Paleo Apple Crumble/Crisp (gluten-, dairy-, refined sugar-free)


Apple crumble was the first thing I baked in my Home Economics class (at age 11). It’s been a firm favorite of mine for many years. I enjoyed it with vanilla ice cream, custard and on its own. As my diet has evolved, I was on the hunt for a similar dessert, but without the gluten, dairy or refined sugar.

In this recipe, apples are cooked with coconut milk, honey and spices and topped with mixed nuts. It’s lightly sweet and reminds me of stewed apples with muesli. I agree, it may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but it is a healthier dessert. The original recipe did not use any honey, so feel free to skip that if you wish.

This recipe can be considered paleo, depending on where you stand with tapioca starch.

PALEO APPLE CRUMBLE/CRISP (gluten-, dairy-, refined sugar-free)

adapted from south beach primal: best ever apple crisp

serves 8-10


for the apple filling

  • 6 granny smith apples*, cored and thinly sliced
  • 120 ml (1/2 cup) full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 45 g (2 tablespoons) honey
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca starch
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 small pinch sea salt

for the topping

  • 175-200 g (1-1/4 cups) mixed nuts/seeds, roughly chopped
  • 15 g (heaped 1/4 cup) dried coconut flakes
  • 25 g (1/4 cup) almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca starch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 5 tablespoons melted coconut oil

* apples used: 800 g, 1-3/4 lb
^ nuts/seeds used: pumpkin seeds, brazil nuts, cashews, walnuts


1. Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F). Lightly grease one 23 x 28 cm (9 x 11 inch) dish with coconut oil.

2. To make the filling, mix everything together. Transfer to the prepared dish.

3. To make the topping, mix everything together. Scatter over the apples.

4. Bake in the middle of oven for 45 minutes, or until bubbly and golden on top.

5. Allow to cool slightly before digging in. Enjoy!


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