Gluten Free Apple Crisp.

Here’s a recipe for warm, gooey, brown sugar oat topped flourless apple crisp. This gluten free dessert exceeded my expectations; it’s AMAZING. And simple.

Philadelphia readers: I will be signing cookbooks at Fante’s Kitchen Shop tomorrow, Saturday November 15th 11am-1pm. I would love to meet you! Bring your copy (there will be some sold there) and come say hi, shop, and eat. I’ll have treats. Thank you so much for your support!

This Gluten Free Apple Crisp exceeded my expectations; it's AMAZING. And simple!

I’ve built up a ton of self control around desserts. I’ve had to with this type of job. Otherwise I’d be the size of a blimp with a mouthful of cavities waddling around the kitchen. I can make a batch of cookies and bring them all but one to a friend. Savoring just that one cookie. I think this is a gift? My mom’s the same way.

Note: I am absolutely not like this when it comes to honey wheat pretzels, buffalo chicken dip, CHEESE, guacamole, and sweet potato fries.

This Gluten Free Apple Crisp exceeded my expectations; it's AMAZING. And simple!

However, things took a major turn when I tasted this gluten free apple crisp recipe. After the first bite of this cinnamon apple gooey goodness, all my self control flew out the window. One taste turned into 3 tastes, which turned into a small bowl, then a big bowl. I actually had to tell myself, out loud, to stop. By the way, this nonsense and talking to myself happened at 9:30 in the morning after I ate breakfast.

This recipe is blissfully good. And not just “really good for a gluten free recipe.” It’s just plain REALLY GOOD. I did not expect it to be this tasty! From the nutty brown sugar oat topping to the soft and gooey apples… oh, and the pomegranate! The pops of fresh pomegranate contrasting with the warm, soulful goodness underneath is perfection.

I decided to make this apple crisp completely gluten free. I don’t have a gluten sensitivity, but I know plenty of you are intolerant or are choosing to live a gluten free lifestyle. And I want to deliver something that we can ALL enjoy this holiday season. The good news is that there are no strange, weird, crazy, unpronounceable, costly gluten free ingredients in this recipe. It’s naturally gluten free, provided your oats are certified GF.

Gluten Free Apple Crisp Recipe by sallysbakingaddiction.com

The filling is a mix of your favorite apples. Tart granny smith and a sweeter variety like pink lady, honeycrisp, braeburn, etc. You’ll need 4 large apples, peeled and chopped. I chopped some apple pieces larger than others. Varied shapes and sizes make the filling a little more interesting; I’m a texture freak. Shower the apples with some cornstarch, cinnamon, sugar, pure maple syrup, lemon juice, and some vanilla.

For the topping? Oh that’s easy. Oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, butter, and almond meal. For anyone not familiar with almond meal, don’t freak out. Almond meal is just ground almonds– ground almonds before reaching the stage of almond butter. Almond meal takes the place of flour in the topping. Please note that I do not typically recommend replacing flour with almond meal in my recipes, especially those calling for more than 1/4 cup flour.

Almond meal (also known as almond flour, if using blanched almonds and grinding a little more fine) is so easy to make at home; cheaper than buying pre-made almond meal or almond flour, trust me.  It’s best to start with sliced or slivered almonds since they are already finely cut. Pulse them in a food processor until the almonds are pulverized. To avoid the almonds grinding into an oily almond butter due to the processor’s heat, pulse them with with 2 Tablespoons oats. I’ll note that in the recipe below.

The almond meal will be a little gritty and that’s ok for this apple crisp recipe. If you prefer a finer consistency, you can sift the homemade almond meal a few times to rid any larger pieces of almond. I don’t find that necessary here.

DIY Almond Meal sallysbakingaddiction.com

{here is the food processor I own.}

Top the apples with your nutty, crumbly filling and bake. Um, that’s about it. I’m not kidding; this gluten free apple crisp is so simple. Once brown, bubbly, and smelling mind-boggling fantastic, the crisp is done. The soft, yet still a bit firm-ish apples will be swimming in sugared cinnamon goodness and the buttery almond oat topping will be nice and toasty. This dish has so much texture and flavor.

Top with lil’ pom arils (or not– those things are so expensive and I have no clue how to peel a pomegranate without going insane and/or getting red everywhere) and vanilla ice cream. The ice cream is not optional. Common, you know you love ice cream and apple crisp together. It gets all melty on top of the warm crisp. H-E-A-V-E-N.

Gluten Free Apple Cinnamon Crisp Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

PS: I do not consider this dessert “healthy.” While there is no flour, there is still sugar and butter. I have never tested this recipe with any alternatives to these two ingredients and do not have suggestions besides maybe coconut oil for the butter? I think that would be tasty.

Let me know if you try it! Time for serving #3. I really cannot stop eating this.

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make. 

