World's Best Apple Crisp

Who knew that the World's Best Apple Crisp would be gluten free?  It sounds crazy, but this wheat-free Apple Crisp is irresistible!  The delectable cinnamon-crisp topping is truly crisp and stays crisp and crunchy even when its completely cooled.  And when this lovely, crunchy topping is paired with the perfectly baked apple slices hiding underneath... Oh myFabulous!

Now, I brought my World's Best Apple Crisp to three different parties to see if I had the recipe just right and apparently I did.  In fact, at one party something a bit out of the ordinary happened.  At this party, I became acutely aware of the powers of serving the World's Best Apple Crisp.

As my Gorgeous Man and I prepared to leave the party, one man ran up to us, grabbed my hand, knelt before me then fervently declared that he was "in love" with me "after eating the best Apple Crisp of my life!"

Well!  Luckily, my Gorgeous Man is not the jealous type.  As we continued on our way, he remarked amiably, "Who can blame him?  When one makes the World's Best Apple Crisp ...these things happen."

World's Best Apple Crisp by: Gimme Gluten Free
Bake Time: 45 Minutes  Serves: 12
1 cup almond flour 
1 cup oat flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1 1/3 cups packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
10 Tablespoons cold butter, cubed (1 stick +2 tablespoons) or Earth Balance Buttery Sticks
1/2 - 3/4 cup walnuts, chopped (I prefer finely chopped; not coarsely chopped)

10 cups TART apples  (I used 10 medium granny smith apples)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon tapioca flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup water (don't leave this out)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degree C).
1.  In a large mixing bowl; combine the almond flour, oat flour, tapioca flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder and baking soda. 

2.  Mix in the butter until “mealy.” Add the chopped walnuts. Set aside and chill in the refrigerator while you are peeling and slicing the apples. 
    1.  Mix the sugar, 1 tablespoon tapioca, cinnamon and nutmeg together. in a BIG BOWL.   

    2.  Peel and slice the apples, add to the cinnamon-sugar mixture.  Stir until well coated.  

    3.  Pour water evenly over all; stir again to mix.   

    4.  Evenly spread the sliced apples (and all the yummy juice) in a greased 9 x13 inch pan.   Sprinkle the  reserved topping evenly over the apples.  Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 40-45 minutes.  Check at 38 minutes; it should be a lovely golden brown and smell heavenly.

      Serving suggestions:
      • Ice Cream ~  Vanilla, Rum Raisin or Dulce de Leche are good choices.  A dairy free frozen dessert is a great option if you cannot have dairy; I like vanilla flavored coconut ice cream.
      • Whipped Cream (and ice cream, too... ohhh, so good!)
      • Sweetened Whipped Cream and a dollop of Greek Yogurt or sour cream mixed together; then poured out of a little pitcher at serving time.  And then there's... my "secret recipe" ~ a TOP FAVE ~ scroll all the way down.
      • Of course a cup of freshly brewed hot coffee or tea is most welcome!  Serve the Apple Crisp slightly warmed ~ Oh my!

      Choose the right kind of apples for your crisp.  One time I didn't have tart apples and thought that just maybe I could get away with using the apples I had on my kitchen counter... no, no, NOT!  The texture and flavor was completely off.  Too sweet, not enough flavor and mushy.  I ended up throwing the whole thing out!

      My number one apple choice (we are making the WORLD'S BEST Apple Crisp after all) is the: 
      • Granny Smith Apple.  Granny Smith Apples are deliciously tart, and they hold their shape well in baking.  I always buy organic apples since apples are one of the crops that use a large amount of pesticides.  I found my organic Granny Smith Apples at our local Costco store.
      If you cannot get Granny Smith Apples here are some other apples to consider:
      • Cortland, Empire and sometimes a crisp Braeburn Apple works also.  Just be sure that the apples are crisp and firm, not soft, because too much sugar will have developed in the apples and your Apple Crisp won't have the texture and flavor that you desire.  You can use a combination of tart apples, if you wish.
      • There are many other tart apple varieties available; some of which may be unique to your area.  Speak to the produce manager at your local grocery store and they will direct you to the perfect apple.  
      • Warning:  Do not use a sweet eating apple; such as a Red Delicious, Gala, Fuji or a Golden Delicious Apple.  These varieties are too soft and sweet for this particular recipe ~ they will not give you the flavor or optimal texture (they turn mushy) that you are after. 
      This is an unusual recipe because most Apple Crisp toppings do not call for baking soda or baking powder;  follow the recipe and you'll be glad you did.   
      • The addition of the baking soda and baking powder help make it exceptionally crunchy.  
      • Now, I did make my topping with real butter. (Read about lactose and casein in Resource NirvanaWow; the butter gives it such a great flavor.  If you can use butter, I recommend it.

