Maple Walnut Apple Crisp – Each bite is filled with sweet, soft-cooked apples, and crunchy oat and walnut topping, all with subtle maple undertones.It’s apple season, and the tree we have out back is loaded with apples this year. We’ve been here five years and this is most apples it’s ever produced. Usually it’s a sorry-looking tree, on the smallish side, with just a few apples that ultimately get knocked off by a stray football or soccer ball.
But this year. . .this year. . . it’s a sight to see. Full of apples, the branches reach toward the ground, swaying in the wind like they’re going to sweep the ground below them. We’ve lost a few to deer or bugs, but most of them are nice looking apples, ready to be picked and eaten or put into another dish.
There’s something about eating fresh apples from the tree. The flavor is more pronounced, the crunch is crunchier, and there’s no waxy coating on the skin like you often find in store-bought apples.
Apples have other things going for them too. They contain a good amount of fiber, both soluble and insoluble, and that’s good for heart health, blood sugar control, and bowel health. They’re relatively low in calories and contain vitamin C as well. Apples also have a tendency to help you feel full after eating one – a bonus if you’re trying to lose weight.
We love apple crisp, but it often contains a lot of added sugar. I wanted to try reducing the amount of sugar while increasing the amount of whole grains in our usual recipe from the Better Homes and Garden New Cook Book. So I adapted it by cutting back on the amount of brown sugar in the topping, replaced all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour, and reduced the amount of butter. To get a little maple flavor – because I think maple goes so well with apples, I lightly coated thick apple slices with maple syrup and cinnamon, and added maple extract to the topping. Finely chopped walnuts add a pleasing crunch to the topping.
We’ve made several pans of Maple Walnut Apple Crisp this fall and every time it’s gone in a flash. Every bite is filled with mapley soft-cooked apples and a crunchy walnut topping. I hope you enjoy it as much as we have.
Maple Walnut Apple Crisp - Each bite is filled with sweet, soft-cooked apples, and crunchy oat and walnut topping, all with subtle maple undertones.
- 6 c. cored and peeled, thick-sliced apples
- 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
- 3 Tbsp. whole wheat flour
- 1/3 c. brown sugar
- 1/4 c. finely chopped walnuts
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 3 Tbsp. butter
- 1 tsp. maple or vanilla extract
- Pre-heat oven to 375° F.
- Core and peel apples, slicing them into a medium-sized bowl. Add 1/2 cinnamon and 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup to the bowl and mix well, until the cinnamon and maple syrup are distributed evenly around the apple slices.
- Pour prepared apple slices into an 8 X 8 baking dish/pan.
- Prepare topping by stirring together the oats, whole wheat flour, brown sugar, walnuts, and 1 tsp. cinnamon. With a pastry cutter, cut butter and maple/vanilla extract into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles very coarse crumbs.
- Sprinkle topping evenly over the apple slices.
- Bake 40-45 minutes or until apples are tender and topping is golden.