Gluten Free Apple Crisp

Here's a recipe for warm, gooey, brown sugar oat topped flourless apple crisp. This gluten free dessert exceeded my expectations; it's AMAZING. And simple.

Ingredients:

Filling

  • 4 large apples, peeled, cored, and chopped1
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) pure maple syrup2
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Topping

  • 1/3 cup (65g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (65g) old-fashioned rolled oats (certified GF)
  • 1/2 cup (50g) almond meal3
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup (40g)unsalted butter, melted
  • optional: 2 Tablespoons sliced or slivered almonds
  • optional: vanilla ice cream (GF)
  • optional: pomegranate arils

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, toss all of the filling ingredients together. Make sure the apples are evenly coated. Spoon into a 9-inch pie dish, cake pan, or square baking pan. Set aside.
  3. For the topping, whisk the brown sugar, oats, and almond meal together. Make sure there aren't any huge chunks of brown sugar. Then, whisk in the cinnamon and salt. Once all combined, stir in the melted butter until combined. Sprinkle topping over the apples and finish with a few slivered or sliced almonds-- these extra almonds on top are optional.
  4. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the filing is bubbly, the apples are a little soft, and the topping is browned. If it looks like the topping is browning too quickly, cover the top loosely with aluminum foil. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Top with pomegranate arils and serve with vanilla ice cream. Cover leftovers and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  5. Make ahead tip: Follow steps 2 and 3 in the recipe then cover the crisp and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator then bake as directed.

Recipe Notes:

  1. You want about 5-6 cups chopped apple pieces. Use different varieties, such as 2 tart Granny Smiths and 2 apples of a sweeter variety like Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Braeburn, Fuji etc. I like to chop them in varying sizes. Some thin, some thicker. It helps the filling have a little more texture.
  2. Maple syrup gives so much flavor. And makes the apple filling extra juicy and gooey. Don't leave it out!
  3. You can use store-bought almond meal or almond flour, or you can make your own. Start with 1/2 cup of slivered or sliced almonds. Pulse them, along with 2 Tablespoons of the 3/4 cup oats called for in this recipe, in a food processor until a crumbly meal has formed. Do not run the food processor continuously; you may end up with almond butter. Little pulses are best. You will end up with around 1/2 cup almond meal.

Adapted from Mixed Berry Fruit Crisp in Sally's Baking Addiction Cookbook

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Here are more gluten free recipes.

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Here’s another recipe testing my self control recently. (chai cookies!)

Sally's Baking Addiction Chai Spice Cookies

This Gluten Free Apple Crisp exceeded my expectations; it's AMAZING. And simple!
The best fruit crisp I've had-- and it's gluten free! Apple Crisp recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

81 comments

  1. Sally I have never had an apple crisp before. I just made this and it is in the top 5 desserts I have ever had!

  2. This looks amazing, Sally! As for pomegranates, check out this video about how to de-seed them. Works perfect every time! 🙂 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iHbSzM63Hs

  3. Beautiful! I love the idea of a flourless topping, so versatile. Thanks Sally!!

  4. Beautiful apple crisp Sally!

  5. I made a double batch of this today…so good! I did make a few minor substitutions to up the health benefits, added 2 Tbsps of fresh ground flax seed, 4 for a double batch (which upped the nuttiness) and subbed Coconut Palm sugar for both the sugars. Wonderful flavor and texture, thanks for a great Gluten Free recipie!

  6. What a festive holiday dessert. Gorgeous too!

  7. I am making this in a 6×13 pan and it seems like there isn’t enough topping to cover. Can I make a double batch of topping next time or do I need to use a more square pan?

  8. Can this be prepared or baked a day ahead of time?

    • You may bake it 1 day ahead of time, cover tightly once it cools, and refrigerate. Warm it up for 15 mins at 300 before serving.

  9. Oh, self-control… I used to have it back when I first started blogging, but I need to go find it again. Especially during the holiday season. So many cookies and cupcakes and pies and everything to bake! And fruit crisps are the worst because I feel like I’m getting a full serving of fruit in every piece, so… It’s okay to eat 3! Oops. 😉

  10. Hello from Ontario! I just came across your recipe while googling for a Christmas dinner dessert that would be gf for my sister-in-law. My niece is allergic to almonds. Do you think that I could substitute walnuts? I usually add them to the topping when I make apple crisp since they pair so nicely with all the flavours and add extra crunch. But I don’t know about making them into a “flour”. Any thoughts? Thanks!

  11. Hi Where is the recipe!? I went to make this and the ingredient list and recipe is nowhere to be found!!!

    Ashley

  12. If you peel pomegranate in water it helps with not staining anything. Unfortunately there isn’t much to do about the tediousness of seeding a pomegranate.

  13. Hi Sally how many peoples does your apples crisp serve?thank you

  14. Looks good. But is there anyway to make this if you can’t have GF oats? I can’t do oats 🙁

  15. Oats are not reliably gluten free. Is there an alternative?

    • I am allergic to oats.  Is there a recipe for the apple crisp not using oats?  I like the filling part though.  

