This week Chris and I had dinner with our friends Sarynna and Chase at their beautiful new house. They lived in East Berlin for two years and picked up a fondness for Spaetzle - German egg noodles/little dumplings. Sarynna made a Kaesespaetzle recipe from scratch with the noodles, Emmentaler cheese, and fried purple onions. It was delicious and we enjoyed reminiscing about Europe while we ate it (Chris and I have both spent time in Germany as well).
In addition to Sarynna's Spaetzle, Chase made a tossed salad with romaine, artichokes, palm hearts, tomatoes, cucumber, and homemade balsamic dressing - kalamata olives on the side. I love salads with a lot going on, so this was perfect. Chris liked it too, without the olives.
I brought dessert - a new recipe. Ever since I read Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food last year, along with a few other books with a similar philosophy, I've been trying to eat more whole foods and less refined and processed stuff. This seemed like a good opportunity to challenge myself - could I make a dessert without refined sugar that still tastes like dessert? This apple crisp fit the bill, and I'm definitely going to make it again. I'll do my best to translate "fistful" and "pinch" into traditional measurements.
Mostly Healthy Apple Crisp (serves 4)
- 4 small apples or 2-3 large apples, cut into bite-sized pieces or thin slices (I used Jonathans)
- juice of half a lemon
- lots of cinnamon
- 1/2 cup wheat flour
- 1/2 cup rolled oats (not instant)
- 1/4 cup whole walnuts or other nut, crushed/ground (optional)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- half a stick of butter
- 2 tbsp flaxseeds (optional)
- 1/2 cup honey
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 8" square baking dish (I used the paper from the stick of butter).
- Chop or slice apples into equal-size pieces (the smaller/thinner they are, the faster they will bake, but also the smaller the apple crisp will look). Throw them into the dish.
- Sprinkle lemon juice and some cinnamon (1 tbsp?) over the apple pieces and shake/stir to coat evenly.
- In a small mixing bowl, mix oats, flour, nuts, salt, flaxseed, and more cinnamon (2 tbsp?).
- Cut the butter into the dry ingredients (use two butter knives to break the butter into small pieces).
- Stir the honey into the butter mixture (use those butter knives so you don't get everything stuck to a spoon). Taste it if you want - if you like it now, you'll like it cooked.
- Cover apples with topping mixture (I did use a spoon for this).
- Bake for 20-45 minutes, depending on thickness of apples and how done you want it to be. I baked it until the apples were soft and the topping was browned. The apples won't be wet like in some other apple crisps, but they will get soft.
- Serve it up and enjoy!