A dearth of dessert can lead to overdoing it on sugar; apple raspberry crisp

Lola May Joyner’s persimmon pudding recipe. I hope it’s as good as it smells, all fragrant with cinnamon, clove and lemon.

Believe me or don’t, I don’t make a lot of desserts. We “shouldn’t” eat them; we don’t “need” them. Eventually, though, I’ll stay up too late, meditating on something sweet. Then I’ll eat too much  junk (although there’s not very much of that around here anymore) because no small serving of something sensational has appeared to my wondering eyes. Every weight loss program advises against letting yourself feel deprived.

Lately, I’ve made several desserts because the local fruit — peaches, plums, persimmons — has been sensational. And I find that cutting the finished dessert into the number of servings it’s supposed to make, limiting ourselves to one serving and skipping the recommended ice cream on top keeps the Weight Watchers point count under control. Or at least better than it would be if we were running hog wild as in days of yore.

Last week I found some long-forgotten red raspberries in the basement freezer. I’d frozen them in puree so the hard work (sieving out the seeds) was already done. “Throw ’em out,” advised Stoic, but I thought I could, so I did. Made an also long-forgotten Woman’s Day magazine recipe (from 2008) that is now my favorite crisp.

It’s easy, super-tasty and rich in antioxidants. Plus, you’re getting a nice serving of fiber in your dessert.

Apple-Raspberry Crisp

4 good-sized and assertive apples (Gala, Braeburn or Honeycrisp rather than Granny Smith), peeled, cored and sliced

2 cups frozen unsweetened raspberries, 12 ounces pureed if you have someone who hates the seeds as much as Stoic

1/3 cup maple syrup

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice

Big pinch of salt

8 Keebler Pecan Sandies cookies

1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Heat oven to 375°. Coat a 9-x-9-inch baking tin with cooking spray. Toss apple slices, raspberries, maple syrup, cornstarch, vanilla, spice and salt in a bowl. Spread evenly into prepared baking dish.

Crumble cookies on top and sprinkle with pecans. Bake 55 minutes, covering with foil if top seems to be browning rather more than it should. Serve warm or at room temperature to 6 lucky ducks, who won’t even miss the ice cream. Whole-milk plain Greek yogurt would be a dandy substitute.

When the cookies and nuts are browned and the fruit bubbles up around them, it’s time to take your crisp out of the oven.




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