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It’s apple harvest time in Colorado.

I’ve got a big jug of Ela Farms organic, sugar-free apple cider in the fridge and I’ve been busy making apple sauce, dehydrated apples, apple porridge, apple bars and apple muffins. Not that I’m complaining. But, after picking up my CSA box yesterday and finding another zillion honey-crisp apples in the fruit basket, I had no choice but to expand on my healthy options and make a full-on, traditional, sugar-laden, butter-filled apple crumble.

Seriously, I had no choice. None.

There are a handful of desserts that insist on being made with the real thing. This is one of them.

Melissa’s GF apple crumble
what you need for the apple filling

6 to 8 apples, depending on size
1/2 cup organic sugar
2 tablespoons GF flour * (I used Pamela’s GF Baking Mix, but any GF mix or regular flour will work)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
dash of salt

what you need for the crumble topping
3/4 cup GF flour * (I used Pamela’s GF Baking Mix, but any GF mix or regular flour will work)
1/3 cup organic sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup butter *
1 cup chopped pecans (or less – I love pecans in this, so I use a lot)

1. Wash, core and slice apples in thin sections and place in a large bowl. Depending on your preference and time, you can either peel them or not. I’ve done it both ways, but it does change the texture a bit if they are unpeeled (the photo below shows them peeled, but unpeeled is more-often my choice).

2. Using a whisk and a medium sized bowl, mix the remaining ingredients on the apple filling list.

3. Pour mixed dry ingredients over the apples and gently stir to cover all the pieces with filling ingredients. Place in greased pie plate and arrange to fit. If you feel as though there’s not enough coverage, mix up a small amount of extra filling mix and add that. I have a fairly large-sized pie plate so depending on my apple sizes, sometimes I end up making a touch extra. I’ve also increased all the measurements and made a big apple crumble during special occasions. Adjust as you see fit.


4. Whisk together flour, sugar and cinnamon from the crumble ingredient list. Add butter as indicated below (*) and mix well. Add the pecans, stir and cover pie with crumble mixture. Press down to cover all the area. The photo below is an example of the pre-baked crumble, but in a much larger baking dish. This version was half-again bigger than the recipe calls for (I wanted to show you some options).


5. Place in pre-heated 400 degree oven for about 45-50 minutes. Check after about 30 minutes and cover loosely with foil if it starts to burn (it may, so watch it closely). Quick clean-up tip: you might also want to put a piece of foil on the floor of your oven in case the filling boils over and makes a mess of your oven.

6. Remove from oven, serve with vanilla ice cream and swoon over your creation. No one (NO ONE) will care that this is gluten-free. Don’t even tell them. On second thought, tell them and then don’t give them the recipe. Just explain that this is what is served in our wheat-free parallel universe that they aren’t part of. Be totally snooty about it. So there, you wheat-eaters!

Of course, I’m kidding.

Sort of.


* Butter, here’s the deal – if I’m going to use butter, I’m going to use the best available source. My choice is Organic Valley Pastured Butter for a variety of reasons. The real thing is much healthier for you than all those nasty “I thought it was real, but it’s really a bunch of icky fake crap” butters. Plus, how the animals are treated makes a big difference in my food choices. This is a good, healthy option for me.

* Butter-using tip: I buy the big chunk of butter and store it in the freezer. Then when I need butter for pie crusts and crumbles, I take it out of the freezer and shred it with a cheese grater. That is much easier than doing that double-knife-ninja-crossover-thing to mix up butter. Then I put the butter back in the freezer for next time. Very easy and there’s less chance of a serious, pastry-mixing injury. Are you listening, GDave?

Go forth and enjoy the apple harvest!

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28 Responses to “gluten-free apple crumble”

  1. Tevis says:

    Mom, I am so happy you’re getting honey crisp apples in Colorado. They are by far my favorite and will be so sad because word is, you can’t get them in NY!!

  2. Alta says:

    Yum I love crisps! And I agree, you SHOULD tell all those wheat eaters how awesome your gluten-free universe is!

