Classic gluten-free apple crisp. Made with sliced apples and a crunchy and sweet gluten-free topping. Great served warm with ice cream.
Why You’ll Love This Gluten-Free Apple Crisp
- Easy-to-make. This apple crisp tastes like an apple pie with none of the hard work.
- Crunchy topping. There’s something delightful about a nice crunchy topping sitting on warm, soft apples.
- Not-too-sweet. Some apple crisps are really sweet. Not this one! It uses a little brown sugar but doesn’t tip into overly sweet territory.
Gluten-Free Apple Crisp Ingredients
Apples: The best apple crisp starts with good apples. I like to use a combination of Granny Smith apples and Braeburn. The granny smith apples bring a tart flavor that goes well with the topping, while the Braeburn bake up juicy and a little sweet. (But they don’t get soggy.)
Lemon: The zest and juice of a fresh lemon adds a bit of freshness to the apples and also enhance their flavor.
Brown Sugar: There’s a little brown sugar in both the filling and the topping of this apple crisp. If you prefer a less-sweet apple crisp, you can skip the sugar in the filling.
Salt: A pinch of salt brings out the flavors of both the filling and the topping.
Gluten-Free Flour: You can use either a gluten-free flour blend or a gluten-free flour like white or brown rice flour, sorghum flour, or millet for the topping. The gluten-free flour thickens the filling and helps to give the topping a nice texture.
Gluten-Free Whole Oats: Gluten-free oats add a nice crunch to the topping. As always, be sure to use gluten-free oats. If you avoid oats, replace them with quinoa flakes.
Cinnamon: I keep the spice simple when it comes to apple crisp: I use ground cinnamon. However, if you prefer a blend of apple pie spices, like nutmeg, clove, and ginger, go ahead and use them.
Butter: Cold butter is cut into the topping to give it body and richness. If you’re dairy-free, use a dairy-free butter replacement.
Nuts, optional: Some folks love their gluten-free apple crisp with a nutty crunch. You can add up to one cup chopped nuts (almonds, walnuts, or pecans) if you’d like.
How to Make Gluten-Free Apple Crisp, the Basic Steps
- Preheat your oven and prep your pan. Before you begin, preheat your oven and butter your baking dish. This way, they are ready and waiting.
- Prep the Topping. I like to prep my topping before I make the filling. This way, after I slice the apples, I’m ready to top and bake.
- Prep the Filling. Peel and slice the apples. Then toss with the filling ingredients. Spoon into your prepared baking dish. That’s it.
- Top and Bake. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the filling and bake until the filling bubbles.
- Serve. Gluten-free apple crisp tastes best when served warm. You can serve it about 20 minutes after baking or re-warm it before serving. I love it with vanilla ice cream but, of course, this is totally optional.
Gluten-Free Apple Crisp: FAQs
Can I use almond flour?
You can! The texture of a gluten-free apple crisp made with almond flour instead of a gluten-free flour will be different because almond flour is very rich and doesn’t absorb liquid.
Can I use coconut flour?
I don’t recommend coconut flour in this recipe because of how it absorbs liquid.
Can I omit the oats?
You can. If you don’t want to use oats, you have two options: either replace them with gluten-free quinoa flakes or you can increase the gluten-free flour to 1 1/4 cups. Please note that gluten-free apple crisp made without oats resembles a gluten-free cobbler, more than a traditional crisp.
Gluten-Free Apple Crisp
- 1 cup old-fashioned whole oats (3 ½ ounces; 100 grams)
- ¾ cup gluten-free flour (4 ounces; 115 grams)
- ½ cup packed light or dark brown sugar (3 ¾ ounces; 110 grams)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup butter, cold and cut into 14 pieces (1 stick; 4 ounces; 115g)
- 5 pounds apples, cut into thick slices (about 7 to 8 large apples, 10 cups sliced.)
- Zest and juice of one lemon
- ¼ cup packed light or dark brown sugar, see note
- ¼ cup gluten-free flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350° F (177 °). Lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking pan with softened butter or nonstick cooking spray.
Prepare the topping: Whisk together oats, gluten-free flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter or your fingers until crumbly. Set aside.
Prepare the filling: Stir together the apple slices, lemon zest and juice. Add the brown sugar, gluten-free flour, cinnamon, and salt. Stir until all the apple slices are evenly coated.
Spread the apples into an even layer in the prepared pan. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the apple slices.
Bake until the apples are soft and filling bubbles, about 45 minutes. Remove pan from the oven. Allow apple crisp to cool for about 15 minutes before serving.
Store leftover apple crisp covered in the refrigerator for up to four days. Reheat before serving in the microwave on low heat for about 30 seconds.