(Toaster Oven) Granola Apple Crisp
One of the biggest challenges I face keeping up a food blog whilst living in a dorm with no kitchen is, quite obviously, being able to make food consistently. Of course, I could whip up a bunch of no-heat recipes and call it a day, but I also don’t have a freezer, so ice cream pies and the like are mostly impossible. I do have a (communal) microwave in the “kitchenette” (read: a sticky counter top, sink, and three ironing boards that have probably resided there since 1957 when the dorm was built), but how badly does anyone really want to make a microwave cake? Like, it’s fun and it’s done in three minutes, but there’s no process. And the process is the part I like. Baking is my emotional homework, guys! Basically my point here is food blog at college = hard.
However, as I’ve mentioned before, I do have a toaster oven that I occasionally have the energy to lug out of it’s place under my bed, place on the aforementioned-sticky-counter, and create some (slightly small) oven magic. So, recently my friend and I actually managed to make mini apple crisps using ingredients that -aside from the flour- were entirely pilfered from our dining hall! Let me tell you, it’s no small feat measuring half a stick of butter in tiny 1/2 tablespoon foil-wrapped packages. But boy, was it worth it. My favorite part of this endeavor was definitely using granola instead of oatmeal in the crumble topping. It added a really great texture and flavor to the crisp, I very much recommend trying that out, even if you aren’t ransacking a dining hall and are perfectly capable of obtaining oats. Also the whole floor smelled like cinnamon and happiness so basically I had a lot of friends that night.
Fun tip: if you’re terrible at making friends in college like I am, just get yourself a toaster oven and start baking things. You’ll have more buddies than you’ll know what to do with!! Of course, there’s an 87% chance they’ll leave once all the cookies you’ve made are gone. It’s a high-risk, high-reward move, I’d say.
Just kidding everyone I have lots of friends don’t worry about me!!!!!
Apple Crisp (adapted from foodnetwork.com and Smitten Kitchen)
I created this recipe being mindful of the fact that my toaster oven is pretty small and that I needed to fit them in four tiny baking dishes, but if you make it all in one big dish it’ll still work, you’ll just need to bake it 10-15 minutes longer!
– 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
– pinch of salt
– 1 tsp. cinnamon
– 1/2 cup oat-based granola
– 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
– 4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Add all ingredients in a bowl and work into a crumbly topping with your fingers or a pastry cutter. The butter may start to soften a little, but that’s okay. Set aside.
– 5 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into smaller-than-bite-sized pieces
– 2 or 3 tbsp. granulated sugar
– 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
– 1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
– pinch of salt
Combine all ingredients and toss well. Butter your glass/metal baking dish (or dishes) and spoon the apples into the bottom, then cover with the granola topping. Bake 25-30 minutes if using small dishes or 40-50 minutes if using one large dish (glass dishes make take even longer, but heat distributes more evenly; it’s really a toss-up in my opinion). Note: apple crisp is delicious by itself, but gets out-of-this-world-incredible if you add a giant scoop of vanilla ice cream on top…just a suggestion.
(I do apologize for the poor quality of these images. Someday I’ll live in a space with non-florescent lighting, but right now kitchenette + cooking props is really the best I can do..)