There are very few things that can warm you up in fall as easily as apple crisp paired with a mug of hot apple cider. If you love everything about fall and winter flavors, this recipe is for you. This apple crisp is a unique version, using almond flour instead of traditional wheat flour. This results in a healthier, lower carb, gluten free apple crisp that tastes just as good (if not better) than the original.
Things I Love About Apple Crisp
While there are so many warming fall desserts to make, there are many reasons why to choose apple crisp:
- It’s well-loved so it’s a great dessert for dinner parties and/or family gatherings.
- The coupling of cool and hot foods is unmatched – serve it hot, with cool ice cream over top, drizzled with caramel.
- It’s easy to make and hard to mess up.
- It’s versatile – apples are in-season almost the entire year and the dish is loved for: end of summer, fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving, winter, Christmas, and more!
Why Almond Flour?
Almond is a great alternative to traditional all-purpose (wheat flour). It makes a great option for gluten free and low carb diets and is packed with nutrients (fiber, Vitamin E, magnesium) and nutritional benefits. It’s lower in overall carbs, but higher in fat, which aids in making baked goods moist and tender as well as provides a slightly sweet taste.
Tips for Making the Best Apple Crisp
- Use firmer (and a mix of) apple types intended for baking — such as Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Honeycrisp, Golden Delicious, and Cortland. Using a couple types/mixing your apple types tends to provide a more robust range of flavor and textures.
- Properly prepare the apples: Core and peel them, as well as slice the apples thinly enough (in uniform pieces) to tenderize.
- Bake the crisp until it’s really browned and bubbling. If you take it out with only a little browning, it will not have the right amount of crispy.
- Serve this freshly baked for the right amount of tender vs crispy.
- Add a thickener to the fruit to prevent sogginess – this can be cornstarch or a healthier alternative thickener such as arrowroot or tapioca flour. Lemon juice to provide browning is also important.
- Serve with ice cream and caramel drizzle for the perfect medley of flavors and temperatures.
What Are the Best Apples to Use for Apple Crisp?
The best apples to use are those intended for baking – usually a firmer variety. These include: Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Honeycrisp, Golden Delicious, Cortland, and more!
Most crisp enthusiasts recommend using 2-3 types of baking apples in your crisp. This provides a more robust range of flavor and textures. If you’re feeling extra adventurous – throw in another type of fruit and try it! Blueberries, cherries, and pears make delicious mix-ins.
Healthy Apple Crisp Ingredients and Substitutions
Apple Filling Ingredients
For your apple crisp filling, you’ll need about five baking apples, brown sugar, lemon juice, a thickener (corn starch, arrowroot, or tapioca flour), and ground cinnamon.
Crumble Topping Ingredients
The crumble topping will use: quick-cooking oats, almond flour, brown sugar, baking powder and soda, vegan butter or coconut oil, and optional topping of non-dairy ice cream and/or caramel.
- Gluten free – this recipe is already gluten-free, however, make sure your oats used are specifically labeled gluten free (due to the high risk of cross-contamination)
- Dairy free or vegan – this recipe already is dairy free and/or vegan. Be sure to use nondairy and/or vegan butter, caramel, and ice cream for serving.
- Low carb/keto – this recipe is already lower in carbohydrates than a regular apple crisp due to the use of almond flour. It is, however, not keto-compliant. There is not a keto substitute available due to the high sugar content of apples.
- Paleo – this recipe is not paleo, however, I’d recommend trying this Paleo Apple Crisp from The Bojon Gourmet. It looks amazing.
- Nut free – Cassava or tapioca flour are my favorite substitute for almond flour; just make the swap in this recipe for a nut free version.
How to Make This Apple Crisp
Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a 9×13 baking dish add the apple slices (you will not need a pan spray for sticking because these will be tossed with other ingredients). In a small bowl, mix brown sugar, lemon juice, thickener ground cinnamon, and water. Sprinkle over the apple slices, then toss until full coated.
In a large bowl, combine oats, almond flour, brown sugar, and baking powder. Mix with a fork. Add butter and using clean fingertips, rub butter into dry mixture until it’s in small crumbles. Sprinkle over top of the apples.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown and apples are bubbly. This is best served hot, however, I would allow it to cool to a reasonable temperature prior to serving.
What Should I Serve on Top?
This is delicious on its own or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream over top (there are vegan and dairy free ice creams if desired as well). For a final beautiful touch, you can also drizzle it with caramel.
Almond flour gets somewhat crisp. Due to the high fat content, it is typically more of a cake-like texture, however, it will get crisp (just not to the level of regular flour). In this recipe, it still browns very nicely and has a crispy-sweet texture.
Though they do not contain gluten in their composition, oats are only if they are gluten free certified. If you are gluten intolerant or Celiac, it’s recommended to use only certified gluten free oats due to the high risk of cross-contamination; as many oats are processed on the same machinery as wheat.
The lemon juice prevents oxidation of the apples aka keeps them from browning.
Yes, it freezes well (you can freeze it before or after baking). Freeze it in an airtight container, for up to 2-3 months. To make it from frozen, allow it to thaw in the fridge overnight then bake it or reheat it.
In an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. Reheat only the portion you plan on eating (in the oven at 350°F for about 10 minutes). Cover it with foil while baking to keep it from drying out.
More Gluten Free Apple Recipes & Desserts
If apples are your thing, these (gluten free, dairy free) Healthy Apple Fritters and this Apple Pie Drink are apple-licious. Or, if you’re looking for more gluten free desserts, try some of these gluten free desserts.
I hope you enjoy this festive, sweet, easy dessert at your next family dinner of gathering.
Here’s to regaining our sparkle together,
Apple Crisp with Almond Flour
- 6 cups baking apples, peeled, cored and sliced
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon thickener: arrowroot, tapioca flour, or corn starch
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons water
- ½ cup gluten free old fashioned oats
- ½ cup almond flour
- 2/3 cup packed organic brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1/3 cup butter (vegan if needed) , softened
- Optional, non-dairy ice cream for topping
- Optional, non-dairy caramel for topping
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- In a 9×13 baking dish add apple slices. In a small bowl, mix brown sugar, lemon juice, thickener ground cinnamon, and water. Sprinkle over the apple slices and toss.
- In a large bowl, combine oats, almond flour, brown sugar, and baking powder. Mix with a fork. Add butter and using clean fingertips, rub butter into dry mixture until it’s in small crumbles. Sprinkle over apples.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown and apples are bubbly. Allow to cool for 15-30 minutes prior to serving. Serve with a scoop of ice cream if desired.