      Refrigerate your Gluten-Free Crisp Topping like the recipe says, while you are peeling and slicing the apples.  The chilled topping won't clump together and you'll be able to spread it evenly over the top as it won't stick to your fingers. 

      The finely chopped walnuts, do not stand out and scream, "Nuts are in this!" What they DO is to add additional richness, depth of flavor and crunchiness to the topping.  Be sure to taste your walnuts for freshness. 

      Make Ahead Note: You can make the topping, days ahead.  Store in a plastic freezer bag in your refrigerator or freezer until you want to use it.  This is what I do; it makes preparing this recipe so simple!

      I hope you LOVE my recipe for World's Best 
      Apple Crisp and that you enjoy making it 
      and eating it a zillion times with your family and friends!   
      Cinnamon Hugs to you!  Lynn

      Shhhh... Below is a secret recipe...

      •  NOTE:  The recipe listed below WILL NOT BE LISTED ANYWHERE else in my blog; not even in the Recipe Index! 
      When I make my World's Best Apple Crisp or Best Berry Crisp, Apricot Peach Crisp or Cherry Pie Crisp; I quite often serve this "secret recipe" with the crisp and people go NUTS over this combination.  Bonkers, in fact! They start saying things like, "This is the best thing I've ever had in my life!"  (I never know what to say when people say that...)

      Now, I actually had previously posted this recipe, but decided to delete it.  It has been deleted for almost a year... Why did I delete it?  Oh... you'll see, as you read about it... but I've had so many requests for this; I decided to print it again. HOWEVER, this time I'm HIDING THE RECIPE within this post.  Why?  Read on...

      Gentleman Jack Custard is light, rich, delicious and totally luscious.  It's a huge hit at parties.  People LOVE it.  But this is where it gets complicated.   

      Honestly, this dessert makes me blush!  I really should have named it "Liar Custard."  But listen, before we go any further, you must SWEAR on your mixing bowl that you will not tell a soul what I am going to tell you.  I mean it - not a soul.  

      The reason I have refused to give out this secret-recipe is because it's...  embarrassing!   I'm the Queen of "From Scratch Baking" for goodness sake!  "Oh... you want this recipe? Oh, ha ha! Well, yes, umm... would you look at the time!  I must be going..."

      Aaughh!  I can't take it anymore!  Living a life of duplicity is exhausting.  Here's the recipe.

      Gentleman Jack Custard
      This "for grown-up's only" custard takes minutes to make; but tastes like you spent hours in the kitchen.
      1 large package 5.1 oz (144g) JELL-O Vanilla Instant Pudding
      2 1/2 cups whole milk
      1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
      1 1/2 cups heavy (whipping) cream (See notes below for dairy free)
      1/3 cup powdered sugar
      1/2 cup Gentleman Jack Tennessee Whiskey

      1. Combine pudding mix, milk of your choice and vanilla.  Whisk together until smooth for two minutes.  Let set 5 minutes.   
      2. Meanwhile, in a chilled mixing-bowl beat together the cream and powdered sugar until it looks like light, creamy, fluffy clouds.  Slowly add the Gentleman Jack Tennessee Whiskey to the whipped cream and continue beating until combined.  
      3. Fold the whiskey flavored whipped cream into the pudding.  Serve chilled; enjoy!
      • Spoon into beautiful goblets. Top with fruit such as: Fresh blueberries, raspberries, peaches, bananas or strawberries.
      • And of course you already know that Gentleman Jack Custard tastes fabulous when paired with the World's Best Apple Crisp, Best Berry Crisp, Cherry Pie Crisp or Apricot Peach Crisp.  I have found that men, in particular, find this combination irresistible. 

      • Kraft JELL-O instant pudding mix is currently gluten free.  If you use refrigerated coconut milk for your milk you will get a lovely rich-tasting pudding, but it will be thinner than one prepared with whole milk. 
      • Please read Resource Nirvana for the latest scoop about gluten free wine, whiskey, distilled beverages and beer.
      • Check out Resource Nirvana for information about lactose/casein intolerance.  Some folks can actually enjoy real whipped cream even though they cannot normally have milk products.  This is fascinating info; read more at Resource Nirvana. 
      • If you cannot tolerate dairy products at all, try folding in dairy-free whipped topping.  It will not have the same rich texture or taste but it will still be a lovely treat.
      • Most heavy (whipping) cream is ultra-pasteurized now (sigh).  This  process makes it very difficult to get light, fluffy whipped cream, plus the cream seems to take forever to whip.  Look for organic cream that is not ultra-pasteurized.  (Available at Natural Food Grocery Stores)  If organic cream is not available in your area, then make sure your cream has the highest amount of butterfat possible.  The cream I use in this recipe has 38-40% butterfat.  Remember ~ this is a rare, luscious treat.  Our local Costco currently carries a 40% butterfat, heavy cream.  It is ultra-pasteurized but I find that it does whip up nicely.   

