There are an abundance of apple orchards sharing field space with vineyards in the hills between our house and Lake Constance. The grapes have been harvested but the apple trees are sagging from the weight of all the ripe apples. We drove into these hills last weekend on a mission to find a farmhouse open and selling their apples, pears, and freshly-pressed cloudy apple cider. Not a hard mission. ;-) And what resulted from that trip was this crumble. The apples and pears are mixed with cinnamon and cardamom and topped with a pecan crumble with caramel notes thanks to the pecans. I made the crumble with both butter, topped with ice cream, and later coconut oil, topped with coconut yogurt (pictured), and each version is equally delicious. So please promise me you won't let apple season pass you by without making this crumble!
And a big thank you to everyone who took time to fill out my survey.* You guys are fantastic! I loved getting to know you better and hearing about your cooking needs and health goals. I was excited to learn that you love your soups, stews, and curries, quick veggie bowls, and cooking with seasonal veggies, lentils, and legumes. These are my loves too, and I have many ideas floating around that feature all of these components.
There was also an overwhelming consensus among many of you that time is your biggest challenge cooking plant-based meals and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This is something I will continue to be mindful of as I develop recipes and share them with you. In addition, if you haven't already I recommend checking out my Lunch Power Series for easy-to-implement tips on how to prep ahead and get a jump-start for weekday meals, whether it's lunch or dinner.
*If you have not completed the survey and would like to, you can still find it here. Thank you for your feedback, I love hearing from you!
Apple and Pear Pecan Crumble
Notes: This can easily be made gluten free by substituting a gluten-free flour blend or oat flour for the spelt flour. For a nut-free version substitute sunflower seeds or rolled oats for the pecans. And for those of you enjoying Spring instead, you can swap out apples and pears for strawberries and rhubarb (adjusting amount of sweetener as needed)!
Apple + Pear Filling
- 3 medium apples + 3 medium pears (~ 6 1/2 cups total, chopped/ just shy of 1 kg or 2 lbs)
- Scant 3 Tbsp. Muscovado - natural unrefined cane sugar (or coconut sugar)
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
- Squeeze of lemon, ~1tsp. (or a splash of apple cider if you have it around)
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup/56 gr pecans
- 1/3 cup / 50 gr Muscovado - natural unrefined cane sugar (or coconut sugar)
- 3/4 cup/85 gr spelt flour
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/3 cup (6 Tbsp / 85 gr) butter or coconut oil, cut into 6 pieces
- Preheat oven to 375 F/190 C
- Start by preparing the filling. Peel apples and pears and chop into bite size pieces. (You can leave the skin on apples if organic and you prefer the texture). Drop into a large mixing bowl along with the remaining filling ingredients. Toss well to combine; set aside.
- For the crumble topping, place pecans and sugar in a small food processor. Process into a fine crumb (or course if you prefer more crunch). Pour pecan mixture into a medium mixing bowl and stir in flour, cinnamon, and salt. Crumble in butter (or coconut oil) until evenly distributed and mixture resembles course sand and sticks together when squeezed between fingers.
- Give fruit one final stir to redistribute juices that settled at the bottom and pour into a medium baking dish (or individual ramekins). Squeeze crumble mixture in your hand to create clumps and evenly distribute crumble over fruit.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until topping is browned and fruit is bubbling. Serve with ice cream or coconut yogurt.
*Only cooking for 1 or 2 and you don't want leftovers? No worries, this crumble topping can be frozen! Make the full crumble recipe, use as much as you'd like for your portion of fruit then make small clumps with the remaining crumble and drop into a freezer bag or container. Freeze up to 2 months. When ready to use, defrost slightly so you can separate any larger clumps, then top fruit and bake immediately. No need to defrost completely.
Cooking Workshop Announcement!
If you live in or near St. Gallen and are interested in attending my cooking workshop, this Saturday, 10 October is the last one in the series: Weekday Vegetarian Meals, Made Easy. Check out the details here for more info!