When we moved into our house 8 years ago there was a single, ragged little tree in the backyard. After many years of nursing it back to health this summer it finally blossomed and, as it turns out, is an apple tree. I suddenly had more apples than I knew what to do with, so I began making a lot of applesauce, apple pie and my personal favorite, apple crisp.
I love the crustless apple crumb pie recipe in The Pie and Pastry Bible by my favorite cookbook author Rose Levy Beranbaum. After making the recipe many times I soon realized that apple crisp is a dessert that would be very easy to morph a little bit and turn into a recipe that is both vegan and gluten free. That is when I got to work on this recipe, the result of which is a gluten free apple crisp that is vegan too. Plus, eating more apples is always a good thing, if you need any proof check out this article by Helen Nichols on the 34 science-backed health benefits of apples.
After the first few batches of applesauce and apple crisp I decided to invest in an all in one apple peeler, corer and slicer. It’s one of the best investments I’ve made as it makes the process go much faster.
After running the apples through it you just have to roughly chop the resulting slices and toss with a little lemon juice to keep them from browning. I like to weigh out how many apple slices I have to make sure I have the exact amount needed.
Once all of the apples have been sliced they are tossed with cinnamon, sugar, brown sugar and salt, then placed in a colander set over a bowl to collect the juices. Allow the apples to sit in the colander for about 30 minutes. If you find yourself with an abundance of apples, as I did, you can also stop here and freeze the apples to use to make apple crisp later (I highly recommend using a food sealer to freeze them in order to keep them as fresh as possible).
Place the apples into a 10 inch pie plate, I like to use a glass pie plate for this. Pour the reduced juice over top the apples, cover with aluminum foil and make a slit in the middle to allow steam to escape. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes.
While the apples are baking it’s time to make the crisp topping. Finely chop the pecans, a small food processor is good for this. Combine the nuts with the sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and brown rice flour.
Melt 4 Tablespoons of Earth balance in a microwave safe bowl. Add it to the flour nut mixture and use a whisk to blend together. After 30 minutes remove the apples from the oven, remove the foil and sprinkle the crumb mixture evenly over top. Return to the oven and bake for another 20-25 minutes until the topping is golden brown.
Gluten Free (and Vegan) Apple Crisp
- 7 cups (30 ounces) apples, peeled cored and sliced
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- dash of nutmeg
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) pecans
- 3 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 3/4 teas cinnamon
- 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp brown rice flour
- 4 Tbsp (2 ounces) Vegan butter (like Earth Balance)
Peel, core and slice the apples about 1/2 inch thick. Place into a medium bowl and toss with the lemon juice to keep them from browning as you chop remaining apples.
Toss the apples with cinnamon, sugar, brown sugar, nutmeg and salt. Place in a colander set over a bowl to collect the juices. Allow the apples to sit for about 30 minutes.
You should have about a quarter of a cup of liquid collected. Microwave the collected juices for about four minutes in order to reduce them.
Arrange the apples in a 10 inch pie plate and pour the reduced juice over top. Cover with aluminum foil and make a slit in the middle to allow steam to escape. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes.
While the apples are baking make the topping. Finely chop the pecans, preferably using a small food processor. Combine the nuts with the sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and brown rice flour.
Melt the 4 Tablespoons of vegan butter in the microwave (or on the stove top). Add the melted butter to the flour nut mixture and use a whisk to blend together.
After 30 minutes remove the apples from the oven, remove the foil and sprinkle the crumb mixture evenly over top. Pinch the crumb topping together into larger clumps as you sprinkle it on.
Return to the oven and bake for another 20-25 minutes until the topping is golden brown.