Monday, November 21, 2016
Gluten-Free Apple Pomegranate Crisp
It's Thanksgiving Week here in the US, and while many of us will either be hosting a feast for our friends and family, many more of us will be making something to bring along to a feast someone else is hosting.
It's always a challenge, especially if you don't have a 'go-to' everyone waits for each year and need to come up with something. What you bring has to be seasonal and festive, able to be transported, and it's probably best if it isn't critical about how how and if it needs to be reheated, because your dish will be competing with everyone else for precious oven time.
In my case, I have good friends who must eat gluten-free, and this time of year, that leaves them mostly out of luck at the dessert table. So I like making a fruit crisp, because it is infinitely versatile when it comes to its ingredients and is very easy to put together. It's just as delicious cold as it is hot, and tastes great with or without a dollop of whipped cream.
This particular version uses gluten-free topping ingredients. Remember that if you use oatmeal that it must be cut at a factory that doesn't also process wheat (look for a label). In a pinch, look in the cereal aisle - I was unable to find safe oatmeal, but found a gluten-free granola mix that made for a really tasty topping addition. If you do that, keep in mind to reduce any other sweetener you use in the topping to account for what's in the granola mixture.
Another allergen you may need to keep track of among those eating this is nuts - I like to add some walnuts or pecans to the topping for texture, but it's easy enough to leave them out.
Finally, this recipe uses only Auto-Immune Protocol (AIP) okay spices - if this is also a factor you need to keep in mind, don't add anything like nutmeg or allspice, or use a pumpkin pie spice blend that includes them, and you will also need to very cautious about the ingredients in any cereal blend you use. (If in doubt, ask the person on the AIP Diet to help you know what will keep this compliant - they'll be happy to help you help them enjoy your shared meal!)
Consider this a master recipe, and switch things out to suit your needs and desires. If you can't find pomegranate seeds (I've seen them both frozen and fresh in containers in the produce section), you can seed a fresh pomegranate, or keep things easy and switch them out for some dried cranberries or cherries. If you have some pears, toss them in with the apples - it will taste amazing!
Preheat oven to 350F.
4-5 honeycrisp apples, peeled, cored, and cubed
1/4 cup coconut sugar or other sweetener (maple syrup is an excellent choice)
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
8 oz frozen or fresh pomegranate seeds
2/3 cup gluten-free flour
2/3 cup quick cooked oatmeal or gluten-free granola mix
1/3 cup of finely chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
1/3 cup (or less) firmly packed brown sugar (or maple sugar - best to use a dry sweetener)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. each ginger, cloves and salt
1/2 cup of chilled butter, cut into small pieces (if keeping non-diary, try chilled coconut oil)
In a large bowl, combine filling ingredients, tossing to combine well. Spread into a casserole baking dish (or aluminum casserole pan, for easy transport if traveling).
In a medium bowl, combine dry topping ingredients, blending thoroughly. Add butter, and cut into the dry ingredients, to form a grainy texture about the size of peas.
(Either use a pastry cutter, two table knives, or your fingertips to do this. See instructions here.)
Spread crumb topping evenly over the top of the fruit mixture. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. The topping will be browned, and the fruit hot and bubbly.
Remove to a rack to cool. If transporting, let cool entirely before covering - if it is still warm, moisture will condense on the inside and make it soggy instead of a Crisp!
Enjoy the holiday with your loved ones, knowing you've provide a dessert everyone can enjoy!
(It goes without saying that this is wonderful reheated and served with ice cream, right?)