I grew up eating and loving crumbles. I can’t decide what I love most about them: their relative ease and few ingredients; the fact that they’re pretty healthy, and even do double duty as dessert or breakfast; or the way you can transform a bag full of slightly bruised fruit into something epically delicious.
4 to 6 cored and chopped apples (enough to nearly fill an 8X8 baking dish, leaving room for the topping)
1 tbsp arrowroot powder or cornstarch
1 tsp cinnamon, divided
Up to 5 tbsp sugar, divided (we use coconut sugar, but any will do)
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (or other whole grain flour)
3 to 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (or another oil or melted vegan butter)
Preheat oven to 350.
For the filling: Combine chopped apples, arrowroot powder, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and 1 heaping tbsp sugar in an 8X8 baking pan. Set aside.
For the topping: In a bowl, combine oats, whole wheat flour, 3 to 4 tbsp sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Drizzle in oil, tossing with a fork to combine, just until all dry ingredients have been moistened. I find I need about 3 to 3.5 tbsp to get there.
Bake for 45 minutes, until filling is bubbling and topping is browning and crispy. Let cool and firm up for 10 to 15 minutes before digging in.
Don’t skip the arrowroot or cornstarch—that’s what will thicken up the filling when the apples start to cook and release their juices.
“Divided” simply means you’ll be using that ingredient in two different places in the recipe—in this case, in both the filling and the topping.
When adding the oil to the topping ingredients, it can help to combine it with your fingers, to sort of massage the oil into the dry ingredients (yes, cooking is totally sensual 😬)
The amount of sugar you add will depend on your personal preference and the sweetness of your apples—if you’re using tart apples, obviously you may need more. If the apples are very sweet, you can get away with just a little sugar in the topping.
I adapted this topping recipe from Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero—it’s a classic!