Incredibly simple to make, and very tasty! This low-calorie, healthy, gluten-free, oil-free, no-butter apple crisp / apple crumble recipe has an oat crumble topping that is crisp, not soggy, and is held together by lemon juice and enhanced by nuts (without butter or margarine).
For this recipe, I often use crabapples from my apple tree, but green apples and red apples work as well.
A touch of cornstarch in the filling ensures your apple crisp is not watery, it will thicken, and have a consistency like apple pie, but be gluten-free.
Even sour tasting apples transform into a delicious healthy dessert, or snack, without much added sugar. The nuts taste so good, you won't miss the butter at all!
Preheat oven to 350° F, take out a 3 Qt, or 9 x 13 casserole dish, no lid required.
Peel and cut apples, into evenly sized cubes, or thin slices. The smaller you cut the apples, the juicier it will be. Also it will cook faster.
Time saving tip: You can push a slicer through each apple to make 6 or so pieces, then cut each slice lengthwise in half.
Option: leave the peels on. Note: It will take longer to cook this way.
Spread apples evenly into the casserole baking dish, with love. :)
Use a fork, in a small bowl mix: cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar until well combined and lump free.
Sprinkle evenly over the apples.
No stirring required.
Process Dry Ingredients: In a food processor, on med-high speed, blend oats, sugar, pecans, cinnamon, and nutmeg just until mixed, the pecans should still be a bit chunky. About 15-20 seconds.
You aren't trying to turn the nuts into flour.
Add Water to Lemon Juice: While processing on medium, or low, slowly add the lemon juice and water to make the mixture crumbly, sticky, and moist. The mixture should start climbing the walls. About 1-2 minutes on low.
Important: stop processing before it gets too lumpy / stuck together, or it will be too wet to sprinkle easily.
Moisture content of your nuts / oats makes a difference, so this takes some technique and adjustments here!
To make the topping lumpy (I like clumps, but my kids don't), process longer on fast speed, with more liquid, and it will form into little balls.
To make the topping more even, process less and don't add any extra water.
You are in control of your topping consistency!
Spread the oat topping crumble evenly over the apples. If you did over process, don't worry, you can break up any lumps with a large spoon, in the food processor, then spread it over. It will still taste great!
Bake for 30-40 minutes, uncovered.
Check at 20 minutes, and every 10 minutes after, to make sure the topping isn't burning. I think fresh lemon juice might burn more easily than bottled lemon juice. Still testing this out...
The apple crisp is done when the fruit is bubbling and the topping is light brown in the center.
I'm learning, the smaller / thinner the apple pieces are cut, the more juicy it will be.
One time I used old apples (had been in my fridge for about 8 weeks, yes a little embarrassing, but this happens to me). They were dried out, and didn't produce enough juice to mix with the sprinkled cornstarch mix. I ended up adding about 1 cup water in the bottom of the dish and finished it in the microwave. Lesson learned - don't use dried out apples! Or put water in if you do.
We don't mind it being a little different each time! Always gets all eaten up!