  16. My 4-year old and I just made this (we used all Gala apples, and a little less sugar, brown sugar and maple syrup to compensate) and while we had a blast making it together, it wasn’t a hit when it came time to eat it. The vanilla was really, really overwhelming – almost grimace-inducing. I’d use a couple of drops of vanilla next time in place of a full teaspoon. Unless our vanilla is some kind of super vanilla?

  17. Hi Sally,

    I made this over the weekend and it was really delicious.  I used only half of the granulated sugar and didn’t add any of the “optional” ingredients since I didn’t have them on hand.  As a Vermont girl, I love an excuse to put maple syrup in anything and this was a great way to add it!  Thanks for the recipe; I will make this again.

    Best,
    Rachel

  18. Sally, you silly silly woman!!!  “Cover leftovers and store in refrigerator”  . . . .  What leftovers?   hahahaha

  19. Made this for Thanksgiving and served with homemade coconut ice cream. Was perfection! Thank you for sharing.

  20. I don’t know if this has been mentioned, but not all vanilla extract is gluten free. Be sure to look at the label. I use xylitol as a sweetener. It’s a substitute for sugar that’s found in plants. I don’t like using artificial sweeteners but that’s certainly an option. I think coconut oil is a good choice for a butter substitute as it’s thicker than margarine and it won’t effect the taste. Just my two cents. Peace.

  21. Thank you so much for the recipe.  I altered it only for my dietary needs and it turned out great. For both sugars I used coconut sugar; I used arrowroot powder instead of cornstarch; and instead of butter I used melted coconut oil.  Mine had to bake longer only because I used more apples.  I had already sliced them up before finding your recipe so there were more…but they were small so it was probably close (and I used Honeycrisp).  Again, thanks so much!!!

  22. OMG….this dish was heavenly. Thank you so much for creating this mouth watering desert.
    I substituted dried cranberries for our Thanksgiving dinner, and it was a huge hit. We topped it with salted carmel ice cream!!!!!!!!! 

  23. My mom has Celiac, and trying to find a dessert that she loves is hard. (She misses her precious gluten SO MUCH!). I made this for her using pears instead of apples (due to her preference), and she loved it so much that she’s asked me to make it again for her for Christmas. I followed the instructions above exactly (aside from changing the fruit from apple to pear) and I made no other substitutions or changes. She was in HEAVEN to have a “real dessert that didn’t taste like cardboard” for once. Thank you for the wonderful recipe!!! (p.s., YES, make your own Almond Flour, that stuff is EXPENSIVE! Holy cow).

    • I’m so glad to read this Alicia! I’ve tried it with pear too. It’s amazing. Merry Christmas!

    • Great recipe!  Trader Joe’s sells an excellent and very reasonable almond flour in their nut section!  Pomegranites hardvto find right now, so Craisins work well instead ( and are pretty!)

  24. Hallo Sally, I discovered your website recently and I must say:”Well Done!” I love your Cookies recipies and never thought about have them for breakfast! A delicious idea!
    Now I tried your Gluten Free Apple crisp. Although I do not have to eat Gluten Free I did enjoy it so much! 
    Occasionally I have to find out the German meaning of some of the ingrediences but I really love your recipies .
    Greetings from Germany,
    Renate

  25. Never thought about using pomegranate arils on an apple crisp, but will be trying it when my crisp is out of the oven. It really is easy to de-seed a whole pomegranate – and not too messy. I cut part way through the fruit around the “equator” and use the knife to pry the halves apart. You could just cut through it completely, but that cuts through many seeds and releases more juice. Put the half on the palm of your cupped hand and hold it over a bowl. “Spank” the fruit with a wooden spoon, knife handle or anything that has some weight to it and is easy to tap it with. The arils will fall out into the palm of your hand and into the bowl. As they fall out, it will become softer and you can help the process by flexing the shell or turning it over and stretching it once or twice to help release the seeds. you can see the technique at http://lifehacker.com/deseed-a-pomegranate-in-10-seconds-using-a-wooden-spoon-5895852

  26. Great apple crisp, a little too sweet. In the future I will cut sugar and syrup ti 1/4 cdup.

  27. I made this using plain old canola oil rather than butter because it’s more heart healthy, and it’s still so delicious!!!!! 

  28. You can make this recipe dairy free by replacing the butter with margarine. I just made a little taster and a whole 9×13 pan (doubled the recipe) and holy cow is it good! I can’t wait to serve it at Rosh Hashanah dinner!

  29. This recipie is amazing for me with the addition of some raw cranberries in with the apples and less sugar.  I made it for a family event and it was the best dessert there! 

  30. I made this yesterday and added 3/4 cup fresh cranberries. It was delicious. Thank you very much for sharing.

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