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Gluten-Free Apple Crisp is an absolutely delicious treat that's perfect for fall. Make it with apples, pears, and cranberries for Thanksgiving dessert. | StephGaudreau.com

Gluten-Free Apple Crisp with Cranberries

Gluten-Free Apple Crisp with Cranberries is one of the simplest fall desserts you can make. No fussing with pie crust or any of that jazz.

Gluten-Free Apple Crisp is an absolutely delicious treat that's perfect for fall. Make it with apples, pears, and cranberries for Thanksgiving dessert. | StephGaudreau.com

I made this one with extra topping because that’s what my siblings used to fight over when we were kids.

The Difference Between a Crisp and a Crumble

If you’re new to the blog, I’m gonna break it to you now: I’m not much of a baker. There are precious few baked dessert recipes on this website – though laster year I made some mini sweet potato pies that were out of this world. Suffice to say, I rarely bake so when I do, you know it must be good. This gluten-free apple crisp is one of the simplest desserts you can make and it takes just a few minutes to put together.

Now technically, this dish is a crumble, not a crisp. But nobody searches for crumble recipes so a l took a small liberty with the name. Both describe a baked dessert with fruit on the bottom and a streusel topping that’s baked to perfection.

For a crisp, the topping usually has oats in it along with flour, butter, sugar, and sometimes nuts.

A crumble, on the other hand, typically has no oats.

If you love oats, toss some in. They’re not my personal favorite so I left them out.

Gluten-Free Apple Crisp is an absolutely delicious treat that's perfect for fall. Make it with apples, pears, and cranberries for Thanksgiving dessert. | StephGaudreau.com

Can You Make Apple Crisp Healthier?

Okay, just so we’re clear: this is a dessert. It has sugar and fat and isn’t low cal. (If you want a great low calorie dessert, just eat an apple. Seriously.)

But if your idea of “healthier” means free from potential allergens like gluten, then this one’s for you. Because I omitted the oats and flour, this apple crisp can work if you must avoid those foods. Note that oats, while naturally gluten-free, are usually processed on shared equipment with wheat and may be cross-contaminated. If you have Celiac disease, be aware.

How to Make Homemade Gluten-Free Apple Crisp

Making homemade gluten-free apple crisp couldn’t be easier.

First, I chopped up the fruit. In this case I used a mixture of apples and pears because pears came in my weekly Imperfect Produce box. Think pears are gross? No problem. Use six apples in the recipe instead. I also threw in some fresh cranberries for tartness.

The topping can be quite sweet, so I like the sour counterpoint of the cranberries. Then, I tossed the raw fruit with some arrowroot flour to help thicken the juices as it bakes and spread the fruit in the bottom of a greased baking dish.

Next, I made the streusel topping by combining almond flour, unsweetened shredded coconut, coconut sugar, and chopped pecans with melted grass-fed butter. The melted butter helps the topping moisten so it makes little clumps when you spread it on top of the fruit.

If those topping ingredients don’t work for you, it’s pretty easy to make substitutions. For example, try melted ghee instead of butter or switch out the nuts. NBD.

Bake until the fruit is softened and bubbly and the topping is crisp.

What Kind of Apples Can You Use for Gluten-Free Apple Crisp?

Apple crisp is a pretty forgiving recipe and most apples will work just fine. While I prefer to use a mixture of a few different types for flavor and texture, use what you like and have on hand. My favorites are pink lady, granny smith, and honeycrisp.

I’d probably avoid cooking apples like Macintosh and Cortland because they turn to mush in an instant. Need more guidance? Check here.

As for other fruit, pears and plums work well, and you can also include berries. Make it your own! I tossed on some fresh pomegranate arils after baking for a fresh pop of color and flavor.

Gluten-Free Apple Crisp is an absolutely delicious treat that's perfect for fall. Make it with apples, pears, and cranberries for Thanksgiving dessert. | StephGaudreau.com

Gluten-Free Apple Crisp is an absolutely delicious treat that's perfect for fall. Make it with apples, pears, and cranberries for Thanksgiving dessert. | StephGaudreau.com

Gluten-Free Apple Crisp with Cranberries

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 285 kcal
Author: Steph Gaudreau

Gluten-Free Apple Crisp is an absolutely delicious treat that's perfect for fall. Make it with apples, pears, and cranberries for Thanksgiving dessert.

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Ingredients

For the fruit base

  • 3 apples* large, cored and diced
  • 3 pears large, cored and diced
  • 1/2 cup cranberries raw
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot flour
  • Pinch pink Himalayan salt

For the topping

  • 3/4 cup blanched almond flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt
  • 3 tbsp melted grass-fed butter or ghee or coconut oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a rectangular 9" x13" baking dish (or slightly smaller) with butter, ghee, or coconut oil. Set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, combine the apples, pears, cranberries, arrowroot flour, and salt. Toss well to combine, and pour into the baking dish. 

  3. In the same large bowl, combine the almond flour, coconut, coconut sugar, pecans, cinnamon, and salt. Mix well to combine. Pour in the melted butter and mix very well. Pour the topping over the fruit evenly.

  4. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the filling is hot and bubbly. Serve warm as is. Or add a dollop of whipped heavy cream or coconut whipped cream.

Recipe Notes

*To make apple crisp, use six large apples and omit the pears.

For a true crisp, use gluten-free oats instead of almond flour. 

If you can't use butter, try ghee for a buttery flavor. If that's not an option, use coconut oil.

My recipes are all in a meal planner. Check it out!

Nutrition Facts
Gluten-Free Apple Crisp with Cranberries
Amount Per Serving
Calories 285 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Saturated Fat 8g40%
Cholesterol 11mg4%
Sodium 201mg8%
Potassium 217mg6%
Carbohydrates 33g11%
Fiber 7g28%
Sugar 19g21%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 185IU4%
Vitamin C 6.9mg8%
Calcium 43mg4%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Gluten-Free Apple Crisp is an absolutely delicious treat that's perfect for fall. Make it with apples, pears, and cranberries for Thanksgiving dessert. | StephGaudreau.com

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12 Responses

  1. We always used Macs for our pies. No wonder they always “fell”! But they’re really good for just eating, which was why we god a *huge* bag of dropped apples whenever we went to the orchard.

    1. You could try coconut flour but you may have to play with quantity b/c it’s so absorbent. Or, you could try something like potato starch but I didn’t test that and it’s purely a guess.

  2. Hi Steph,

    Happy almost Thanksgiving!
    What do you think about making crisp a day ahead? I’m thinking of making today, and reheating tomorrow. I understand that you are traveling, so if I don’t hear from you, it’s OK. I may just get gutsy and make it ahead.
    Enjoy your family time,
    Dawn

  3. I made some modifications to fit what I had on hand and it came out great. I used fuji apples (no pears), gluten free oats and coconut oil. Even with the coconut oil it has a really nice buttery taste. I also doubled the topping. It needed to bake a little longer but came out really good. This is a recipe I will use over and over. Thank you!

  4. This was amazing! It was our family’s favorite dessert for Thanksgiving (over the pie options). I substituted Tapioca flour for the Arrowroot flour (only because I didn’t have Arrowroot) and it worked great. We will definitely be re-doing this one. Thank you!!

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Hi, I'm Steph!

Nutrition and fitness coach for women, Lord of the Rings nerd, and depending on who you ask, crazy cat lady. My mission is to help you fuel for more, not less: bigger muscles, strength, energy, and possibilities. We’ll do it with my signature blend of science, strategy…and a little bit of sass.

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