We need to talk about this apple crisp. It’s a revised version of a recipe that’s been on my site for a few years. Ironically, when I published this crisp three years ago, I had just attended two Friendsgivings over the weekend. That is exactly what I’m doing this weekend.
I’m already running late, I’m celebrating with the same good friends, and I’m sure to overdo it on the mashed potatoes and pie. Some things never change.
This apple crisp recipe is the best! It’s gooey on the inside, and tender but crisp on top. It’s made with wholesome ingredients, like old-fashioned oats, almond meal, pecans, honey, and of course, lots of apples. This is my favorite apple crisp recipe, and it just happens to be gluten free and healthier than the rest.
This crisp turned out great for me when I made it a few years ago, but I’ve heard that it didn’t turn out as well for some of you. This stuff keeps me up at night, so I’ve retested and tweaked this recipe, and it’s now better than ever.
How to Make the Best Apple Crisp
Apples take a long time to release their moisture, so my original crisp recipe was a little dry. To remedy this, I switched from using 1-inch chunks of apple to thinly sliced, which take less time to get juicy and cook through. I also added some liquid to the filling to the get the ball rolling, and reduced the amount of starch.
To ensure that the topping doesn’t get too crisp, you’re going to bake the apples for 20 minutes and then add the topping. This is actually pretty convenient, because it means that your crisp can start baking while you are still mixing together the topping.
That’s it! You’ve just made an apple dessert that rivals apple pie in flavor and comfort-food factor, but it’s so much easier.
Gluten-Free Apple Crisp
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 50 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
This wholesome, honey-sweetened apple crisp is covered in an irresistible oat, almond meal and pecan topping. This dessert is perfect for the holidays! This recipe yields about 8 modest servings.
2 ¼ pounds Granny Smith apples (about 5 large or 7 small), cored and sliced into ¼” thick wedges
⅓ cup honey or maple syrup
¼ cup water, or bourbon or brandy, or apple cider or apple juice (I like 2 tablespoons bourbon and 2 tablespoons water)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons arrowroot starch or 1 tablespoon cornstarch
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground allspice or nutmeg
Oat, almond meal and pecan topping
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats (use certified gluten-free oats for a gluten-free crisp)
- ½ cup firmly packed almond meal or almond flour
- ½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional but recommended)
- ⅓ cup lightly packed coconut sugar or brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- ¼ cup plain yogurt (Greek or regular)
Don’t forget vanilla ice cream, for serving!
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the sliced apples in a 9” square baking dish. In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together the honey and water until combined. Add the lemon juice, starch, cinnamon and allspice, and whisk to combine. Pour the mixture over the apples and toss to combine. Bake for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl, stir together the oats, almond meal, pecans, coconut sugar and salt. Mix in the melted butter and the yogurt. Stir until all of the flour is incorporated and the mixture is moistened throughout.
- Once the apples have baked for 20 minutes, give them a stir and redistribute them evenly in the baker. Dollop small spoonfuls of the oat mixture evenly over the filling (see photos, no need to pack it down). Return the baker to the oven and bake for 25 to 30 more minutes, until the filling is bubbling around the edges and the top is nice and golden.
- Let the crisp rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream, I insist. Leftovers keep well in the refrigerator, covered, for about 5 days.
Recipe adapted from my pear cranberry crisp.
Why buy organic? Apples are #4 on the Dirty Dozen list, meaning that conventionally grown apples are generally high in pesticide residues.
Make it nut free: To make this recipe nut free, omit the walnuts and use ¾ cup whole wheat flour and ¾ cup oats instead of the almond meal and oats specified above. It will no longer be gluten free. If you want to keep it gluten free, I suspect that you could replace the almond meal with certified gluten-free oat flour or gluten-free all-purpose flour.
Make it vegan: In the topping, use non-dairy yogurt and coconut oil in place of the butter. In the filling, use maple syrup instead of honey.
Make it dairy free: Use non-dairy yogurt and coconut oil in place of the butter.