My aunt is the queen of planning outings and events. She took us floating down the salt river on tubes, complete with a tube for our coolers. Note, if you ever want to torture your adult children, promise them sun, food and water, then take to them a river, throw them on tubes, attach them to their parents and send them down a river for three hours. Okay, so it wasn't that bad. I love my family so we had a great time, but you can picture some terrible sit-com where the dysfunctional family takes a river trip and it ends up being a complete disaster.
The next surprise she had lined up for us was an hour long drive, without telling us where we were headed. We arrived at a canyon, where there was an amazing old train station. We me out guide, Fermin, who was half butler half tour guide on our train adventure. Sitting in an original caboose from the 1930's, our family got to sit back in our own personal car at the back of the train while we made our way through the Verde Canyon. Did I mention it was fully catered, complete with a stocked liquor cabinet? My aunt outdid herself.
As way of thanks, Mother's Day morning I decided to do a little baking. They were trying to clean our their pantry as they were heading back to Calgary the next day, so it was a use what we've got type of baking session. Lucky for me, I love a challenge! I found the last of the apples, the rest of the butter from my bulletproof coffee breakfast routine (Kerrygold for those of you who don't know what I'm talking about) and some almonds. I found some instant oatmeal, but I couldn't bring myself to use it. You have to draw the line somewhere right?
I basically just winged it and threw everything together. The crisp turned out lovely, even without oats. In fact, it turned out so well I didn't have a chance to take a picture of the final product! My uncle loved it and my aunt, who doesn't bake or care for baked goods, enjoyed it throughly. They ate it so quickly it hadn't even crossed my mind to take a picture. All in all, I had a great week full of amazing home-cooked meals and some stellar sun.
Easy Gran-Free Apple Crisp
(This recipe is just a ballpark, so feel free to play around)
6 Honeycrisp apples, sliced (these were small little organic ones, so 4 regular size will do)
2-3 handfuls of almonds, toasted until slightly crunchy
5 tbs cinnamon, divided (use as much or as little as you like)
4 tbs honey, divided
5 tbs grass-fed butter, divided
Preheat your oven to 350 Fahrenheit.
Arrange apples in baking tray of choice. I found a glass 9x9 baking dish. Arrange first layer, then sprinkle cinnamon freely over apples, along with 2 tbs honey and 1 tbs butter (chopped into tiny pieces)
Place second layer of apple overtop, adding more cinnamon and honey if desired.
In a blender or food processor, grind nuts until they are in small chunks. I made mine quite fine, so that half of the almonds had turned to flour, while the other half were teeny tiny pieces.
Place nuts meal in medium bowl and add remaining honey, butter and as much cinnamon as you want. If you have coconut palm sugar or a sugar of choice, add it in as well. Using your hands, blend ingredients together so you have a sticky, buttery paste. You can add more cinnamon if it's looking too light or more almonds if you don't think you'll have enough to cover your apples.
Spread the crumble mixture over your apples as evenly as possible.
Bake @ 350 for 34-45 minutes, depending on your oven. The top should be a nice deep golden brown and the apples should be quite soft.
Allow to cool, or if you're impatient, enjoy right out of the pan!
Note: this would be awesome with coconut whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
Here are a couple of cool shots from my trip.