Apple Crisp and a Crazy Weekend

We had a totally crazy weekend here, starting with a massive county-wide blackout on Thursday afternoon.  I haven’t gone too into details on this blog yet, but I have two jobs.  A “day” job and a side business of my own.  In my day job, I work in an office building on a college campus.  Where there are no windows.  It’s not that I’m being punished or anything – the entire first floor of several of the buildings on this portion of campus was simply built without windows.  I have a fabulous office.  It’s quite large, with 15 foot ceilings (that I will eventually find the time to get decorated, darnit).  But without windows, when the power goes out, even the nicest, largest of offices is pitch black.  I mean PITCH black.  I managed to find my keychain flashlight and my coworkers and I left around 15 minutes after the blackout began (we figured the power had to come right back on again!).  It took me an hour and a half to get 15 miles.  Actually it took me an hour to get one mile (onto the freeway) and a half hour to get 14 miles (home from there).

Anyway, the power was back on by 11 pm that night, and we have a camping lantern (we don’t camp, but my mom got it for us for emergencies) and a battery-operated radio (that we only turned on once, to see if there was any more information) and lots of candles, and a gas stove (that doesn’t require an electric starter).  I made tuna melts with the last of my GF bread, but it was several days old and crumbly, so they were sort of messy.  That said, they were awfully good!

Friday I had the performance with my friend’s band.  It was touch-and-go, there, with the power outage, but by the evening we were pretty confident that we would be fine.  We had a fantastic crowd of right around 200 people, sang some really fun songs (including “Love Shack,” which was hilarious).

I baked a ton this weekend, too.  From buckwheat bread (the recipe needs a bit of tweaking but as soon as I have it where I want it I’ll be posting it here!) to apple crisp to strawberry-rhubarb crumble (we had dinner with my parents Saturday and friends Sunday) to pizza…  It was gluten free baking heaven.

I’ll be tweaking the pizza and buckwheat bread recipes and will post them soon (I will probably post the photos of the versions I did this weekend too, since they were kind of hilarious), and the strawberry-rhubarb crumble is just the Smitten Kitchen recipe with a 1:1 gluten free flour substitution and a tiny bit of vanilla in the topping (our guests – both gluten lovers – said it was AMAZING!).  But today I have another recipe for you.

On Saturday we made impromptu plans to see my parents for dinner.  My sister and mom both have bad acid reflux, and have a list of fruits they can’t eat.  So I had the specific request to make an apple crisp, since both can have a small amount of apples.  I looked online a bit and couldn’t find a recipe I liked, so I started measuring things out and making my own.

This is a super easy recipe, and the crisp gets quite crispy.  It does include oats.  Personally I haven’t noticed a sensitivity to the Irish rolled oats I had in the cupboard, and I’ve been adding them in to things ever since I went gluten free.  If you’re sensitive to even gluten-free oats, you can make a substitution.  Maybe some mixed seeds with flax meal?

Anyway, this recipe was a huge hit with my whole family.  I’m the only one who is gluten free, but no one tasted anything strange in the flour (I used my whole grain blend) or even really noticed that it wasn’t laden with gluten.  Success!

Also…  Because the only substitution that makes this gluten free is with the flour, you could easily substitute wheat flour if you’re a gluten eater (try whole wheat in here – the recipe can take the nuttiness of it!).

Elisa’s Gluten-Free Apple Crisp

  • 5 medium green apples, cut into slices (you can use red apples here; just reduce the sugar in the filling by a tablespoon for each red apple used)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice (optional; it just helps keep the apples from browning prematurely)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (for the filling)
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon (for the filling; if you’re a fan of other flavors in your apple pie, you could add 1 tsp of nutmeg, or 1/2 tsp of cloves, or some mace or even ginger, but I’m a purist)
  • 1/2 cup melted butter (I used unsalted; if you use salted, reduce your salt to 1/2 tsp)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (for the topping)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (for the topping)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1 cup gluten free flour

Mix together the apples, lemon juice, brown sugar, and cinnamon (for the filling) in a large bowl.  Set aside for 5-10 minutes to let the juices start to come out of the apples.

In a smaller bowl, mix additional brown sugar and cinnamon with salt, oats, and gluten free flour.  Pour over melted butter and mix with a spoon until crumbly.  Sometimes mixtures like this can clump up horribly.  If yours does, just use your fingers to create crumbles.

Arrange apples in a thin layer on the bottom of a greased 9×13″ pan.  You can use a smaller pan but I like every bit of my crisp to be crispy.  Spread crumble topping over the top.  Be sure that the crumbles are small (not large clumps).  If you’re really feeling adventurous, make an extra half recipe of the crumble and sprinkle that on top too.  I’m a crumble topping junkie, so that’s just what I did, but you’ll be fine with the single recipe (that’s what I made at first, and hubby thought it looked perfect).

Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the apples are bubbling like crazy.  Your apples should be nice and sticky and your crumble should be nice and crisp, even when warmed up the next day in the microwave.  Yes, I tested this theory.  Not that yours will last that long.

This recipe is awesome topped with ice cream or whipped cream, and it serves 8-10!

As for the photo?  Okay, don’t judge.  Seriously.  I realized after we decimated the crisp that I hadn’t taken a photo.  This was all that was left – I was making two plates “to go” (one for my parents, one for hubby and me) and I snapped a picture on my cell phone camera.  On a paper plate.  Yeah.  I need to seriously get better about this picture taking stuff.  You can still see all the carmel-y goodness of the roasted apples and the crispy goodness of the crumble topping, though, despite the paper plate, the messy presentation, and the out-of-focus photography, and the bad lighting…

Apple Crisp

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