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. In all the years we’ve lived here, this is most apples it’s ever produced. Usually it’s a sorry-looking tree, on the smallish side, with just a few apples. And ultimately stray football or soccer balls knock them off and onto the ground.
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 lost a few apples to deer and bugs, but most of them are 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.
Nutritionally, apples have a lot 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. In addition, apples have a tendency to help you feel full after eating one – a bonus if you’re trying to lose weight.
But while my family loves apple crisp, it often contains a lot of added sugar, and I wanted to try reducing that. I also wanted to increase the amount of whole grains. So I took our usual recipe from the Better Homes and Garden New Cook Book and adapted it. I cut 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 added a pleasing crunch to the topping.
Every time I make Maple Walnut Apple Crisp it’s gone in a flash. Really, who can resist mapley, soft-cooked apples and a crunchy walnut topping? I hope you enjoy it as much as we have.
Maple Walnut Apple Crisp
- 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.