  3. reb says:

    yay! i just found your site yesterday through the grant farms CSA site and it couldn’t have been better timing! i’ve been wanting an apple-something lately, but it’s tough with the celiac. this looks great! thanks for sharing it!

  4. Melissa says:

    Hey Tevis — well, I’m sorry you can’t enjoy this amazing honey crisp apple harvest. I’ve got sooo many apples, I’m happily eating them 3 times a day. If you’d move back here rather than farther away, you could enjoy them too!

  5. Melissa says:

    Hi Alta,

    Yep, we’ve got it made over here in our little alternative universe! I love it, no complaints from me!

  6. Melissa says:

    Reb — yeah is right! Glad you found your way to my blog. Lots of good recipes and resources, whether you’re GF or not. Plus, we’ve got some very fun blog commenters around here.


  7. Maria says:

    Sounds fantastic!!
    I’m allergic to nuts….any other options?

  8. Cid says:


    I love apple anything and this is the season to really indulge. Yours idea about the frozen butter is an excellent one…. and sometimes I have remembered to use it for home made puff pastry which works really well with wheat flour, wish I could say the same for GF but I’m not sure.

    Just as a matter of interest my Deli has today, taken a delivery of gluten free Christmas puddings! Awareness is growing.


    p.s. first dish to be cooked in my new oven was an apple sponge dessert….. I feel a new crush coming on 🙂

  9. First, that is one seriously beautiful bowl in the first photo, and gorgeous apples which all makes for a beautiful photo–love it! Honey-crisps … yum. I also like Ginger Gold, which I haven’t seen lately as a matter of fact. I had just read that tip about the butter. Brilliant. Ninja thing–ha ha! Love the pecans in the topping, too. Delish for sure.

    Note to Cid (if you don’t mind, Melissa)–you’re baking again–woohoo! That flourless choc banana walnut cake you were interested in has been up on my site for a while. Did you get the recipe yet?

    Fall … apples and pumpkins … life is good!


  10. lo says:

    I know I’ve been a bad reader/commenter lately — but trust me when I say that I’ve MISSED you!!

    I suppose I don’t really deserve to come back to a delicious buttery apple crumble, but I appreciate it that you were thinking of me 🙂

    We’ve been so busy, I haven’t made it out to the local orchard to get my fill of winter apples. But, we’ve been enjoying our share of locally grown honey crisps, ginger golds, and Jonagolds. Will be awaiting the Ida Reds which are always one of my favorites… thanks for the inspiration 🙂

  11. Cid says:

    Shirley and Melissa,

    That flourless chocolate wonder will be mine shortly… all mine!! As for Fall, apples and pumpkins and life being good…. spot on Shirley, this is my time of year. My local grocery is full of multi coloured squash and gourds, interspersed with all the other fruit and veg… what a delight to the eye every day. My own butternut squash is still growing, albeit slowly. Next year I intend to have yet another go but trim back the long stems before they reach the entire length of the garden!

    Melissa…. everyone loves apple desserts don’t they, or at least I haven’t met anyone yet who doesn’t. I’ll be trying your recipe for crumble with my version of sweet white sauce, which is also GF and one of my favourites…. lovely with a drop of rum or brandy in, even if it’s not Christmas yet 🙂


  12. Melissa says:


    Wow, interesting to hear about the GF options in your deli. Awareness is spreading and I’m thrilled to have a spy across the pond to fill me in on the details.

    I would also love to see photos of the new kitchen, stove included. Apple sponge dessert? Oh my gosh that sounds wonderful. Don’t be surprised if I come to visit one of these days! I’m serious, Cid. After my visit with you, we’ll be off to meet the gang for dinner at Table #5. You best figure out our travel route!


  13. Melissa says:


    Thanks for the comment about the photo. It’s hard to take a bad photo of beautiful food (although on second thought, I have about 500 photos in iPhoto of beautiful food that looks awful).

    See note from Cid above. I love my blog readers! You all are the best.


  14. Melissa says:


    I’ve totally understand. I have been so busy, it’s hard to keep up with all my blog surfing. There’s only so much time in the day!

