While kids in the States may have enjoyed a few extra hours of sleep this morning thanks to Columbus, kids in Canada this evening are giving thanks with their families around the dinner table in celebration of Canadian Thanksgiving.
Canadian Thanksgiving annually falls on the second Monday of October and is a celebration of the harvest and other blessings of the past year. October has long been a month of fall festivals throughout Europe throughout the past so maybe that’s why Canadians celebrate a month earlier than Americans, or perhaps it’s because Canada is farther north and therefore the harvest comes earlier so they celebrate it earlier.
My entire family is Canadian and still reside in Canada, with the exception of my immediate family, and most of them have already gotten snow a few times since the beginning of October. The harvest really does come earlier up north.
Canadian Thanksgiving menus are more or less the same as those in the States—turkey, baked ham, stuffing, potatoes, gravy (of course!), corn, etc. However having lived in both countries, I feel like more regional and heritage dishes are incorporated into the festivities…well at least in my family’s festivities.
But the similarities don’t just stop at the reason for the season and menus, The Canadian Football League (CFL) hosts a televised Thanksgiving Day Classic doubleheader. And if you’re not a CFL fan, it is October after all which means regular season NHL hockey is back and chances are there are a couple games happening as well.
Having moved several times and to several locations allows LeBraun and I to set Thanksgiving menus of our own, incorporating regional and heritage dishes that a special to us as a couple. We get to create a menu that means more to us than just going with what’s expected.
This Canadian Thanksgiving we added a little Southern tradition to the menu in the form of Baked Cinnamon Apples!
If you’re unfamiliar, Baked Cinnamon Apples are exactly what they sound like. Essentially apple crisp without the crisp.
Baked Cinnamon Apples are a Southern comfort food staple and can be found at any meat & three.
Oh by the way did I mention that this recipe is vegan AND gluten free? Well it is! Bonus!
The key to great Baked Cinnamon Apples is keeping it simple. Each bite should be tart, sweet, and spiced! The apples should be baked to be tender to the bite yet firm enough for a bit of crunch.
Since we’re keeping it simple, the recipe is quick and easy to prepare. Plus your house will smell of all the goodness of fall flavors as the sugar caramelizes over the apple slices.
I especially love making this from mid-September to early November, aka apple picking season!
Do you have any special dishes you love to prepare for Thanksgiving that are out of the ordinary?
Gluten-Free, Vegan Baked Cinnamon Apples
- 6 medium-large sweeter apples (like Honeycrisp apples)
- 2 medium tart apples (like Granny Smith apples)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- 3 tbsp apple juice
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ginger, freshly grated
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- Pinch of sea salt
- So Delicious Dairy Free Vanilla Bean ice cream, or ice cream of choice (optional, but HIGHLY recommended!)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Peel and core apples, slicing thinly and as consistently as possible (for more even cooking).
- Add apple slices to 9x13-inch baking dish and toss with lemon juice, cornstarch, apple juice, sugar, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg until well distributed and coated.
- Loosely cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes (n1).
- Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until the apples are tender enough to pierced with a fork, and still enough structure that they haven’t become mushy. At this point they should be slightly caramelized as well.
- Allow to rest a few minutes before serving so you don’t burn the roof of your mouth (trust me, no one enjoys that).
- Scoop over ice cream and enjoy immediately.
- Store any remains in the fridge, reheating to enjoy later.
n1. Cooling time will vary based on type of apples used and thickness of apple slices.