06 July 2012

Travelling for Dessert

When I arrived in Alexandria on Monday to cat-sit for my aunt and uncle, I arrived to a hot house and freaked-out cats: no power since Friday’s storms. The apple crisp recipe below is modified from Jon and Robin Robertson’s Vegan Unplugged: A Pantry Cuisine Cookbook and Survival Guide. I purchased the book in March and was saving it to read for a special occasion. Well, cat-sitting without power was special enough!

On Tuesday, one of my bestest buds from high school invited me to a Fourth of July party in D.C. and she requested that I bring “some food or drink to placate the gods of freedom and democracy.”  However, I couldn’t use the stove since the gas burners have electric starters.  As with this episode last year, I took the Metro to my brother’s apartment in order to sleep and make cereal bars.

Brown Rice Peanut Butter Cereal Bars
Modified from Alicia Silverstone, “Crispy Brown Rice Squares,” in The Kind Diet: A Simple Guide to Feeling Great, Losing Weight, and Saving the Planet (Rodale Books, 2009).

1 1/2 cups brown rice syrup
Pinch sea salt
3/4 cup natural peanut butter (I used Whole Foods fresh-ground peanut butter)
7 cups whole grain brown crisped rice cereal (3 1/2 cups Nature’s Path Gorilla Munch and 3 1/2 cups Koala Crisp)
1/2 cup raisins

Grease a 9*13-inch baking pan or an 8*4-inch loaf pan AND a 9-inch pie plate.
In a large bowl, stir together the cereal and raisins.
In a medium saucepan, stir together the brown rice syrup, salt, and peanut butter.  Bring to a low simmer and cook until the peanut butter is melted, about 5 minutes.  Pour over the cereal and stir until combined.  Transfer to the pan(s).  Press down the tops for an even elevation.  Cover with foil or plastic wrap and cool on a rack or in the refrigerator for at least an hour before cutting.

As someone at the party said, these are “addictive” and were totally worth all the Metro fares involved.

After two and a half days in an 87-degree house, the apples I brought to my aunt and uncle’s house in Alexandria were going south.  That I dropped them on the basement floor while making a pit stop at my grandparents’ house didn’t help their overripe situation either.  Once the power returned midday on Independence Day, on Thursday I used the apples in a crisp.

Apple Crisp
Modified from Jon Robertson and Robin Robertson, “Skillet Peach Crumble,” in Vegan Unplugged: A Pantry Cuisine Cookbook and Survival Guide, (Woodstock: Vegan Heritage Press, 2010), 150.

4 medium apples (I used two Red Delicious and two Granny Smith)
1 tablespoon tapioca starch
1/2 cup water

2/3 cup gluten-free rolled oats
1/4 cup Sucanat
1 teaspoon apple pie spice
1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon chunky natural peanut butter
1 tablespoon canola oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Have an 8*8-inch square glass baking dish at the ready (no need to grease).  Cut the apples into a mix of thin slices and chunks (I left the peel on—fibre’s good for you!).  In a large bowl, toss the apples with the tapioca and transfer into the baking dish.  Pour the water over the apples.  In a large bowl, mix together the topping ingredients until combined.  Sprinkle the topping over the apples.  Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the water is bubbling, the apples have browned, and the topping is dark and crispy.  Let cool to an edible temperature before digging in.
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