Shanika Graham-White’s Fall Apple Crostini

published Nov 2, 2021
Fall Apple Crostini Recipe

The epitome of savory and sweet, this lightly crisp French bread is topped with vegan "cream cheese" made from cashews, sautéed spiced apples, and a pinch of thyme.

Serves10 to 12

Makesabout 26

Prep10 minutes

Cook25 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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plate of apple crostini on a thanksgiving table. the tablecloth is green and white with a floral pattern/ There is a small bouquet of sage and rosemary in a little glass bottle, and a mini white pumpkin on the table. 2 glasses of red wine are in the photo
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk; Prop Styling: Andie McMahon

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When it comes to these fall apple crostini, the word “delicious” is an understatement. This simple-in-method, yet complex-in-flavor recipe is the perfect little bite for any occasion or gathering — especially during the autumn season. Lightly crisp sliced French bread is topped with vegan cashew cream cheese, sautéed spiced apples, and a pinch of thyme. It’s the epitome of savory and sweet.

Crostini recipes are typically topped with a cheese spread (whether goat cheese, cream cheese, burrata, etc.), but I chose to make my go-to vegan cream cheese. All it takes is a quick blend in the blender to make this appetizer entirely dairy-free.

Can I Make These Ahead of Time?

Absolutely! You can always prep the ingredients separately and store them: Make your vegan cream cheese and put in an airtight container in the fridge, then peel and slice your apples and add lemon juice (to prevent browning) along with spices for the perfect marination.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk; Prop Styling: Andie McMahon

What Toppings Can I Add?

Honestly, anything! The awesome thing about a crostini is that you can use whatever topping you’d like. Use mushrooms, tempeh, or seitan for an additional smoky flavor.

How Many of These Can I Serve?

Typically, at a gathering or event, I would aim to serve three to four of these to each person. Therefore, doubling or tripling the ingredients will help to best serve everyone, depending on the size of the crowd.

How to Prevent Them from Getting Soggy

If you’re not ready to eat them just yet, I always recommend saving the “wet” ingredients, such as the sautéed apples, until a few minutes before you’re ready to serve. This ensures that they are just as crisp as they started.

Fall Apple Crostini Recipe

The epitome of savory and sweet, this lightly crisp French bread is topped with vegan "cream cheese" made from cashews, sautéed spiced apples, and a pinch of thyme.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 25 minutes

Makes about 26

Serves 10 to 12

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the vegan cream cheese:

  • 1 cup

    raw cashews

  • 1/4 cup

    water

  • 2 tablespoons

    freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon

    grapeseed oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    apple cider vinegar

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

For the crostini

  • 1

    long French baguette

  • 1/4 cup

    salted vegan butter

  • Garnish options: fresh thyme leaves, olive oil, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper

For the sautéed spiced apples:

  • 3

    medium Granny smith apples

  • 2 tablespoons

    salted vegan butter

  • 3 tablespoons

    coarse brown sugar, such as Sugar in the Raw, or 1/4 cup packed regular light or dark brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon

    ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    ground nutmeg

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    ground allspice

  • Kosher salt

Instructions

Make the vegan cream cheese:

  1. Place 1 cup raw cashews in a medium bowl or measuring cup and enough cold water to cover by 1-inch. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature overnight. (Alternatively, soak the cashews in just-boiled water for 3 to 4 hours instead.)

  2. Drain and rinse the cashews. Place the cashews, 1/4 cup water, 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil, 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt in a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. If needed, blend in more water 1 tablespoon at a time until spreadable.

Make the crostini:

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 425ºF.

  2. Cut 1 long baguette crosswise into 3/4-inch-thick rounds. Place on the baking sheet in a single layer. Melt 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) vegan butter in the microwave or on the stovetop and brush onto the rounds.

  3. Bake until golden-brown and crisp, 10 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, make the sautéed apples.

Make the sautéed spiced apples:

  1. Peel, core, and dice 3 medium Granny Smith apples (about 5 cups).

  2. Melt 2 tablespoons salted vegan butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 3 tablespoons coarse brown sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice, and a pinch of kosher salt. Stir until well-combined and cook until bubbly.

  3. Add the apples and toss until well-coated. Cook until the apples are tender and the sauce is thickened, 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool to warm.

Assemble the crostini:

  1. When the bread is toasted, remove from the oven and let cool for 1 to 2 minutes.

  2. Generously spread the vegan cream cheese onto each slice (about 1 tablespoon each). Top with the sautéed apples (about 1 tablespoon each). Garnish with fresh thyme leaves, a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and black pepper if desired.

Recipe Notes

Storage: The crostini toppings can be refrigerated in separate airtight containers for up to 2 days.