When you’re craving a pie, but short on time, these super-quick and easy baked apples will satisfy your sweet tooth, and they’re good for you too.
Is it just me, or does it seem like everyone jumped from peaches and tomatoes right over to the pumpkin patch? I love pumpkin everything as much as the next person, but what happened to apples? I’m guessing pumpkins are all over Pinterest because those orange baked goods are prettier to photograph. AND it’s a lot easier to open a can of pumpkin than it is to peel, core and slice all of those apples.
Apples are my go-to fruit all fall and winter long, and not just because they’re $0.98 a pound right now. I love the subtle differences in flavor and texture between the different varieties, as well as their long shelf life, their portable, pack-ability (no cutting, peeling or containers needed), and of course, their health benefits.
Although they’re often overshadowed by more colorful berries, and yes, beta-carotene rich pumpkins, apples are pretty darn nutritious in their own right, and there actually is truth to the “Apple a Day…” saying. Apples are an excellent source of soluble fiber, which can reduce cholesterol, help stabilize blood sugar, and even promote weight loss because it helps keep you fuller for longer.
Of course apples are great on their own as a snack, but they can also make a pretty tasty dessert. I’ve always been in love with apple pie (crumb crust only please!) but here’s the thing about apple pie. 1) you have to peel all of those apples! 2) it takes a good 45 minutes to prep and another 45 minutes to bake, and 3) since there are only 2 of us in the house, that means I
might accidentally will eat pie for breakfast, lunch and dinner until it’s gone.
So, that’s why I tend to go the baked apple, AKA apple crisp route. It has mostly the same ingredients, and tastes just as good, but it’s WAAAY faster to make, and it’s healthier without that dough. This recipe can be pulled together in about 6 minutes flat – much easier than pie. No long bake time, or crust to make (or thaw 🙂 ). No need to peel or slice those apples into uniform slices (don’t throw away the peel! It’s where the super powers live). And the oats, nuts and seeds in the crumb crust are delicious, and good for you too!
- 3 large baking apples quartered and cut into slices
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice mix
- 1/2 tsp corn starch
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries optional
- 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1/4 cup brown sugar packed
- 2 Tbs butter
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds pepitos
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place apple pieces in a pie plate or shallow baking dish.
Mix pumpkin pie spice and cornstarch together in a small bowl. Sprinkle pumpkin pie spice-cornstarch mixture over apples, and toss lightly.
Microwave apples for approximately 3 minutes on high, or until apples are slightly softened. Sprinkle cranberries over cooked apples.
While apples are cooking, place oats, walnuts, brown sugar, and butter in the bowl of a food processor and pulse about 15 times until mixture is well combined and resembles damp sand.
Mix in pumpkin seeds by hand.
Sprinkle oat, nut, seed mixture over apples and cranberries.
Bake 12-15 minutes or until apples are bubbly and tender, and topping is golden.
Serve warm, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or vanilla yogurt if desired.
Crumb topping adapted from Bon Appetit
Do you buy apples every week in the fall and winter? Which variety is your favorite?