This easy gluten-free apple crisp recipe is made with sliced apples and a crunchy and sweet gluten-free topping. It’s great served warm with vanilla ice cream.
Apple crisps are one the easiest gluten-free desserts to make. All the results will wow you every time. To make this recipe, start with the topping. This way it’s ready to sprinkle over the apple filing before the apples turn brown on you. The combination of gluten-free oats, melted butter, and brown sugar pairs perfectly with the apples.
Speaking of apples, use a variety of sweet and tart apples for a filling that flavorful but not too sweet or mushy.
What you need to make a gluten-free apple crisp.
An apple crisp is made up of two parts: the apple filling and a sweet, gluten-free oat topping. Here are the ingredients you’ll need.
- Apples. The best apple crisp starts with good apples. I’m particularly fond of a blend of granny smith apples honey crisp, and McIntosh. The granny smiths are tart and firm. The honey crisp brings a bright, sweetness while remaining pleasantly firm, and the McIntosh melts into an almost applesauce-like texture. The combination makes a delicious gluten-free apple crisp.
- Lemon. One fresh lemon adds a bit of freshness to the apples. If you don’t have a lemon on hand, omit it.
- Brown Sugar. There’s a little brown sugar in both the filling and the topping. If you prefer a less-sweet apple crisp, you can skip the sugar in the filling.
- Butter: Metled butter is stirred into the topping to give it body and richness. If you’re dairy-free, use a dairy-free butter replacement.
- Gluten-Free Flour. The gluten-free flour thickens the filling and helps hold the topping together.
- 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.
- Salt. A pinch of salt brings out the flavors in the filling and the topping.
- Nuts, optional: Some folks love their gluten-free apple crisp with a nutty crunch. You can add up to one cup of chopped nuts (almonds, walnuts, or pecans) if you’d like.
How to make a gluten-free apple crisp.
Step One: Turn on the oven and prepare your pan.
Before you start peeling apples and measuring ingredients, turn your oven on to 350℉. It’s also a good idea to butter your baking dish. This way, it’s ready after you make the filling.
Step Two: Make the Topping.
Whenever I make a fruit crisp, I always prepare the topping first—even though it goes on last. This way, the apples don’t sit around and turn brown while I make the topping. To make the topping, stir together the gluten-free oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. If you notice lumps of brown sugar, break them up with your fingers or a fork.
Add the melted butter and mix until the topping looks crumbly. If you’re adding nuts, add them now. Set the bowl aside until the filling is made. If you want to make the topping ahead, place it into a zip-top bag and refrigerate for up to one week.
Step Three: Make the Filling.
You need about five pounds of apples for this recipe. That’s usually seven large apples or about 10 cups of peeled, sliced apples. For the best texture, I like to slice some apples thin and chop others into thick chunks. Right after cutting the apples, stir them together with the lemon zest and juice, brown sugar, gluten-free flour, cinnamon, and salt. After all the apples are evenly coated, spread the filling evenly into the prepared baking dish.
One of the great things about making a gluten-free apple crisp is that you can add more filling. If you look at your pan and want more filling, add more.
Step Four: Top and Bake.
Sprinkle the topping evenly over the filling. Place the uncovered pan into the oven and bake until the filling bubbles. A pan of gluten-free apple crisp usually takes about an hour to bake. And those bubbles are important: the filling must come to a boil to thicken. If you don’t see a few bubbles, keep baking the crisp.
How to Serve a Gluten-Free Apple Crisp.
Gluten-free apple crisps taste best when served warm, not piping hot. Wait about 15 minutes after baking to serve the crisp. If you aren’t serving it right away, re-warm it in a 250℉ before serving.
Optional but Tasty Toppings
- Ice cream, vanilla or caramel flavors are especially nice.
- Whipped cream
- A drizzle of caramel sauce or maple syrup.
Gluten-Free Apple Crisp
This easy gluten-free apple crisp recipe is made with sliced apples and a crunchy and sweet gluten-free oat topping.
- 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, melted (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℉ (177 ℃). Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan with softened butter or nonstick cooking spray.
Prepare the Topping
Whisk together oats, gluten-free flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in melted butter with a wooden spoon until crumbly. Set aside.
Prepare the Filling
Stir together the apple slices, lemon zest and juice in a large bowl. 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 the filling bubbles, about 45 minutes. Remove the 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.
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