as needed.
- The streusel is now ready to use. Press some of the mixture into larger pieces or chunks and some into smaller pieces — you will have some lose bits as well.
- The streusel can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen, airtight, for up to 1 month. Defrost the streusel before using.
- To pre-bake the streusel crumble, spread it out in an even layer onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the crumb looks dry and lightly browned.
- Remove from the oven and set aside to cool to room temperature. It will crisp as it cools.
- When cool, use as directed in a specific recipe or store, airtight, refrigerated or frozen, until needed.
- If you want a gluten free version of this dish, use a gluten free granola in place of the crumble.
I’d really like to know how you would further deconstruct this dessert to make it your own. You’ve got no sugar added roasted apples – what else might you do with them? Would you add anything?
Remember, this is a template recipe. You can use any of the following:
Crumble: Add nuts, seeds or use a gluten free granola
Cream: pastry cream, coconut cream, date cream
Syrup: what might you use?