Saturday, December 13, 2008

Apple Crumble Ice Cream

One of my all-time favorite desserts is Annie's Apple Crumble, so named because a wonderful lady named Annie shared her recipe with me. This particular apple crumble is always a huge hit at potlucks. My husband likes it best when served with a scoop of ice cream. So tonight, with an apple crumble baking in the oven, I thought...why not mix them together? Genius! (And the best part is that you only need part of the apple crumble for the ice cream, so you will have more crumble leftover!)

First, the apple crumble recipe. Then the genius mash up.

Annie's Apple Crumble

5 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced approx. 1/4 - 1/2 inch thick
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
1 dash nutmeg
1 cup sugar, divided into two ½ cups
½ cup flour
½ cup rolled oats
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch salt
½ cup vegan margarine, such as Earth Balance

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, toss the apples with lemon juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Place the apples in a lightly oiled 8 x 8-inch square or 9-inch round baking dish. Sprinkle ½ cup sugar on top. Bake for 10 minutes.

While the apples are baking, make the crumble topping. Mix the flour, remaining ½ cup sugar, oats, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl. Cut the margarine into small pieces and mash it into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter, a fork, or your fingers. The mixture will be crumbly and coarse.

When the first 10 minutes of baking are over, spread/sprinkle the topping over the apples. Bake (still at 350) for another 30 – 35 minutes, or until the topping is golden.

Ice Cream

2 cups soy creamer (or any non-dairy milk)
1 cups soy milk (or any non-dairy milk)
¾ cup sugar
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
dash nutmeg
2 tablespoons arrowroot
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup Annie's apple crumble, with the apple bit kind of chopped a little so it'll mix in easier

Mix ¼ cup of soy milk with the 2 tablespoons of arrowroot and set aside.

Mix the soy creamer, soy milk, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a saucepan. When the mixture has just started to boil, take off the heat and stir in the arrowroot slurry. This should immediately cause the liquid to thicken (not a lot, but a noticeable amount; it will be thicker when it cools).

Stir in vanilla extract.

Set the ice cream mixture aside to cool. Meanwhile, take your apple crumble--be sure it's not hot anymore!--and scoop out about 1 cup. If there are any large apple slices, cut them up a little so they will mix more easily into the ice cream. Break up the crumble topping if it's baked into a solid mass. The goal will be to spread the crumble bits throughout your ice cream base.

Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. Add the apple crumble in the last 5 minutes of freezing.

Monday, December 08, 2008

All I Want for Christmas

Cross-posted from my other blog:

One of the most challenging aspects of being sick has been that I can't do all--or even a fraction--of the things I used to do. Some things I miss are small, like burlesque dance classes or trying new cookie recipes. Other things are much larger, and the one thing I most want to do again is leaflet for Vegan Outreach.

I'm an activist. But the key component there is "active." And I just can't be active the way I want to be. Back in 2003, when I realized that my calling was animal rights activism, I had this light bulb moment--this is what I'm supposed to do during my time on this planet. It was a moment of absolute clarity of purpose.

When I started volunteering for Vegan Outreach, I found what I believe to be the single most effective way to channel my activist energy. I leafleted schools in Arizona, and when we moved to California, I jumped in with both feet. I leafleted across the Bay Area, and I'd go on road trips to Southern California to leaflet schools in San Diego and Orange County. All told, I've handed out over 54,000 Vegan Outreach booklets on college campuses.

In the past year, I've handed out zero booklets. I've simply been too sick get out into the field. Which is where I know I belong. But I can't do it right now.

Which is where you come in. Yes, you, dear reader! Because Vegan Outreach doesn't run on energy alone. We've got the most amazing staff and group of volunteers, and our outreach efforts have been massively successful. In the fall semester of 2008, we reached over 130,000 more students than we did in the spring semester. And while we couldn't do this without the energy of our members, we also couldn't do it without financial support.

As you know, I'm on the VO board of directors, and I get the financial reports. I can tell you that we don't waste money. Our paid staff members take exceedingly modest salaries, so that the money donated can be used for our stated purpose: to decrease suffering.

Every Christmas Nick and I ask for donations to Vegan Outreach, so this request is not going to come as a surprise. However, this year I'd like to ask you VERY LOUDLY. Because I've been sick, I haven't been able to contribute my physical energy to Vegan Outreach. I honestly cannot express how frustrating (and depressing) this has been. So if I could have one magic wish this Christmas, it would be to regain my full health so that I could jump back into leafleting and making this world a better place, one little piece at a time. But I'm not going to be well by Christmas. I've got months, if not years, ahead of me.

So I'm asking that, rather than purchasing a gift for me, you make a donation to Vegan Outreach in my honor. Vegan Outreach runs on energy and generosity. You can't give me energy, but you can direct your generosity. Any money you would spend on a gift for me, no matter how small, I would prefer be given to Vegan Outreach. Nothing could touch me more, especially this year.

You can donate securely online at We currently have a matching donation challenge, so your donation will be doubled--so remember to mark your donation for the matching challenge in the "comments" section of the donation form!