Let's say life gives you 6 very sour apples. You turn them into vegan apple crumble, of course! Last week we went to the shop and I picked two bags of apples. Turns out, one of them were not the usual apples I buy, but a very sour type. The colour fooled me too, seeing them so red and mighty. I normally like sour apples a lot, and eat them on their own, but for some reason, after drinking so much sour wellness shots, my body was craving sweets.
I mentioned in a previous post that I really don't like throwing food away, and I try to salvage every single bit of food if possible (like pita chips from stale pita). Throwing away 6 apples was not an option. So my husband suggested I try making a vegan apple crumble. And so, the experiment began.
I wanted this vegan apple crumble to smell and taste just like Christmas, so I gathered some essential spices from the pantry: cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom. I love cardamon, did you know it's native to the Indian subcontinent and Indonesia? It's prevalent in a lot of food in India, and chai tea is the first thing that comes to mind. This little spice is used as food but also as medicine (and smoked!). The curious things we learn about food.
For my vegan apple crumble, I also picked some vanilla extract and lemon juice. If you want to be cheeky you can add a drop of rum extract too. I do love it in my apple crumble.
Since these apples were so sour, I decided to add a little bit of sugar, just a couple of tablespoons for one kilo of apples (6 medium-sized apples). Apples are naturally high in sugars anyway, so I thought we should aim to make a healthy, gluten free and vegan dessert rather than a carb bomb.
The secret to making a good vegan apple crumble is actually the corn starch. Two tablespoons dissolved in 1 1/2 cups of cold water will be the base for a solid apple crumble. The idea is, you want your crumble to be decorative and you don't actually want to achieve a crumbly cake.
Also, make sure you don't cut the apple into thin slices. They should be medium sliced so when we cook them on the hob for about 15 minutes, they become soft but don't start to bend and break.
How to make vegan apple crumble?
Prepare the apples
Decore and peel the apples. Cut them in half, then slice the apples. Don't slice them too thin or they will break during the preparation phase.
In a large nonstick pot, combine cornstarch with 1 1/2 cups of cold water, and stir until fully dissolved. Add the sliced apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, vanilla extract, sugar and lemon juice. Mix well to cover the apple slices in spices.
Cook the apples
Set the heat to low-medium and stirring frequently, cook the apples and the rest of the ingredients for about 15 minutes until the mixture thickens.
For the vegan apple crumble, I use a springform pan. I find it easiest to manage and also easiest to remove around the apple crumble when fully set.
Carefully transfer the mixture into a lightly oiled springform pan. Tap the pan a few times to even out the apple mixture.
Let the vegan apple crumble set
Allow it to cool at room temperature for about one hour. Refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight. (I always refrigerate overnight)
When ready, slowly release from the springform pan. I leave the vegan apple crumble on the base of the springform pan. This is to ensure the vegan apple pie doesn't collapse or break when moved to another plate. Although fully set, it is still a little fragile.
Make the crumble
Mix the oats and the nuts in a blender and whizz until you get soft crumbs. Transfer to a bowl and using your fingers, mix the two together. The result will be soft and slightly moist crumbs. Decorate the vegan apple crumble with the crumbs and add a few crushed freeze-dried raspberries for some extra decoration.
Tip: for a nut-free vegan apple crumble, replace the nuts with gluten-free crackers. You can add a touch of vegan butter if you want the crumbs to be a little moist.
Cover and keep refrigerated. Consume within 5 days.
Apples, a rich history
It is believed that we domesticated apple around 4000-10000 years ago in the Tian Shan Mountains, and then to have travelled along the Silk Road to Europe. Beyond their nutritional values, apples are deeply imprinted in religion and mythology. We know the story of Adam and Eve and the mightly apple. It is the basis of mythological sin. It's prevalent in Germanic and Greek mythology, Christian art and several proverbs. Apples have been with us for a very long time and this fruit, full of goodness has evolved and been modified by us into different types. There are more than 7,500 known cultivars of apples.
A raw apple is 86% water and 14% carbohydrates. It is low in protein and fat but it does have a moderate amount of fibre. And since the apple is 1 part of your daily 5 a day, these fruits are healthy, cheap and can be found in supermarkets and markets all year around. Besides, you know the saying "an apple a day, keeps the doctor away".
This recipe has been developed entirely by Yuzu Bakes. Any resemblance with other recipes is purely coincidental.