Alisa Fleming ~ I was thumbing through the pages of Learning to Bake Allergen-Free when a tasty idea caught my eye – Apple-Raisin Filling. Since our local CSA just dumped a bushel of apples on us, I’d been looking for every possible way to use up those apples. And yes, I do love apple crisp. That crumbly topping is actually tied with cookies for my favorite dessert, which is why you will spot recipes for Maple-Pecan Apple Crisp, Grandma’s Easy Apple Crisp, and Crumbly Apple Crisp on my websites. But who couldn’t use just one more oatmeal apple crisp recipe? Especially in the heart of apple AND baking season.
So what makes this crisp recipe special? The topping is incredibly easy and it reminds me of a brown sugar-sweetened oatmeal cookie. Apple crisp AND cookies in one dessert? Yes, please. Adding cinnamon, raisins, and maple syrup to the simple filling heightens the magical cookie experience, in my opinion. Plus, my toughest critic (Tony – a.k.a. the husband) loved this oatmeal apple crisp! He actually ate it for breakfast.
Honestly, I’m not sure how he could eat something this sweet first thing in the morning, but I suppose there are everyday breakfasts with more sugar. Personally, this was all dessert for me. I even topped it with plain (read: not sweet) almond yogurt for an afternoon treat that was simply divine.
If you prefer to stick to less refined sweeteners, coconut sugar would probably work nicely in place of the brown sugar, and it would tone down the sweetness a bit (if you aren’t in the mood for full-blown dessert). Though I have to admit that Trader Joe’s organic brown sugar has a special place in my heart. It is an ingredient that I do like to indulge in during the holidays.
As for the dairy-free margarine, oil, or shortening, I’ve trialed this oatmeal apple crisp with Honey Melt, Earth Balance, and coconut oil. You really can’t go wrong with any of them, but the Honey Melt version was Tony’s favorite, and I thought it was pretty amazing, too!
This recipe is naturally vegan (but don’t use the Honey Melt!), soy-free, nut-free, and downright allergy-friendly, too. For a gluten-free oatmeal apple crisp, be sure to use certified gluten-free oats.
- 5 cups diced apples (1/2-inch cubes), optionally peeled (see note below on apples)
- ½ cup raisins
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- ½ to 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup oats (use certified gluten-free oats if needed)
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup dairy-free margarine, shortening, or coconut oil (see note in post above)
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF.
- Place the apples in an 8x8-inch baking dish. Toss with the raisins, maple syrup, and cinnamon, to coat. Shake the pan down lightly to even out the apples.
- Place the oats in your spice grinder or food processor and pulse 5 or 6 times to break them up a bit. You should end up with a mix of oat flour and cut oats.
- Combine the slightly ground oats, brown sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the margarine, oil, or shortening, and mash it all together with a fork until the ingredients are well mixed and coarse crumbs form.
- Sprinkle the oat mixture (see notes below) evenly over the apples, and bake for 30 to 45 minutes, or until it reaches your desired degree of doneness. My husband likes the apples really soft and the topping crispy, so we do 45 minutes in a convection oven, but it will technically be cooked at 30 minutes.
Apples: Be sure to use good baking apples to avoid ending up with mushy apples!
Lemon: If you like lemon in your filling, go ahead and squeeze some in (we liked it without!). You will want to add a tablespoon or so of cornstarch, tapioca starch, or sweet rice flour to thicken if adding the juice. As is, the recipe makes just a bit of light syrup that can be drizzled over the crisp when serving, but the juice would add to the liquids.