I know, it sounds more like a skin disease than the name of a dessert, but trust me– by the end of this post, you’ll be ready to dig in.
These are groats. More specifically, they’re whole oat grains, complete with the cereal germ and bran. This means they’re healthier than regular rolled oats, but it also means they take longer to cook. After purchasing a few cookbooks that extol the use of whole grains, I have taken to haunting the bulk foods section at whole foods. I’ve tried quite a few, (kasha, farro, pearled barley…) but groats are my new favorite. There aren’t a ton of recipes featuring groats, so after finding myself with an abundance of local apples, I decided to make my own.
6 cups of apples; peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (about 2 lbs)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup agave nectar
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
dash of cloves
1 1/2 tbsp soy flour
For the crumble:
1/2 cup uncooked groats
1 cup uncooked rolled oats
1/3 cup demerara, or light brown sugar
1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
6 tbsp salted butter, softened
First, cook your groats. Melt a tablespoon of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the groats and toast for a minute or so, until the grains are a shade darker and begin to smell nutty. They will sizzle and pop in the pan. Next add a half cup of water, turning the heat up to medium-high. Cook until the water is nearly evaporated, then add a half a cup more. Continue this until the groats are tender and chewy and the cooking liquid evaporated, using about 2 1/2 cups of water total. Set the groats aside to cool slightly.
While your groats are going on the stove, put that lemon juice in a large bowl. Prepare your apples, adding them to the bowl and tossing them in the lemon juice as you go. Add the agave nectar, spices, salt, and soy flour, and mix to distribute the ingredients. Pour the apples and remaining liquid into a large baking dish (9″x13″ works, but my favorite is a weird 10.5″x8.75″ dish I have).
In a medium bowl, combine the whole wheat pastry flour, demerara, rolled oats, groats, and remaining 5 tbsp of butter. Using your fingers, combine butter with the dry ingredients until coarse crumbs form. Sprinkle crumble mixture over the apples. Bake at 375 degrees for 50-55 minutes, or until the crumb topping is golden brown.
Note about flours: Unless you are also a flour collector, you may not have soy flour on hand. I use it because it adds protein and extends the shelf life of baked goods, but you can easily swap this for regular all-purpose flour. Whole wheat pastry flour is also interchangeable with regular all-purpose flour in this recipe, but I recommend picking up a bag if you can– you get the health benefits of regular whole wheat flour without the heaviness and cardboard flavor it usually imparts.