Submitted by: Richard Hammond
Servings: Serves 10 to 12
Ingredients: 5 lbs. organic golden delicious apples
1 cup dried currants
2 ½ cups almond flour + 2 tbsp arrowroot
10 oz. pitted dates
2/3 cup solid coconut oil (chilled)
2 organic lemons
½ cup Tap n’Apple apple butter
12 oz. whole filberts (hazelnuts)
1 cup organic apple cider
6 allspice berries, 3 whole cloves
3 tbsp ground Penzey’s Vietnamese cinnamon
2 large pinches grey sea salt
Nutiva coconut manna (optional)
Maple syrup or raw honey (optional)
Instructions: Pre-heat oven to 350° F
Place the cider in a small saucepan over medium heat with the allspice and cloves. Simmer gently until the cider is reduced to about one-third cup, roughly 5 or 6 tablespoons. Strain out the whole spices.
Pick over the dates, removing any stem caps or stray pits and place them in a small heat-proof mixing bowl. Cover them with the hot apple cider and let the dates re-hydrate.
Use a microplane grater to zest both lemons into a large non-reactive mixing bowl. Split the lemons and squeeze their juice into the bowl straining the seeds through your fingers, a sieve or cheesecloth. Add one large pinch of sea salt to this bowl.
To remove any possible allergens, rinse the hazelnuts in warm water thoroughly and drain. Spread them out in a Pyrex 15” x 10” x 2” baking dish. Move the middle oven rack up one level, place the baking dish on this rack and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the baking dish and allow the nuts to cool in the pan.
Peel, core and slice the apples; you may use a knife but I prefer a counter-top hand cranked spiral apple slicer/corer to make quick work of this job. If you have such a machine use a paring knife to split each stack of spiral sliced apple in half and just clean up any leftover apple core or seeds if need be. Then place each apple right away into the mixing bowl with the lemon juice and stir to coat.
When all the apples are processed, use a large spatula to stir in two tablespoons of the cinnamon, the dried currents and the apple butter. Use the spatula to scrape the apple filling into the Pyrex baking dish, right on top of the cooled hazelnuts.
Meanwhile, place the almond flour, arrowroot, soaked dates with their liquid and the other pinch of sea salt into a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Blend for a minute or two until the dates are fairly smooth. Add the remaining cinnamon and blend again for thirty seconds, then add the coconut oil and pulse about 6 or 8 times.
Remove the bowl and blade and use the spatula to scrape out the topping onto the prepared apple mixture. Use your fingers to break up the topping and crumble over the apples. It doesn’t need to be perfectly smooth or seal the apple mixture completely, but do avoid leaving any overly large clumps of topping that may be too thick to fully bake.
Place the baking dish in the pre-heated oven. Loosely tent the apple crisp with foil and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for another 20 to 25 minutes until the filling is bubbling hot and the topping is nicely browned.
Remove the baking dish to a rack and allow the crisp to cool. You may serve this dessert hot, warm, room temp or cold. If desired, serve the crisp with a dollop of warmed coconut manna that has been sweetened to taste with maple syrup or raw honey and garnish each plate with extra cinnamon sprinkled on top.
Notes: Chef Rick Hammond is a self-taught personal chef. The Onion Tree Cafe is his restaurant which comes to your home serving Paleo Fusion meals, dinner parties and cooking lessons. Paleo Fusion is our ancestral diet paired with flavors from many different world cuisines which all have onions in common, thus the whimsical name “Onion Tree”..