Thanksgiving is going to be interesting this year!
As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, I’ve recently had to eliminate a few food groups to accommodate Gwen’s food allergies and eczema. We know she’s allergic to eggs and borderline peanuts, but I think dairy is actually what’s triggering her eczema. SWEET, SWEET DAIRY.
We already use vegan butter at home on account of Lincoln’s dairy allergy, and I can’t tell you the last time I drank or cooked with regular milk (we use almond milk,) but cheese? CHEESE?! Dang it all! I need a couple more weeks to confidently determine if it’s what’s causing her entire little body to break out in red, itchy patches, but her skin looks better then it has in almost a month after I cut out dairy for just two days.
All that to say, see you next year, Party Potatoes Deluxe! Good thing I can still eat dessert this Thanksgiving: Maple-Pecan Apple, Cranberry, Sweet Potato Crisp. This mash up of Classic Apple Crisp and my family’s traditional Sweet Potato Stuffed Apples is not only gluten-free and absolutely HEAVENLY, but dairy-free too!
First thing’s first – this righteous recipe is sponsored by my long time partners at Fisher Nuts. We not only keep Fisher Nuts on hand for snacking (Cam is on a pecan kick right now bahahaha,) but cooking and baking too. They’re top quality, contain no preservatives, and I love that they come in a resealable bag. The other day I was thinking about all the stuff that comes in bags that I have to transfer to another bag or jar after opening and I got down right angry about it. Maybe it’s the cheese-rage talking.
Anyway, Fisher Nuts make great additions to holiday meals in particular. Here are a few more ideas for your Thanksgiving day menu:
- Best Ever Wild Rice Stuffing (< OMG)
- Gluten-Free French Toast Casserole with Butter-Pecan Syrup
- Chocolate Tart with Graham Cracker-Almond Crust
- Maple-Bourbon Pecan Chicken (ok maybe not a holiday recipe but I’m obsessed and make it weekly!)
If you’re a long time reader you know my family has largely eaten the same foods on Thanksgiving for decades, with the exception of newer recipes like the aforementioned Wild Rice Stuffing, my new Gluten-Free Green Bean Casserole (gahhh can’t wait!) and Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls, of COURSE. What can I say, we love a good tradition.
One of the traditional side dishes my Mom has made since I’m pretty sure she was in the womb was Sweet Potato Stuffed Apples. These babies are so good that my friends used to make me reserve them some to eat after their family’s Thanksgiving feast! The only problem is they’re pretty tedious to make. Scoop out the insides of fresh apples, pray you don’t get too close to the peel, stuff the apples, bake the apples, top the apples with marshmallows, broil the marshmallows, burn the marshmallows, swear off marshmallows, scrape off the burnt marshmallows, repeat, and finally, serve.
Trust me, this inspired dish is so much easier!
Mashed, roasted sweet potatoes join diced apples, dried cranberries, vanilla, cinnamon and pure maple syrup to form the base of this fall-flavored crisp that’s topped with a mixture of gluten-free oats, chopped Fisher pecan halves, and more pure maple syrup. The result is incredible! The contrast of whippy sweet potatoes and softened apples, and crunchy-crisp topping is totally memorable, and you’ll go back for bite after bite after bite.
Trust me when I tell you that you won’t miss eating – nor burning – the marshmallows!
Start by roasting 1-1/2lbs sweet potatoes – 2 large or 3 small – for 45-60 minutes at 400 degrees. Let the sweet potatoes cool slightly then peel away the skin and mash until very smooth. I use my trusty potato ricer for this step. You can roast and/or mash several days ahead of time, by the way.
Measure out 2 cups mashed sweet potatoes then add to a large bowl with 2 chopped apples, 1/3 cup dried cranberries, 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup, heaping 1/2 teaspoons each cinnamon and vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Mix to combine then spread into an even layer in a medium-sized baking dish like an 8×8″ or something similar.
Next get the crisp ready. Wipe out the bowl then add 1 cup certified gluten-free old fashioned oats, a heaping 1/2 cup Fisher Pecan Halves that have been finely chopped, 2 Tablespoons gluten-free flour, 6 Tablespoons butter or vegan butter cut into cubes, and a pinch of salt. Use your fingers to mix and mash the ingredients into a paste.
Next, stir in 1/3 cup pure maple syrup then sprinkle the topping over the sweet potato mixture in the baking dish.
Bake for 40-50 minutes at 350 degrees then let the crisp cool for about 20 minutes before dishing up and dolloping with whipped cream (I used coconut-based whipped topping to keep this dish dairy free.) This crisp is divine warm, but I actually really love it at room temperature, too. However you serve it, I hope you love this fun and fabulous twist on a classic! Enjoy!
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Maple-Pecan Apple, Cranberry, Sweet Potato Crisp
Maple-Pecan Apple, Cranberry, Sweet Potato Crisp pairs vanilla and cinnamon-spiced sweet potatoes, diced apples, and dried cranberries with a crunchy, maple-pecan topping. This gluten-free dessert recipe is a delicious twist on classic apple crisp!
- 3 small or 2 large sweet potatoes (~1-1/2lbs)
- 2 Granny Smith or Honeycrisp apples, peeled and chopped
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup (not pancake syrup)
- overflowing 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- slightly rounded 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- For the crisp:
- 1 cup certified gluten-free old fashioned oats
- heaping 1/2 cup Fisher Pecan Halves, finely chopped
- 2 Tablespoons gluten-free flour
- pinch of salt
- 6 Tablespoons butter or vegan butter, cut into cubes
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup (not pancake syrup)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees then line a baking sheet with foil and place a cooling rack on top. Wash and dry sweet potatoes then pierce all over with a fork. Place onto cooling rack then roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until a knife can be easily inserted into the centers. Set sweet potatoes aside to cool - can be done a day ahead of time. Once cool, peel away skin then rice or mash the flesh until very smooth.
- Turn heat down to 350 degrees then get out a medium-sized baking dish - 8x8", or something similar in size. Set aside. Measure out 2 cups mashed sweet potatoes then add to a large bowl with chopped apples, dried cranberries, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Stir to combine then scoop into baking dish and spread into an even layer.
- Wipe out bowl then add all the ingredients for the crisp EXCEPT the maple syrup. Use your fingers to mix and mash ingredients into a paste then add maple syrup and stir with a fork to combine. Top sweet potato mixture with crisp then bake for 40-50 minutes or until crisp is golden brown on top. Let cool for 20 minutes then serve.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.