Easy, delicious and gluten-free, this Paleo Apple Crumble is the ultimate, fuss-free dessert. You’ll only need a few ingredients, a few minutes of easy prep work and around 45 minutes in the oven. It’s so tasty that you’d never guess it was grain-free, gluten-free, lactose-free and refined sugar-free.
This Apple Crumble recipe is an adaptation of Donna Hay’s classic version. As someone who can’t bake to save their soul, I truly love the simplicity of Donna Hay’s Classic Apple Crumble. With only a few modifications to the ingredients and measurements, you can make a truly delicious gluten-free apple crumble that also happens to be Paleo friendly.
What You Need for Gluten-Free Apple Crumble
- Cassava Flour: In the place of regular wheat flour, I use Cassava Flour. An all-purpose Gluten-Free flour blend would work as well, but cassava flour has the added benefit of being grain-free, making it a Paleo-friendly option.
- Maple Syrup or Honey: In the place of refined sugar, I use maple syrup or honey. In this recipe, you can substitute either for the other, or use a combination of the two. Measurements stay the same.
- Walnuts or Pecans: In the place of rolled oats, I use chopped and toasted walnuts. Feel free to substitute pecans or even slivered almonds if that’s preferred.
- Ghee: I replaced the butter with ghee, which is lactose-free and Paleo-friendly. I imagine coconut oil would work as well but it would likely impart some coconut flavour.
- Apples: I’ve made this Gluten-Free Apple Crumble with several different varieties of apples. Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Macintosh and a combination of the three. Most recently, I made it with Cosmic Crisp apples – bred from a cross between Honey Crisp and Enterprise apples. They’re juicy, sweet, bursting with flavour and, as their name implies, very crisp. Not only do they boast a great “shelf life”, but they also maintain their texture in baked desserts like this one.
Keep it Rustic
The beauty of this Gluten-Free Apple Crumble is just how forgiving it is. It’s great for any skill level and you don’t need to be a baker to make it delicious. Precise measurements are not as critical here as they are when making an apple pie. Feel free to make it as ‘rustic’ as you like. Have fun and get the kids involved.
Even if you do mess things up beyond repair, simply top the Paleo Apple Crumble with some scoops of your favourite vanilla ice cream (dairy-free or otherwise).
What is an Apple Crumble, Cobbler, or Crisp?
One thing I will confess to, is the confusion I have between crumbles, crisps and cobblers (not to mention Pandowdys, Bettys, Grunts and Slumps). After a deep dive into the dark web of baked desserts, I have emerged with only relative clarity. It seems they are all more or less the same but distinguished by their topping.
Cobblers have a dropped-biscuit or pie dough topping.
Crisps often contain a topping of sugar, butter, flour, nuts and oats. The oats are the ‘crisp’ part.
Crumbles, unlike crisps, rarely contain oats and instead rely on a streusel-like topping of butter, flour and sugar.
Since this Gluten-Free Apple Crumble is oat-free and grain-free, and indeed based on an authoritative crumble recipe, I feel fairly confident in titling it as such. Then again, what do I know?
Gluten-Free Apple Crumble - Paleo
For the Filling:
- 6 Medium Cosmic Crisp Apples peeled, cored, and diced - substitute Granny Smith, Macintosh or desired apple
- ½ cup all-natural maple syrup or honey
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp cinnamon powder
for the Crumble Topping:
- 1 cup cassava Flour
- ¼ cup all-natural maple syrup or honey
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1 cup walnuts toasted and roughly chopped
- ½ cup melted ghee
For the Filling:
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a large bowl, combine the apples, maple syrup, lemon juice and cinnamon. Toss to coat and transfer to an ovenproof casserole or pie dish.
For the Crumble Topping:
- In a large bowl, combine the cassava flour, nuts, maple syrup, cinnamon, and ghee. Toss until fully combined.
- Spoon the crumble overtop of the apple filling and transfer the skillet to the oven. Bake for 40–45 minutes, or until crumble is golden brown and the apples are bubbling.
- Serve immediately with dairy-free, vanilla ice-cream.