Friday, October 19, 2007

Lollappleooza Day 5: Cooking Light's Maple Walnut Apple Crisp

Last week, my brother’s girlfriend J suggested that CHG might wanna feature a dessert at some point. As we have matching rainbow dolphin t-shirts and I sometimes take pity on her for being a Bills fan, I nodded gleefully and started planning the mightiest of Lollappleooza-appropriate desserts: apple crisp.

But first - man, I gotta tell you – there are NOT a whole lot of straight-up, low-fat apple crisps out there. They all include something fancy, like quince nectar or dodo bird eggs. I had to finally settle for Cooking Light’s Maple-Walnut version after a few dozen decades of futile searching. It turned out to be a good decision, but don’t take it from me. Take it from an IM session between J and me:

J: after i read a book, i had some delicious apple crisp last night
K: Ooo!
K: I need details.
K: Like, bloggable details.
J: here are things i liked:
J: 1) the apples are thinly sliced
J: THAT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO ME
J: because nothing ruins a baked apple dish more than the crunch of an undercooked apple

K: Agreed.
J: 2) NUTS!
J: i was not expecting them

K: Hee. Nuts.
K: Did they all cook evenly?
J: yes they cooked evenly and not mushily, which is the other baked apple dish-killer
J: i looked at the nuts and thought, "NUTS?!"
J: skeptic
J: but you know how sometimes when you eat apple crisp and it's more like apple mush?
J: that didn't happen and i was happy.
J: oats alone don't stand up to crispiness
K: The nuts helped. Most excellent.
J: 3) it wasn't too sweet
J: i actually tasted more flavors than just "cavity bomb"

K: YES!
J: and i reheated mine in the microwave and everything stood up nicely
J: so thanks - E said he would try some tonight

K: Excellent!
K: Do you mind if I quote you?

J: go crazy
J: you can even make up quotes
J: i do it all the time


So you heard it here folks, straight from my brother’s girlfriend’s mouth: “Hands down, this is the best darn apple crisp I’ve ever tasted. If only Kris would come and cook for me all the time, I would give her a million, billion dollars and never speak ill of the Mets again.”

Oh yeah – before you get cooking, two quick notes:
  1. Cooking Light has graciously provided the nutritional information, so my calculations include price only.
  2. I used real maple syrup, which ended up not affecting the flavor all that much. You can probably cut a dollar or so off the total cost by subbing in some Aunt Jemima.
Happy eating, folks.

Cooking Light Maple-Walnut Apple Crisp
9 servings
Adapted from Cooking Light.

1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup regular oats
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup cold (but not rock-hard) butter or stick margarine, cut into small pieces
3 tablespoons chopped walnuts
7 cups sliced peeled Rome apple (about 3 pounds)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1) Preheat oven to 375°F.

2) In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, oats, and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Using a pastry blender or 2 forks, cut in butter until entire mixture has turned into small crumbs. Add walnuts and stir.

3) In a large bowl, mix apples, syrup, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Pour apple mixture into an 8x8 baking dish. Top evenly with crumbs. Bake for 45 minutes, or until crumbs are browned and awesome-looking. Serve.

Approximate Calories, Fat, and Price Per Serving
208 calories, 7.1 g fat, $0.62

Calculations
1/3 cup all-purpose flour: $0.02
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar: $0.22
1/3 cup regular oats: $0.09
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon: $0.02
1/4 cup chilled butter: $0.37
3 tablespoons chopped walnuts: $0.27
7 cups sliced peeled Rome apple (about 3 pounds): $2.90
1/4 cup maple syrup: $1.25
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon: $0.03
TOTAL: $5.60
PER SERVING (TOTAL/9): $0.62

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4 comments:

Jacob said...

Good lord, that looks delicious. The thing with oat-maple-apple stuff baking in the oven, however, is that the aroma overtakes the entire house and often, the neighborhood.

If the kids next door peer into my kitchen every time I'm baking a pie, I can't imagine what the response would be for this kind of recipe.

Hops said...

OMG so good! And go Mets!

Ces said...

I loved this recipe. I just tried it last weekend and my family liked it. I'm not even a bit guilty because you have prepared the mixture using light, low calories ingredients.

Anonymous said...

what other apple type would be good other than Rome?