If you’ve ever perused the recipes here at It’s Always Autumn, you’ve probably noticed a trend: chocolate. I LOVE baking, especially this time of year, and I love eating everything I bake: brownies, cookies, cakes and more. But we all know too much baking can have some unwanted side effects (like, literally affecting my sides), so occasionally I try to reach for a treat that’s a little healthier. Well, that’s not totally true. I actually don’t really believe treats should be healthy, ‘cuz then they’re aren’t really a treat, right? And what’s the point?
Well, occasionally I stumble upon something that really is delicious and still surprisingly healthy. This guiltless apple crisp fits the bill: it’s mostly apples and breakfast cereal, something I’d be eating every day anyway. A tiny bit of sugar and butter combined with fall spices go a long way here, creating a dish that’s full of tender, flavorful apples and a delicious crunchy topping. The topping even gets mixed between layers of apples, creating a softer, pie-crust like texture in the middle.
If you’re skeptical that something “guiltless” can actually taste really good, I’ll admit that I was too – kind of like when people tried to convince me that cauliflower pizza crust tastes JUST LIKE real pizza crust. Um, no. My first version of this apple crisp was a flop – too much nutmeg and too much topping in the wrong places, so I was a little worried about whether version number two would be a hit. As soon as my husband got home I stuck a bite of this crisp in his mouth, saying “this is delicious, isn’t it? I really think it’s delicious!” He agreed – “totally delicious!” – and here we are.
Want to make one? Gather up 4 medium or 5 small apples, 2T butter, 2 cups of Honey Bunches of Oats Cereal, and a bit of sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. (I like to use some sweet apples and some tart apples in this crisp for the best mix of flavor. If you want to use all tart apples you’ll need to up the sugar a bit.)
Peel, core, and slice your apples into 1/4 inch slices.
Toss apples with 2T sugar, 1t cinnamon, and 1/2t nutmeg.
Layer half the apples into your baking dish. Crush 2 cups of Honey Bunches of Oats cereal and mix in 1/2t cinnamon. Spread half the cereal over apples, then top with remaining apples and remaining cereal. Cut 2T butter into small pieces and distribute over cereal. Drizzle 3T of water over top.
Pop it in the over for 45 minutes, until the apples are tender and the topping is crispy and golden. Here’s the only hard part: it tastes MUCH BETTER if you let it cool completely before eating. This gives everything a chance to set up to the right consistency and flavor. If you want to eat it warm, just warm it back up a bit right before serving. I topped mine with cool whip to keep the calories down, but it would be divine with vanilla ice cream.
- 4 Medium-Sized Apples, Peeled, Cored, and cut into 1/4 Slices
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons Sugar
- 2 cups Honey Bunches of Oats Cereal
- 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons Butter
- 2 tablespoons Water
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- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Toss sliced apples with the other base ingredients.
- Pour cereal and 1/2 t cinnamon into a resealable plastic bag, crush coarsely.
- Spray 8 in casserole dish with nonstick spray.
- Layer half of the apples in the dish, top with half the cereal mixture.
- Repeat with rest of apples and rest of cereal.
- Drizzle water over the top.
- Bake for 45 minutes, or until apples are soft and topping is lightly browned.
- Cool completely before serving.