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Cozy up to a more healthful dessert: Fall Apple Rosemary Crumble

By Melissa díArabian, Associated Press
This Sept. 10, 2017 photo shows a fall apple crumble with rosemary and chia seeds in Bethesda, Md. This dish is from a recipe by Melissa d'Arabian. (Melissa d'Arabian via AP) CAMA101

By Melissa díArabian

Iím celebrating the original fall flavor (before pumpkin spice syrupy things took over the world) with apples slow-baked in some form of buttery pastry and a recipe that fills the house with welcoming aromas that beckon us to gather around the dining room table.

Apple crumble is an ideal way to capture the flavors and toasty aroma of rich pies and tarts a little more healthily. Todayís Fall Apple Rosemary Crumble recipe takes a few creative turns, including the addition of chia seeds. I complement the apple filling with another classic autumn flavor: rosemary.

You can add a lot if you are a fan, or just a little if you want the tiniest bit of this chilly-weather-hardy herb. Itís a surprisingly perfect touch of fall that blends just right with the tart apples and lemon zest. While the filling is a little floral thanks to the rosemary, I still included just a tiny touch of cinnamon, but only in the oat-based crumble topping, exactly where it belongs: as a foil to the bright apple-y filling. You can leave the cinnamon out altogether if you arenít a cinnamon fan.

The filling is thickened with a few spoonfuls of chia seeds instead of cornstarch. Chia seeds soften as they plump during baking, and if you use white chia seeds, they will probably go completely undetected ó except that you will be high-fiving yourself for getting some fiber and omega-3ís into a dessert. Whatís missing from this recipe is more than half the butter and sugar of typical crumble recipes, but if your family is anything like mine ó and I have four young kiddos around the table ó they wonít even miss it.