    Thanks for reconnecting. I love BURP! and I love you guys.

    I’ll be by to visit soon. I’m off to the airport and on to AZ for a workshop. (In about 20 minutes). Yikes!

  15. Melissa says:

    More later, Cid and gang. Gotta run…

  16. Elaine says:

    Melissa; I have to write and tell U that I just LOVE this recipe for apple crumble! In fact, I have my second one in the oven as I type this.
    (I made my 1st one last nite and my husband & I (he is NOT gf) eat it all! Best dessert I have made being gf in over 2 yrs.
    I highly recommend it.

  17. Elaine says:

    sorry for the duplicate! I didn’t think the first one when through! LOL!
    But, as U can see, I really love recipe! LOL!

  18. Cook4Seasons says:

    Hi Melissa,
    Looks like I’m a bit behind with my response (blog overload, also;-) I’ve been making everything apple lately and this crisp looks delicious (oops, was advised not to use that word so much!) Anyway – do you ever work with coconut sugar? I think it would be a great sub. here.

  19. Mary says:

    I can’t use all my apples, so I slice them, sprinkle them with cinnamon and dehydrate them. Yummy!

    Thanks for such a great blog!


  20. Melissa says:


    Welcome! And than you for your comments. I really appreciate it and knowing that something that you’re doing has made an impact somewhere is especially nice! Thank you for sharing that with me. It has made my morning. I’m in Phoenix working and I’m tired and my energy is a bit low right now. Your comment and nice email gave me a spark! 🙂

  21. Melissa says:


    I totally understand blog overload! It’s hard to keep up, isn’t it?! Yes, I’ve used coconut sugar and just about every other alternative and although I haven’t tried it in this recipe, I agree, it would most likely work well. I’ll do that next time. Thanks for the suggestion and comment! Good one.

  22. Melissa says:


    I’ve done a lot of the same thing. I actually did a whole post on dehydrating apples. It makes for sure great trail snacks! And aren’t these apples the best!? I have been on cloud nine with my fruit share. I love it!

  23. greedydave says:


    Despite the sweet-tooth thing (or lack of) I really cannot say no to a crumble, and yours looks wonderful! Oh, I do appreciate any kind of advice that will help prevent serious pastry-making incidents, though I’m sure they’ll still happen. 🙂 I used the grated frozen butter trick in my inaugural blog post earlier this year. It works a charm in ‘rough puff’ pastry.

    Hey, and go easy on us wheat-eaters. We may have the best of both worlds, but you guys get those neat blue parking placards to hang from your rear-view mirrors. 🙂


  24. Eugenia says:

    Looks wonderful! Also, I love the bowl in which the apples reside. Is it vintage?

  25. Melissa says:


    I love the frozen butter trick and although I know I read your inaugural blog post, I think I originally learned this trick from either my mom or Dorie Greenspan (you’re in good company, GDave). I can’t remember. Dorie G is an American food maven, one you might find very interesting. She’s one of our culinary queens. I’m a simple “lady in waiting.”

    Anyway, I’ve done that with my butter for some time and find it a perfect way to add cold butter to a recipe. No mess at all. I also don’t use a lot of butter and buy the high-end stuff, so it lasts longer and stays fresher in my freezer.

    You’re right about the “special” part as far as “alternative” diets go, but we are now very groovy and globally mainstream. Pretty soon, we will have wheat-free global domination. That’s my goal, blue placards or not.


  26. Melissa says:


    It is good, believe me! As for the bowl, don’t you love it!? I bought that at an antique mall near my house. Yes, it’s very vintage and very unique. I love the color! Thank you for mentioning it. We must have similar “tastes.”


  27. […] in to the flour mix, which I don’t find difficult … it’s actually rather therapeutic, but Melissa’s tip on freezing butter and then grating it is excellent. Unfortunately, I didn’t remember that trick until after I was actually doing my […]

  28. Wendy says:

    I love the tip about the butter in the freezer! I hate cutting butter in! I’m glad gfe mentioned it in her blog on Garlic Cheese Biscuits, not only will I use this tip often, I now found a great new GF blog!

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