        Shhhh...Remember, do NOT tell ANYONE 
        that this recipe is not "from scratch!!!" 

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          Becky @ the Mixing Bowl Diary said...

          awesome recipe. i want to give this a try. you totally convinced me that it will be the best i have ever had!!!

          Lynn Peterson said...

          Hi Becky! I hope you LOVE this Apple Crisp! Thanks so much for writing! (And Becky, you have a lovely blog! Can't wait to try some of your recipes!)

          Adie Andrews said...

          That Apple Crisp is absolutely yummy even though I never tried anything like this I follow the recipe and it turn into a real celebration for my tongue

          Greets Olympic 2012 Accommodations

          Bobbi Bixby said...

          Love your blog and the beautiful pictures and stories. Question: Can you substitute something nonalcoholic for the whisky?

          Lynn Peterson said...

          Hi Bobbi, Thanks so much for writing!

          You can eliminate the whiskey entirely. Increase the milk to 3 cups and add 1/2 teaspoon more vanilla (for a total of 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla). Note: Whole dairy milk makes the richest and thickest "custard."

          You will have a super-easy-to-make, creamy-rich, Vanilla Custard! Hooray! Just remember this is our "secret" recipe! Let everyone think you were slaving over the stove all day!

          Smiles, Lynn

          ykletter said...

          Just wanted to thank you for sharing this recipe. I made last night for our thanksgiving dinner since my husband is on a gf diet. We both really enjoyed it! can't wait to try other gf recipes.

          Lynn Peterson said...

          Hooray! I am so HAPPY that The World's Best Apple Crisp made your Thanksgiving Dinner even HAPPIER for you and your husband!!! Thanks for writing!

          Apple Crisp Smiles, Lynn :)

          Anonymous said...

          Hi there...I recently found your site and it's amazing! Want to make this apple crisp for a campout coming up...can I use whole oats in place of the oat flour? I like the texture that oats give. Thanks!!!

          Lynn Peterson said...

          Hi! Thanks so much for visiting my gluten free blog!
          To answer your question about using whole oats instead of using oat flour, here is my thought... It would take approximately 1 1/3 cups of oats that were ground in a high-speed blender to make about 1 cup of oat flour, so I am thinking that if you use 1 1/3 cups - 1 1/2 cups of whole oats - that should work to replace the 1 cup of oat flour! Now, I haven't tried this, but I do think it should turn out delicious!
          Have a fun campout and let me know how your Apple Crisp turns out!
          Big hugs and cinnamon smiles to you! Lynn

          Ash said...

          Could I possibly replace the oat flour with something else. They don't sell a gluten free version where I live. Would it be terrible if I omitted it?

          Lynn Peterson said...

          Hi Ash!

          Oh what a bummer that you can't get the gluten-free oat flour!

          You can grind your own oat flour in a vita-mixer or heavy duty blender using GF oats. But I do know that even trying to find GF oats can be a challenge sometimes!

          Substitute for GF oat flour:
          You can substitute brown rice flour for the oat flour (you will get a slightly different texture, but the flavor will be wonderful.)

          NOTE: Some brands of brown rice flour are finer than others - if you can find a finely ground brown rice flour in your area, that would be your best bet!

          Thanks for writing ~ enjoy your apple crisp! Smiles, Lynn

          Anonymous said...

          Used half the sugar in the topping and about 2/3 of the sugar in the apple mix. Worked out great. I think I'll try 1.5x the topping mixture next time and maybe substitute some coarsely chopped outs for some of the oat flour to add a little extra texture. Delicious recipe. Thanks. :)

          Lynn Peterson said...

          So glad your apple crisp worked out great using less sugar! I think we all are starting to cut down on sugar!
          Thanks so much for sharing your experience!
          Big hugs to you, Lynn

          Anonymous said...

          I would like to make the apple crisp recipe, but I am confused by the instruction to "pour ANY liquid over all" immediately prior to baking. How much???

          Lynn Peterson said...

          Hiya! When the recipe says "pour any liquid over all" it is all the liquid that forms in the apple filling. When I stir up all the ingredients in Apple Filling, the juicy apples release their juices and you don't want to waste a single drop of this!

          I will try adding a sentence to my directions so this is clear to everyone. Thanks so much for pointing this out!

          Enjoy your apple crisp! Big hugs to you, Lynn