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So that's a pretty ugly-looking dish up there, but you really want to make it, anyway. Because while not a visual show-stopper, the combination of tart and sweet apples, apricot jam, vanilla, molasses, cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar all baked together create an aroma that will make your knees buckle. It's incredible. And dead-simple to throw together whenever you feel like something sweet.

And the flavor's not so bad, either. The molasses obviously makes a stickier topping than you'd get from a classic crisp topping, but it also compacts the volume and concentrates the flavor. Pair that with a deep dish of tender apples with a little bite left in them, and you have the easiest path to a seriously satisfying little dessert. Transform leftovers into breakfast by tempering the sugar with a dollop of plain nondairy yogurt.

Baked Apples with Molasses & Spice Crumble

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serves 6

1 large (10-12 oz) sweet apple, such as Honeycrisp

1 small-medium (8-10 oz) tart apple, such as Granny Smith

1/2 cup apricot jam (look for a brand that lists apricots as the first ingredient)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

fine sea or kosher salt

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup almond flour (or all-purpose flour)

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

2 TBSP turbinado (or brown sugar)

2 TBSP canola oil

2 TBSP blackstrap molasses

Heat oven to 350.

Core apples and slice thinly into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Add to a mixing bowl with jam, vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Stir until well combined and transfer to a deep 8-inch round dish (an 8x8 square pan should also work).

To the same mixing bowl, add oats, almond meal, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Toss to combine. Add turbinado, oil, and molasses. Stir with a fork until uniformly moistened. Dollop topping over apples, spread out to cover evenly with wet hands or the wet back of a spoon. Bake 25-30 minutes, until apples are tender (but not too soft) and topping is browned and very fragrant.

Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Note: while hot, the jam and apple juices will remain syrupy but will firm up into a loose jammy consistency as the dish cools.