Gluten-Free and Vegan Apple Crisp

Gluten-Free, Corn-Free, Soy-Free, Vegan

Cost of groceries: $          Time: 1hr, including baking time

I thought about my first post for this blog for a long time, and while I had many ideas (you’ll see all of them in later posts, I promise!), the one that makes the most sense is a recipe I have actually been making for years. A dish that I started making before I knew of most of my allergies, and one that reminds me of an old family recipe.

One of my favorite desserts when I was younger was Streuselkuchen, a simple German sheet cake made with quark (a thick yogurt now available in many grocery stores here in the US also), apples, and a crumble topping. The best part of this cake was always getting one of the large un-baked crumbles to eat while my mom was making the cake (yes, I still lick the spoon today). While I have tried recreating this cake to be safe for my allergies, I have not managed to do it justice yet. I have, however, managed to make a great apple crisp that is both simple to make, and fulfills the need for a crumbly, apple-y dessert.

The beauty of simple recipes like this is that because I usually have all the required ingredients on hand, I can go from wanting dessert (or an afternoon snack), to eating this apple crisp within an hour.

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I start by slicing the apples (and sometimes pears) into roughly 1-inch chunks. I generally don’t peel the apples, I like the texture difference of the skin, and the additional nutrients are a nice bonus.

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Rather than dirtying an extra bowl, I toss the apples with a little lemon juice into the baking dish as I chop them. Once chopped, I add a bit of sugar and cinnamon, toss again, and let them sit while I make the crumble.

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In a medium to large bowl, start with the dry ingredients, mix, and add the coconut oil, gluten-free oats, and walnuts and mix/knead until a loose crumble forms. I tend to want my apple crisp to be heavy on the crumble to apple ratio, so I have adjusted this recipe to account for that.

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Spread the crumble over the apples, making sure to cover the surface while leaving some pieces larger and breaking others into smaller chunks.

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I love serving this apple crisp with ice cream (there are many great vegan options available, but that will be a post for another time) or some whipped coconut cream. One of my favorite staple ingredients that I always have on hand is Coconut Cream from Trader Joe’s. It’s incredibly versatile for cooking and baking, and makes great vegan whipped cream. I usually try to keep a few cans in my fridge and cupboard at all times. Certain brands of canned coconut milk can also be made into whipped cream, while I’m no expert, a little experimenting and research has led me to the conclusion that cans without guar gum should work.

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The refrigerated coconut cream turns solid, but is easily whipped with a hand mixer. I add a little maple syrup and vanilla extract and whip for a few minutes, until the whipped cream holds its shape. It should look much like regular whipped cream.

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Ingredients:

2 ½ cups apples (4-6 medium sized ones, or add other fruit*)

Juice from ½ lemon

3 Tbsp white sugar**

½ tsp cinnamon

Crumble:

1 cup gluten-free flour (I’ve had good results with Bob’s Red Mill Baking 1-to-1, but your favorite mix should work just fine)

½ cup white sugar**

½ cup brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp nutmeg

¼ tsp salt

12 Tbsp coconut oil

2/3 cup gluten-free rolled oats

2/3 cup walnuts*** (lightly chopped)

Whipped Coconut Cream:

1 can of Trader Joe’s coconut cream

1 Tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

 

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Chop apples into 1 inch chunks, add to 9”x13” baking dish, toss with lemon juice, 3 tbsp white sugar and ½ tsp cinnamon.
  3. In medium-sized bowl mix dry ingredients for crumble.
  4. Add room temperature coconut oil and knead with hands until mixture just comes together (crumbles will vary in size, this is fine).
  5. Add oats and walnuts and incorporate by hand.
  6. Toss apples again, then spread crumble over top, making sure to cover entirely.
  7. Bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes until apple mixture is bubbling and crumble top is slightly browned.
  8. While the crisp is baking, prepare the whipped coconut cream.
  9. In a medium-sized bowl whip coconut cream, maple syrup, and vanilla extract until it holds its shape, 2 to 3 minutes. I use my hand mixer with the whip attachment, but this should work just fine in a stand mixer or by hand (it will just require a bit more elbow grease this way).
  10. Assemble warm apple crisp with a dollop of whipped coconut cream and enjoy!

 

Adjustments:

*Add other fruit: peaches, nectarines, pears: all of these work well in addition to or instead of apples! Dried cranberries or raisins would also be a delicious addition.

**I have made this with all brown sugar before, and natural sugar substitutes should work well also, just keep in mind that some sugars have stronger flavors, which may affect the outcome and amounts may need to be adjusted a bit.

***Feel free to substitute other nuts if you have allergies to walnuts: almonds, pecans, and hazelnuts (all chopped lightly) would be delicious!

 

 

 

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