Paleo & Vegan Apple Crisp

It seems that I am the queen of indecisiveness today.

vegan-apple-crisp

I’ve made this delicious apple crisp two different ways, and I can’t decide which way I like it best. So, I’m sharing both versions! Actually, I’m sharing TWO ways to cook it and TWO ways to top it, so you could probably make this four different ways.

The beauty of my indecisiveness is that this recipe can easily accommodate the ingredients you currently have in your pantry. Need to use up your almond flour? Use the topping that calls for it. Don’t have almond flour? No worries, you can make the crumble using buttery pecans instead. (Or probably any other nut you like, too.) You’ll also notice that I don’t peel my apples. Apple skins are where much of this fruit’s nutrition lies, and when they’re cooked the skin becomes ultra-tender just like the rest of the apples, so I don’t see the point in taking the time to peel them. However, the choice is up to you.

Either way, I’ve discovered that it’s really difficult to mess up a crumble. Maybe that’s why I like them so much! The fruit filling in this particular recipe is to die for, so you could probably sprinkle almost anything on top, add a scoop of ice cream, and you’ll impress the pants off your guests. As an added bonus, your house will smell amazing!

Paleo & Vegan Apple Crisp
Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

Filling: 
2 pounds apples, cored and sliced
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Almond Flour Topping:
1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Buttery Pecan Topping:
1 1/2 cups pecan pieces
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Note: Please make only ONE of the topping options above to go over the apple filling. I’m just giving you two options to accommodate your ingredients!

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350F. Slice the apples into thin slices (about 1/8-inch thick) and place them in a 3 1/2-quart dutch oven. Add in the orange juice, maple syrup, cinnamon, ginger, and salt and stir to coat the apples well. Place the pot on the stove over medium-high heat to bring the liquid to a boil. (You’ll need to listen for the boiling, as the liquid won’t cover the apples.) Once the liquid is bubbling, cover the pot and lower the heat so the apples can simmer for about 8-10 minutes, until they are fork-tender.

While the apples are cooking, prepare the topping. To prepare the almond flour topping, combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and use a whisk to combine them evenly into a crumbly texture. When the apples are tender, sprinkle the topping over the top and place the pot in the oven to bake for 20 minutes at 350F. The topping won’t completely brown, but it should feel dry to the touch.

apple-crisp-recipe

Note: The reason I don’t let the topping brown is because almonds are prone to acrylamide formation when cooked at high heat. Browning is a sign of acrylamide formation, which is a carcinogen. So, it’s best to not cook it at high temperatures for long to avoid this natural occurrence.  

To prepare the Buttery Pecan Topping, place the pecans and coconut in a small food processor and process until crumbly. Add in the coconut oil, maple syrup, salt and almond extract and process again to combine. Sprinkle the topping over the apples and bake as directed above, or try the alternate baking method below.

pecan-apple-crisp

*Alternate baking method: If you want to skip the stove, you can simply toss the apples in the maple syrup mixture and arrange them directly in a 9-inch square baking dish. Press the crumbly topping firmly over the top and bake for 40-45 minutes until the apples are tender. This method doesn’t produce apples that are quite as caramelized, but it’s still good and requires less hands-on preparation if you’re pressed for time.

After removing the crisp from the oven, allow it to cool for 10 minutes then serve warm with a scoop of ice cream or coconut whipped cream on top.

paleo-apple-crisp

5.0 from 1 reviews
Paleo & Vegan Apple Crisp
Author: 
Serves: 6-8
 
An easy gluten-free and naturally-sweetened recipe featuring fresh apples. This is as fast as it gets!
Ingredients
Filling:
  • 2 pounds apples, cored and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
Almond Flour Topping:
  • 1½ cups blanched almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
Buttery Pecan Topping:
  • 1½ cups pecan pieces
  • ½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
Note: Please make only ONE of the topping options above to go over the apple filling. I'm just giving you two options to accommodate your ingredients!
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Slice the apples into thin slices (about ⅛-inch thick) and place them in a 3½-quart dutch oven. Add in the orange juice, maple syrup, cinnamon, ginger, and salt and stir to coat the apples well. Place the pot on the stove over medium-high heat to bring the liquid to a boil. (You'll need to listen for the boiling, as the liquid won't cover the apples.) Once the liquid is bubbling, cover the pot and lower the heat so the apples can simmer for about 8-10 minutes, until they are fork-tender.
  2. While the apples are cooking, prepare the topping. To prepare the almond flour topping, combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and use a whisk to combine them evenly into a crumbly texture. When the apples are tender, sprinkle the topping over the top and place the pot in the oven to bake for 20 minutes at 350F. The topping won't completely brown, but it should feel dry to the touch.
  3. To prepare the Buttery Pecan Topping, place the pecans and coconut in a small food processor and process until crumbly. Add in the coconut oil, maple syrup, salt and almond extract and process again to combine. Sprinkle the topping over the apples and bake as directed above, or try the alternate baking method in the notes below.
  4. After removing the crisp from the oven, allow it to cool for 10 minutes then serve warm with a scoop of ice cream or coconut whipped cream on top.
Notes
Alternate baking method: If you want to skip the stove, you can simply toss the apples in the maple syrup mixture and arrange them directly in a 9-inch square baking dish. Press the crumbly topping firmly over the top and bake for 40-45 minutes until the apples are tender. This method doesn't produce apples that are quite as caramelized, but it's still good and requires less hands-on preparation if you're pressed for time.

I have a feeling this recipe would work well with any fruit you have on hand– I might try it with some fresh pears and cranberries for the holidays. You can also feel free to experiment with other nuts, or even seeds for a nut-free version. Sunflower seeds are more bitter than pecans, so be sure to taste as you go to adjust the flavor as needed.

Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite seasonal dessert? Right now, it’s this crisp. But the Peppermint Fudge Bars in my cookbook are a very close second– I will make them every week of December!

Share:
Meet Megan Gilmore

Hi, I’m Megan. A former fast food junkie turned certified nutritionist consultant, trying to make healthy living as easy as possible. I believe in eating delicious whole foods on a regular basis to help naturally support the body’s detox organs— no juice fasting required. (Unless you want to!) If you make one of my healthy recipes, tag @detoxinista on Instagram or Facebook so I can see!

8 thoughts on “Paleo & Vegan Apple Crisp

  1. Gia

    Thank you so much Megan…made both and they were amazing! The apples at Whole Foods these past few weeks were so gorgeous, and looked to be larger than my head, lol…so was dying to make a seasonal dessert with them- and Detoxinista was my reason. I mean, come on, Megan told me to do it! Yay!!!!!:)

    Reply
  2. Erin

    Looks amazing!! I can’t have oranges… Any ideas on a substitute? Is it the citrus that helps, the sugar or would water work as a substitute? I can have lemon but I’m afraid that would make it really tart! Thanks 🙂

    Reply
  3. Laura

    Oh wow – thank you so much for this! I’m in the middle of a cleanse and this recipe is going to help me get through. Made it tonight and hubby has asked for it again – and he’s not on a cleanse!!!

    Reply
  4. Allison

    Took this dish to our Small Groups Christmas Party, and it was a big hit! I shared the recipe and website to many attendees.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: