By Team Dirty
Dec 16, 2022,
Sweet, tender apples, warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, and a crispy topping come together in our Plant Based Apple Crisp to make an absolutely sublime dessert. Make this for your next holiday gathering or dinner party, your guests won’t believe it’s 100% whole food plant based—no dairy or oil here! Plus, it’s free of highly processed ingredients, so live it up and serve the leftovers for breakfast the next morning, if there are any.
Have mercy, I love this dish! I think it’s the addition of almonds and almond butter in the topping. The (recipe) Wizards never cease to amaze me. I’m doubling the recipe next time!Plant Fueled Life member
Plant Based Apple Crisp ingredients
Apples: we like Braeburn, Honeycrisp, Golden Delicious, or Gala apples for this. You can mix and match or add in one or two tart Granny Smiths for a bit of variation and complexity.
Unsweetened applesauce: by using a little applesauce, we’re enhancing the apple flavor without having to cram in and cook down more whole apples. Just make sure your applesauce is unsweetened and no spices have been added.
Date sugar: this minimally processed sugar is unbleached and retains most of its fiber content, which means it’s lower on the glycemic index. If you can’t find date sugar, you can substitute it with an equal amount of coconut sugar.
Brown rice flour: helps thicken the syrupy apple filling as it bakes.
Smooth almond butter: this multi-tasking star allows us to skip the butter and provides a deep, nutty flavor that complements the sweet and spicy apples beautifully.
Ready, set, bake!
To make our Plant Based Apple Crisp, get your oven heating to 350ºF.
Then, peel and core your apples, thinly slice to around ¼-inch wide slices, and place into a large mixing bowl.
If you don’t have an apple corer, you don’t need one! To remove the core, place your peeled apple standing up on your cutting board (stem side up). Place your knife at the top of the apple, but just to the right of the center. You’re aiming for the edge of the core. Carefully slice down (watch those fingers!), splitting the apple into two unequal halves. Confirm the smaller side doesn’t have any seeds in it and set aside.
Now, place the larger half of the apple with the flat (freshly cut) side down on the cutting board. Take your knife and place it just to the right of the center of the apple, parallel to where the core edge should be. Cut. The wedge you just removed shouldn’t have any seeds in it. If it does, cut the corner off of the wedge to remove the seeds. Set aside the wedge.
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Turn your apple (the piece with the core still in it) so that the flat side you just created is down on your cutting board. Place your knife to the right of where the core is, parallel to the core edge. Cut. The new piece you just cut shouldn’t have any seeds in it. Repeat this one more time to remove the core completely. Then, take your seedless apple pieces and slice. The flat bottoms will make this super easy.
In a separate small bowl, whisk together the apple cider vinegar and applesauce. Then add to sliced apples and toss to coat.
Now, sprinkle the date sugar, brown rice flour, and cinnamon over the apples and toss again to coat.
Transfer the apple mixture to an 8x8x2” baking dish or a 9-inch pie plate. Glass is traditional (and quite pretty), but you can use a metal or ceramic baking dish if you prefer.
Spread the apple mixture evenly to the edges with the back of a spoon or a rubber spatula. Cover with a layer of parchment paper (see pro tip below), then a layer of foil, and bake for 35–45 minutes or until the apples are just tender but not mushy. At this point, it’s better to underbake a little rather than overbake since it will be going back in the oven. Baking times can vary, so keep an eye on things.
Pro tip: covering a baking dish with parchment paper doesn’t have to be a pain in the ass. Simply take the piece you’re going to use, smash it into a ball like you’re about to practice your free throw, and run the ball under the faucet for a second. Shake the water off, unroll the ball, and smooth it back out to a sheet. It should now easily maneuver over the edges of your baking dish without the usual wrestling. Don’t ask us why this works, we don’t know, but we’re grateful that it does.
While your apple filling is baking, make the crumble topping
First, place the maple syrup, almond butter, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, and nutmeg into a bowl and whisk until smooth and creamy.
Next, add the rolled oats and almonds. Stir and set aside.
Once you take the apple filling out of the oven, remove the parchment paper and foil. Crumble the topping evenly over the filling. You can use the same spoon or rubber spatula for this or use your hands and lick your fingers clean as a reward when you’re done. Life is short, so enjoy love!
Return the dish (uncovered) to the oven and bake for an additional 20–25 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and the apples are fork tender.
Remove and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving so the syrupy apple filling can thicken.
- 4 medium-sized sweet apples, peeled, cored, and sliced (600 g / we recommend Braeburn, Honeycrisp, Golden Delicious, or Gala)
- ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce (65 g)
- 1½ teaspoons apple cider vinegar (raw and unfiltered)
- 1½ tablespoons date sugar (15 g / can sub coconut sugar)
- 1½ teaspoons brown rice flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- ¼ cup 100% pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon smooth almond butter (15 g / no added oil or salt)
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¾ cup uncooked rolled oats (60 g / not instant / for a gluten-free crisp, be sure to purchase oats with certified gluten-free processing)
- ½ cup raw almonds, chopped or sliced (70 g)
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and peel, core, and thinly slice the apples. Place them into a mixing bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the applesauce and apple cider vinegar. Add the mixture to the sliced apples and gently toss to coat the apples.
- Sprinkle the date sugar, brown rice flour, and cinnamon over the apples and toss again until all of the slices are coated.
- Transfer the apple filling to an 8x8x2" dish or 9-inch pie plate and spread evenly to the sides. Cover the baking dish with parchment paper and then foil. Bake for 35–45 minutes or until the apples are just tender but not mushy. Baking time can vary so keep an eye on things.
While the apples are baking, make the topping
- Place the maple syrup, almond butter, cinnamon, and nutmeg into a bowl and whisk until smooth and creamy. Add the rolled oats and almonds and stir until everything is combined.
- After the apples have baked, remove from the oven and take off the parchment paper and foil. Crumble the topping evenly over the apples.
- Place the uncovered baking dish back into the oven and bake for an additional 20–25 minutes or until the topping is crisp and golden brown and the apples are tender.
- Let sit for about 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
This recipe doubles easily to make two crisps. Store leftovers covered in the fridge for up to five days. You can pop a slice into a 350ºF oven for about 10 minutes if you want to enjoy your leftovers hot.
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What’s your favorite way to eat this yummy and flexible dish? Did it wow your omni relatives at your last shindig? Let us know in the comments below.
I’ve made this a couple of times, and it never disappoints. It’s an easy and healthy version.Plant Fueled Life member
May you never wrestle with parchment paper again.
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