Gluten-free apple crisp has a layer of baked apples mixed with a brown butter sauce and a topping of streusel with oats. It is sweet, crisp, and super delish, making the perfect easy dessert for fall. Serve warm topped with ice cream and a drizzle of dulce de leche or caramel. You can easily prepare it with regular flour for an old-fashioned apple crisp. Watch our video!
It’s fall – a.k.a the baking season!
You can find a larger variety of apples in grocery stores, especially the baking types. This makes the perfect excuse to enjoy them in different desserts (without feeling guilty).
A favorite at my household is apple crisp.
Come see why!
Table of Contents
- 1 Reasons to make this apple crisp recipe
- 2 Ingredients and Substitutions
- 3 How to Make Gluten-Free Apple Crisp
- 4 BEST APPLES FOR BAKING
- 5 Do I have to peel apples for making easy apple crisp?
- 6 MAKING CRUMBLE TOPPING FOR APPLE CRISP WITH OATS
- 7 Can you make this a dairy-free apple crisp?
- 8 Difference between crisp and crumble
- 9 Is this a Vegan Apple Crisp?
- 10 Storage
- 11 More apple recipes to enjoy:
- 12 Gluten-Free Apple Crisp
Reasons to make this apple crisp recipe
- Enjoy one or more varieties of apples in a single dessert: I love to mix tart and sweet apples in my apple crisp for a balanced dessert.
- It is quick and easy to put together
- Uses staple ingredients
- Super delicious
- Contrasting textures (tender apples and crisp topping)
- Gluten-free (perfect for those with celiac disease)
- It can be dairy-free and also vegan!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Apples – you can use one or more types of baking apples that are firmer such as Granny Smith apples (tart flavor) and Gala (mildly sweet).
- Sugar – I used 2 types: granulated and brown sugar. You can use maple syrup or coconut sugar for a vegan version.
- Flour – To make this gluten-free apple crisp, I used gluten-free all-purpose flour but if you are not celiac, you can use regular all-purpose flour. The ratio is 1:1.
- Lemon Juice: we used a small amount to prevent the apples from turning brown after peeling. In addition, we soak the apples in water as we peel and slice them. The lemon juice won’t add much to the taste of this apple crumble with oats.
- Gluten-free Oats: For a gluten-free dessert, make sure your oats are certified gluten-free unless you are not celiac and prefer regular old-fashioned oats.
- Butter – I used unsalted butter, but if you are lactose intolerant or vegan, pick your favorite non-dairy butter or coconut oil.
- Warm Spices – I added cinnamon and nutmeg, but you can use just cinnamon, add another spice such as ground cloves, or replace it with apple pie spice (blend).
- Vanilla extract – Although this is not essential, it adds extra flavor to our apple crisp with oats.
- Salt – you can omit it, but it enhances the sweetness of the caramelized apples.
How to Make Gluten-Free Apple Crisp
- Preheat oven to 350° F (180° C). Grease a large cast-iron skillet or baking dish and reserve.
- Prepare the apple filling: In a large bowl, add sliced apples, granulated sugar, 1 ¾ teaspoon of the cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon juice. Toss well to combine and set aside. SEE PIC. 1
- In a medium bowl, whisk together 4 tablespoon melted butter, ¼ cup of flour, water, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and ¼ cup brown sugar until homogeneous and smooth. Mix mixture with the apples and transfer to the prepared baking dish. SEE PIC. 2
- Prepare the topping mixture: In a separate mixing bowl, mix with your hands 1 cup brown sugar, oats, ¾ cup flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, a pinch of salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla (optional), and ½ cup diced cold butter until the mixture resembles pea-sized crumbs. SEE PIC. 3 Alternatively, you can use a pastry cutter.
- Evenly spread topping over apples. SEE PIC. 4 Bake for 40-50 minutes, until golden brown and bubbly. SEE PIC. 5
- Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel or warm dulce de leche. Enjoy! SEE PIC. 6
BEST APPLES FOR BAKING
There are many apple varieties in the United States.
