Sometimes you want a simple fruit dessert.  This is the perfect way to dress up apples (or pears) to make an appearance as a sweet and satisfying end to a meal.  It’s so much easier than a fruit crisp or pie, and then there’s the bonus of having nut-oat crumble leftover.  A little spoonful of mascarpone alongside the roasted apples adds a touch of rich smoothness to the dish, and another layer of flavor and texture.  Use your favorite apple here, Honey Crisp or Braeburn are my top choices.  If pears are looking good in your supermarket, substitute them and carry on.  This is a dish you will want to make often.  In fact, I think it would make a pretty tasty breakfast, if there’s any left after dinner!

Roasted Apples with Nut-Oat Crumble
(makes 4 servings)
2 medium-sized apples, halved and cored (or 2 firm Anjou or Bartlett pears)
2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup raw almonds, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup raw shelled pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons old-fashioned rolled oats
Pinch of kosher salt
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
1/2 cup mascarpone
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
Place racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 375°F.  Place apples, cut side up, on a small baking sheet, drizzle with 2 teaspoons oil, and roast on the upper oven rack until soft, 20 to 30 minutes.  Let cool slightly.  Meanwhile, toss the almonds, pumpkin seeds, brown sugar, oats, salt, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil on a small baking sheet.  Toast on the lower oven rack, stirring occasionally, until golden, 10 to 12 minutes.  Remove from the oven and mix in the sesame seeds.  Let cool.  Whisk the mascarpone and sugar in a small bowl (if it seems too thick, add a few drops of cream).  Spoon the mascarpone onto plates and top with the apples and nut-oat crumble.  Any leftover crumble can be stored at room temperature in a tightly covered container.  Use it sprinkled over yogurt or ice cream, or top slices of toast with peanut butter and crumble.
(minimally adapted from Bon Appetit 10/13)

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