As excited as I am to be — slowly, tentatively — back in the kitchen, I seem to be stuck at the beginning, or at least the beginning of the day. I’m fixated on granola and eggy things, breakfast-y quick breads and this thing I made for the sole purpose of eating with my morning yogurt, and I suspect it has everything to do with us feeling almost constantly like we’ve just woken up. And too early, sigh.
Fortunately, the cause is really cute and so we’ve decided to keep him, even if he at the advanced age of three and a half weeks has decided he no longer wants to sleep in those four-hour stretches he had teased us with in his misspent youth. However, I am stubborn and refuse to complain about the sleeplessness because there is nothing more predictable than new parents complaining about sleeplessness, and I hate being predictable. Instead, I have decided to embrace it, thus if I constantly feel like it is breakfast and I need a cup of coffee, then well, breakfast and a cup of coffee we will have.
This crisp is supposed to be the fall answer to my beloved breakfast apricot crisp. I maintain that baked fruit crisps needn’t just be dessert food and if you’re only having them after dinner, you’re missing out. The trick is to dial back the sugar significantly, keep the topping as granola-like as possible and eat it cold, first thing in the morning, with a generous helping of your favorite yogurt on top.
This isn’t to say that all sorts of things didn’t go south when I made this — I’m not naming names or anything, but a certain someone required enough attention that I was more than a little scatterbrained in the kitchen: the apples took more than an hour to peel and chop, leading to all sorts of discoloration; the granola nearly burned when I wasn’t paying attention and I overbaked the crisp enough that it’s more applesauce than delicious baked chunks . But like we care. We were so happy to have something, anything besides cold cereal for breakfast yesterday afternoon, and something that still managed to be delicious, I’m going to go out on a limb and call this a raging success. Make this, eat it for breakfast this week, whenever your breakfast may be.
By the way, I know that someone will ask me what kind of apples I used, and the answer is that I do not remember. I got them in baskets at different Greenmarkets and they all had funny names and I grabbed whatever looked good, including one that was so big, even this other giant was impressed.
Breakfast Apple Granola Crisp
3 pounds* of whatever apples, or mix of apples, you like to bake with, peeled, cored and cut into medium chunks
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 stick (8 tablespoons or 4 ounces) unsalted butter
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup flour
2 cups oats
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened, as you wish; I used unsweetened)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix apple chunks with lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and pinch of salt in a 9×13-inch baking dish until apples are evenly coated. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter with the honey. Stir in the flour, oats, almonds, coconut and another pinch of salt until clumps form. Sprinkle evenly over the apple mixture and bake in the oven for about 45 to 55 minutes, or until the apples are softened and bubbly. Should the granola brown before you wish it to, cover the baking dish carefully with foil for all but the last few minutes of baking time, when removing the foil will help the granola recrisp. Cool to room temperature and then stash in the fridge to eat with your morning yogurt.
* To note: I originally made mine with four pounds of apples, which will explain why yours may not look as voluminous as mine. However, I felt that the apple to granola proportion was off, and the apples nearly overflowed in the baking dish, hence why I suggest you use less.