The leaves are changing and the ubiquitous Starbucks red holiday cups have made a return for the season. This is usually the cue for me to start planning for the holidays (eek!) and getting my butt into gear. All of the holiday prep usually leads to comfort food cravings, especially in regard to sweets! Just because it’s the season for sugar cookies, sweets, and pies doesn’t mean I can’t indulge in a healthful way. I typically find that making my own desserts at home both satisfies my sweet tooth and allows me to be a bit more health conscious.
I was actually craving apple pie the first time I made these crumbles but I didn’t have the time or energy to make pie dough. So, I went the easy route and whipped up an easy crumble topping. You still get the apple filling and a crisp texture from the crumble topping but without as much hassle as a pie. The last version I made was full of warm chai spices, but this time around I went with some piney fresh rosemary. It pairs really well with the apples and gives the crumbles an amazing depth of flavor! I baked the crumbles in individual glass weck and mason jars, but you can make one larger crumble in a quart sized baking dish if you prefer. I feel it is my duty to tell you that these are best enjoyed with some vegan vanilla bean ice cream when they are straight out of the oven and still warm :)
Mini Rosemary Apple Crumbles
Notes: I used honeycrisp apples and they worked beautifully but any firm and slightly tart apple will work (i.e. Granny Smith or Pink Lady). If you are allergic to nuts, you can sub in an equal amount of brown rice flour or oats for the almond meal.
- 4 cups of peeled and diced slightly tart and firm apples
- 1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
- juice of 1/2 a lemon (about 1 tbsp)
- 1 tbsp arrowroot or tapioca starch
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon, divided
- 1/4 cup (100 g) pure maple syrup, divided
- 1/2 cup (45 g) almond meal
- 1/3 cup (60 g) brown rice flour
- 2 tbsp (30 g) solid coconut oil
- pinch of sea salt
- vegan vanilla ice cream to serve (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Toss together the apples, rosemary, lemon juice, arrowroot or tapioca starch, 1/4 tsp of the cinnamon, and 2 tbsp (1/8 cup) of the maple syrup until combined. Set the apple mixture aside.
- In a separate small bowl combine the almond meal, brown rice flour, the remaining 1/4 tsp cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Mix until everything is well combined.
- Add the coconut oil and mash it in with a fork or pastry blender until the mixture looks crumbly.
- Add the remaining 2 tbsp (1/8 cup) maple syrup and stir until the crumble mixture starts sticking together.
- Divide the apple mixture between 4 small 1-cup capacity ramekins or glass jars (or alternately, put them in a 1 quart baking dish).
- Pour any remaining liquid from the bowl over the apples.
- Scatter the crumble mixture over the apples with your fingers, making sure to cover the entire surface.
- Place the ramekins/jars on a baking sheet and place them in the oven.
- Bake the crumbles for 20 to 25 minutes until the tops are golden and the juices are bubbling.
These crumbles are best straight out of the oven with a couple of scoops of your favorite vegan vanilla ice cream. Cover any leftovers and store them in the fridge for up to one week. Re-heat them in the microwave or in the oven. Makes about 4 servings.