[enjoyed with a slice of pumpkin bread... coming later this week]
Hey, weekend! It's me, Katy, calling -- please come back! Somehow, even with an extra hour due to daylight savings time, the past two days seemed to fly by so quickly that I could barely get a glimpse of them. But oh, it was a good one, very busy. I went home and had a nice little day trip to Ohio (and some snow flurries!) with my mom and sister on Saturday. Walking, talking, shopping, eating... you know the drill.
So, Saturday was a blast, and Sunday was hectic but productive. I was so amped about getting an extra hour of sleep and somehow sleep was the last thing on my list this weekend. What did you do with the extra hour this weekend? It was one of those weekends that my mood and well-being desperately depended on energizing meals. Because, as I'm sure you know, there is nothing worse than being on a trip to a new place and hitting a wall... that 3 o'clock in the afternoon "I can't possibly walk to another store or try on another sweater" feeling. That "I just want to sit down" plea. When the only time you find yourself actually sitting is to eat.
Anyway, because we left so early on Saturday, I didn't get a chance for a big breakfast. Basically, I was kicking myself for making such an awesome breakfast crisp on Thursday night and then abandoning it for the weekend. Luckily, I did enjoy some for a late dessert on Thursday night and a big bowl for Friday's breakfast. (Worry not, for this didn't go to waste. Matt took the liberty of enjoying it this weekend while I was away. What a sweet guy, huh?)
This dish is straight up apple crisp adapted for breakfast time. And, as a bonus, it used up the last of the apples from the originally 10 pound stash. It's easy and hearty and makes for a perfect wake-up treat if you're having overnight guests.
The apples are spiced just like they would be in any sweet apple dessert and softened in the oven for devouring later. The granola topping, well, is just brilliant. Packed with flavors -- shredded coconut, chopped almonds and walnuts, oats, all tossed with maple syrup -- it bakes into a crunchy and chewy topping. Talk about energy, folks.
So much better than cereal and those wimpy pre-packaged sad excuses for breakfast bars. Make this on a weekend and enjoy breakfast for the week. Your weekday morning routine won't know what hit it!
As of right now, it's looking like this upcoming weekend is wide open without any plans at all. And, I think (fingers crossed) I will be able to wake up whenever my body is good and ready... without the aid of an alarm clock. I can't even tell you the last time I did that. But, you know, if you aren't so lucky and do indeed have plans, this dish is packed full of energy for all of the busy bees in the world. Just don't expect me to join you this time :)
Breakfast Apple Granola Crisp
(with a few changes, from Smitten Kitchen)
A few notes: This reheats later marvelously. Just scoop out a serving and microwave for a minute or two until toasty. Also, the original recipe called for honey where I used maple syrup -- if you don't have real maple syrup (the fake stuff won't cut it), use honey. I just wanted a deeper flavor that the maple could provide. Finally, use whatever nuts you have, whether one kind or a mix. Chopped pecans would work nicely, too.
3 pounds of apples (I used a pie mix of slightly sweet and firm, but use whatever you like), peeled, cored, and cut into medium chunks
2 Tablespoons of lemon juice
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup + 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, divided
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 stick (8 Tablespoons = 1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1/4 cup almonds, roughly chopped
1/2 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened will do)
Preheat oven to 400F. In a large bowl, toss apple chunks with lemon juice, sugar, 1/4 cup flour, cinnamon and a pinch of salt until apples are well-coated. Pour into a 9x13-inch baking dish.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter with the maple syrup. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup of flour, oats, almonds and walnuts, coconut and another pinch of salt, until clumps form. Sprinkle oat mixture evenly over the apple mixture. Cover dish with aluminum foil.
Bake in the oven for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the apples are bubbly. If the granola begins to brown too soon, cover the baking dish carefully with foil and return to oven for remaining time.
Serve warm immediately or allow to cool completely. Store, covered with plastic wrap, in fridge for up to 5 days. Eat straight out of the fridge, perhaps topped with some morning yogurt, or warm it up for a cozier breakfast.