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The Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays. I think it’s because it’s a no pressure holiday. There are no gifts, no elaborate decorations or meals to be planned. The day is all about celebrating America, being with family and friends, and enjoying summer weather and food.

My favorite Independence Day activity is going to our local small-town parade. The parade brings the community together with music, horses, and fire trucks. Local establishments, rotary clubs, and dance studios join into the action, throwing candy at the spectators. We always come home with so much candy after that parade!

Usually the parade finishes late morning and we come home and heat up the grill. Sometimes it’s just the three of us, and sometimes we bring all the neighbors together for a fun block party. Those are the best years!

When I start thinking about dessert for the Fourth, of course I think in Red, White, and Blue. But the first thing that comes to mind is apple pie. Doesn’t apple pie on the Fourth of July just scream American? I love whipping up a crumble or a pie for any outdoor gathering. There’s no need to refrigerate it and everyone loves an apple crumble!

This apple crumble is derived from my famous apple pie. The main thing that makes my apple desserts so good is that my apples are perfectly cooked. I can’t stand a rubbery apple - so I pre-cook them just a little. It’s my little secret that I’m sharing with you. By boiling them before cooking them in your pie or crumble, it makes them just the right texture!

The crumble has a secret ingredient: KING'S HAWAIIAN® Original Hawaiian Sweet Rolls. I crumbled them using a food processor and then added all the usual crumble toppings: sugar, flour, butter, and oats. Spread out over the apples, this is one delicious dessert!

And of course, for the Fourth, you need your desserts to be patriotic! I added some red and blue sprinkles to my crumble so it would scream Independence Day!

What do you do on the Fourth of July? How do you bring your people together to celebrate America?

Patriotic Apple Crumble

  • 6 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced small
  • 4 KING'S HAWAIIAN Original Hawaiian Sweet Rolls
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 8 tablespoons cold butter, diced
  • 1/2 cup red and blue sprinkles
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Step 1    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Get out a cookie sheet to cook your crumble on, in case of spillage.

Step 2    Place apples in a medium saucepan that has been filled with about 2 inches of water. Cook, over medium heat, just until the liquid boils and the apples just start to soften, about 8 minutes. Drain well and place in a 9” pie plate.

Step 3    While the apples are cooking, pulse the Hawaiian Sweet Rolls in a food processor until finely ground. Add oats, sugar, and flour and pulse once or twice to stir. Add butter and run the processor until the crumble starts to come together. There will be some thick chunks and some crumbs, but all the butter is incorporated.

Step 4  Place crumble in a bowl and stir in sprinkles.

Step 5   Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon over the top of the apples in the pie plate. Carefully pour the crumble evenly over the apples and press down to fit. The plate will be very full!

Step 6     Place on a cookie sheet and bake about 24-26 minutes, or until the crumble starts to brown on top. Let cool slightly before eating.

Step 7    Serve warm topped with whipped cream or ice cream!