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Apple crumble is an ideal way to capture rich pie taste

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Apple crumble is an ideal way to capture rich pie taste

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)

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The arrival of apple season is a worthy consolation prize for the departure of summer. Leaves will soon be turning red and golden brown, but for now, I’m celebrating the original fall flavor (before pumpkin spice syrupy things took over the world): apples slow-baked in some form of buttery pastry, filling the house with welcoming aromas that beckon us to light a fire and gather around the dining room table where it’s warm and cozy.

Apple crumble is an ideal way to capture the flavors and toasty aroma of rich pies and tarts a little more healthily. Today’s Fall Apple Rosemary Crumble with Chia Seed recipe takes a few creative turns. 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. It’s a surprisingly perfect touch of fall that blends just right with the tart apples and the lemon zest that I also added. 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 filling. You can leave the cinnamon out altogether if you aren’t a cinnamon fan — finally there’s an apple dessert recipe that won’t leave you wanting for more if you skip it.

The filling is thickened with a few spoonfulls of chia seed instead of cornstarch. Chia seeds soften as they plump during baking, and if you use white chia seeds, they will probably go completely undetected. Except that you will be high-fiving yourself for getting some fiber and omega-3’s into dessert. What’s missing from this recipe is more than half the butter and sugar of typical crumble recipes, but if your family is anything like mine — and I have four young kiddos around the table — they won’t even miss it.

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