The best type of apples for our apple crisp recipe are:
- Honey Crisp
- Granny Smith
- Pink Lady
- Golden Delicious
- Northern Spy
- Red Delicious
Some of those listed above are tart apples, while others are sweet. You can choose a single variety or mix it with another one.
When making baked apple desserts, the most important thing is to avoid soft apples that get mushy and break apart after baking.
Do I have to peel apples for making easy apple crisp?
Although it is not a requirement, I prefer mine peeled. I find that the peel doesn’t soften as much as the flesh of the apples after baking. It adds a layer of roughness that I don’t care for.
I enjoy more the contrast of the baked softened apples with the crispness of the streusel with oats topping.
But one thing is for sure: if you choose to leave the skins on for any of the above apple varieties, wash the apples quite well in order to remove that wax layer most apples are covered with -- in order to look shiny and pretty in the grocery store.
MAKING CRUMBLE TOPPING FOR APPLE CRISP WITH OATS
There are 2 ways: you can either cut the cold butter into the flour/oats mixture or you can use melted butter.
Using cold butter demands more mixing and takes more time, but you have more control over the size of the crumbly crisp topping as they hold together better.
To make the topping, we cut the cold butter into smaller pieces and mixed it with the flour, oats, and the other ingredients to make pieces the size of peas. But if you prefer, you can make larger crumbs because you are serving it as a layer for a large dessert.
You could also instead use almond flour for making the topping of our gluten-free apple crisp. The ratio is 1:1.
Can you make this a dairy-free apple crisp?
Yes, you can! For this, use dairy-free or plant-based butter instead of regular butter. Coconut oil also makes a great replacement for butter. The ratio is 1:1.
Difference between crisp and crumble
Although "crisp" and "crumble" are sometimes used as synonyms, given that both have a layer of baked fruit with a streusel topping, they are not the same.
A crisp has oats and will crisp up during baking, while a crumble has no oats and stays more dense and cakey.
In other words, crumble is crisp without oats.
Is this a Vegan Apple Crisp?
You can easily adapt our recipe to be vegan by using coconut oil or vegan butter instead of regular butter, and also replacing regular granulated sugar and brown sugar with certified vegan counterparts (or use coconut sugar).
Store apple crisp tightly covered (or in an airtight container) at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the fridge for up to 5 days.
More apple recipes to enjoy:
- Apple skillet cake
- Apple baked oatmeal
- Ruby Apple pie
- Apple cobbler
- Apple hand pies
- Tarte Tatin recipe
PIN & ENJOY!
Gluten-Free Apple Crisp
- Baking dish
For the apple filling:
- 6 apples peeled and sliced (Choose firmer apples that are ideal for baking such as Gala, Pink Lady, and Granny Smith). You can use one variety or a mix of tart and sweet apples.
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 4 tablespoon unsalted butter melted (To make it dairy-free, use the same measurement of coconut oil or dairy-free butter)
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour gluten-free. But if you want, you can use the same measurement of regular flour
- ⅓ cup water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
For the crumble topping with oats:
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- ¾ cup old fashioned oats gluten-free or the regular one
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour gluten-free or the same measurement for regular flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 8 tablespoon unsalted butter cold and diced (To make it dairy-free, use the same measurement of coconut oil or dairy-free butter)
- Pinch salt optional
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract optional
- Preheat oven to 350° F (180° C). Grease a large cast-iron skillet or baking dish and reserve.
- Prepare the apple filling: In a large bowl, add sliced apples, granulated sugar, 1 ¾ teaspoon of the cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon juice. Toss well to combine and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together 4 tablespoon melted butter, ¼ cup of flour, water, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and ¼ cup brown sugar until homogeneous and smooth. Mix mixture with the apples and transfer to the prepared baking dish.
- Prepare the topping mixture: In a separate mixing bowl, mix with your hands 1 cup brown sugar, oats, ¾ cup flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, a pinch of salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and ½ cup diced cold butter until the mixture resembles pea-sized crumbs. Alternatively, you can use a pastry cutter.
- Evenly spread topping over apples and bake for 40-50 minutes, until golden brown and bubbly.
- Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel or warm dulce de leche. Enjoy!
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