Almost two years ago now I posted about my love of the Fall and apple crisp and today I would like to revisit that post. Fall is almost here and I couldn’t be more excited. We even bought our first pumpkins of the season the other day…they may be mini pumpkins, but they are still perfect little pumpkins. I haven’t lived on the East Coast during the Fall in five years – which may not seem like all that long but when this is your favorite time of year and you are living in Central California where there is no fall you miss it more than words can express.
I have already scoped out all the apple orchards near us, along with a corn maze and a pick your own pumpkin patch – seriously you would think I’m five years old with the amount of excitement that I get. Nope, I’m just 100% dork when it comes to this time of year. Can’t wait for the sweaters to be pulled out, the crisp air and crunch leaves as they fall down. Cool walks, hot apple cider and of course some warm out of the oven apple crisp! The colors of Fall are by far my favorite colors of any of the seasons. The deep reds, oranges, greens and yellows make the most beautiful combination to me. I can’t wait for all the beautiful orange roses to be on display too. I keep asking Bryan that when we get married, can it please be in the fall, I can’t imagine being married during any other time of the year. The fall just makes me happy and extremely excited.
The first thing I make every fall is Apple Crisp. Beyond simple to make and probably one of my favorite desserts (okay I even eat it for breakfast – its fruits and oats right?!). However, I have learned that Bryan isn’t a fan, but loves Apple Pie (which I’m not the biggest fan, I love the crunch of the crisp). So seeing as I already made my first crisp I told him I would make him a gluten containing apple pie. Seeing as the only flours we have in the house are gluten-free we picked up some pre-made pie crusts for him. The sad thing is Bryan is allergic to raw apples. He has Oral Allergy Syndrome:
Oral Allergy Syndrome is an allergy to certain raw fruits, vegetables, seeds, spices and nuts causing allergic reactions in the mouth and throat. These allergic reactions happen mostly in people with hayfever, especially spring hayfever due to birch pollen, and late summer hayfever due to ragweed pollen (Webmaster note: there is no ragweed pollen in British Columbia west of the Rockies).
An allergic reaction happens while eating the raw food, and causes itchy, tingly mouth, lips, throat and palate. There may be swelling of the lips, tongue and throat, and watery itchy eyes, runny nose and sneezing. Handling the raw fruit or vegetable e.g., peeling it or touching the juice to the lips, may cause rash, itching or swelling where the juice touches the skin, or sneezing, runny nose and water eyes. Sometimes, more severe symptoms can happen such as vomiting, cramps, diarrhea and, on rare occasions, life threatening reactions with swelling of the throat, wheezing, trouble breathing and anaphylaxis.
These allergic reactions usually occur only when the food is raw. People who are allergic to the raw food can eat it cooked, canned, microwaved, processed or baked. For example, someone allergic to raw apples can eat apple sauce, apple jelly, apple juice, apple pie and dried apples. However, nuts may cause allergic reactions whether raw or cooked. This problem is usually life long. Allergy tests to these foods may sometimes be negative unless a fresh fruit is used for the test (instead of a commercial allergy extract). The allergic reaction to these foods can occur anytime of the year when eating the foods but can be worse during the pollen season and especially if hayfever is very troublesome that year.
The allergic reaction is not due to pesticides, chemicals or wax on the fruit. However, because the more allergic part of the fruit may be in the skin, some people allergic to fruits, e.g., peaches, can eat the flesh without reaction if the skin is peeled away. Similarly for apples, some brands of apples cause more allergic reactions than others. Freshly picked apple, e.g., straight from the tree or an unripe apple, may cause fewer allergic reactions than one which is very ripe or one which has been stored for weeks after picking.
Severe allergic reactions to foods causing Oral Allergy Syndrome are most likely to occur with celery, kiwi, peaches, apricots, apples and nuts, especially hazelnuts.
Management of Oral Allergy Syndrome
- These allergies are caused by the raw fruit or vegetable and therefore, once they are cooked or processed, they can usually be eaten.
- You do not need to avoid all the foods on the chart in the table above. Avoid only those particular ones which have caused allergic reactions.
- Be aware, however, that if you do have Oral Allergy Syndrome to some of the foods, you can develop allergies to other foods on the chart.
- If an allergic reaction occurs to one of these foods, stop eating it immediately. Severe reactions may happen if you keep eating that food. Allergic reactions may be treated with antihistamines.
- If you have had severe symptoms including trouble breathing, when eating the foods, you may need to carry injectable medication with you to treat these reactions (e.g., EpiPen®).
- For mild Oral Allergy Syndrome, try peeling the fruit, or eating unripe or partially ripe fruits, or picking them directly from the tree so that they are quite fresh. If you react, do not keep eating the food.
- Microwaving briefly to a temperature of 80°-90° C (176° – 194° deg F) may allow you to eat the food.
- Nuts which cause Oral Allergy Syndrome should be totally avoided, whether fresh or cooked, because of the higher risk of severe reactions.
- Allergy shots for hayfever may sometimes help associated food allergies.
Substitute Raw Fruits
Berries* (strawberry, blueberry, raspberries, etc.), citrus* (orange, mandarins, etc.), grapes, currants, gooseberries, guava, mango, figs, pineapple, papaya, avocado, persimmon, pomegranates, watermelon*.
Substitute Raw Vegetables
MUSTARD family (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, watercress, radish
GOOSEFOOT family (spinach, swiss chard)
COMPOSITE family (green onions)
Peanut*, cashew, pistachio, brazil, macadamia, pine nut.
*May occasionally cause Oral Allergy Syndrome.
So on top of this allergy he also has an Onion Allergy - so not only do we cook gluten-free but we also cook onion free in our house. We also try to cook with minimal amount of dairy because he is also lactose intolerant. Talk about Creative Cooking!
When people hear that I can’t have anything containing gluten they all pull the “oh I’m so sorry for you, how difficult that must be” or my favorite “I could NEVER live like that”, when in reality it isn’t that bad or hard to do. But I feel even worse for Bryan than myself, because onion is in so many things – salsa sauces, dressings, etc. And how sad is it, he can’t ever have a candy or caramel apple?? But we are both really good about our restrictions and have learned to adapt recipes to fit both of our needs.
Now back to the Apple Crisp. In the original recipe I posted, I used almond flour/meal because I hadn’t discovered gluten-free oats. Now that I have found gluten-free oats and have them on hand I can go back to my favorite apple crisp recipe from my Betty Crocker Cookbook (This was the first cookbook I ever bought myself). The original recipe calls for flour so I made this one with Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Flour and it turned out great. The only thing was I wanted this so badly that I should have waited until I had at least one more apple to cut up, but I was determined to make it so it wasn’t as full as it could have or should have been.
Apple Crisp – A Gluten Free Version of a Betty Crocker Classic
4 medium, tart cooking apples (I use Macintosh and Granny Smith) sliced or four cups
1/3 – 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Flour)
1/2 cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Oats)
1/3 cup stick butter, softened
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease bottom and sides of square pan 8 x 8 x 2 inches, with shortening (butter, cooking spray)
2. Arrange apples in pan. Mix remaining ingredients. Sprinkle over apples.
3. Bake about 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown and apples are tender. Serve warm and, if desired, with fresh whipped cream or ice cream.
You can also do the following substitutions:
Blueberry Crisp: substitute 4 cups fresh or frozen (thawed and drained) blueberries for the apples
Cherry Crisp: Substitute 1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling for the apples and use 2/3 cup brown sugar.
Rhubarb Crisp: Substitute 4 cups cut-up rhubarb for the apples (or even better use half rhubarb and half the apples to make an apple-rhubarb crisp!