The best paleo apple crisp recipe! Gluten free, grain free, and dairy free, but not short on flavor. Tender, sweet apples get a sweet crunchy topping and a spot of coconut whipped cream for the perfect pairing.
When I lived in Washington, D.C., I had a friend who had a very fair dessert rule: he did not allow fruit to exist in his dessert. The reason? Because fruit takes up the place where chocolate could be.
I adopted this rule for a really long time. But I'm here to tell you that this paleo apple crisp has changed my mind.
A note on paleo dessert
I know a lot of people get all grumpy when it comes to paleo treats and desserts, and I hear you. There are some things that just can't be re-created in the paleo world.
But hear me out - what if, instead of trying to re-create something that already exists, you just make something delicious with what you have available to you in your pantry?
Cakes, pies, muffins - anything with flour that rises, I agree - it's either right out the door or it takes way too long to prepare to make it worth my time.
However, there are exceptions to this rule. Danielle Walker's Real Deal Chocolate Chip Cookies make the list, as do my Pumpkin Whoopie Pies over on Healy Eats Real, Wicked Spatula's Edible Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, and a number of brownie recipes that are out there that result in a fudgy, dense brownie.
And now, this paleo apple crisp has joined the lineup.
How to make paleo apple crisp
This paleo apple crisp is not the same thing as apple pie. (I have an excellent gluten free apple pie recipe here, if you're looking for one!)
It's a bit more forgiving to the baker, and doesn't take nearly the time or finesse that a true pie takes.
Here's how to do it:
Peel, core, and dice your apples into bite size chunks and place in your baking dish.
The rest is easy: combine maple syrup and lemon juice in a small bowl, then add to the apples and toss to coat. Next combine your tapioca starch, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl and sprinkle the apples with the mixture; toss again to coat evenly.
Make your crisp topping: In the bowl of a food processor, combine all topping ingredients and pulse until a crumbly mixture forms, then sprinkle the topping evenly over the apple mixture.
Bake until apples are tender and topping is brown. The apples in this cobbler come out tender but not mushy, and are coated with deliciousness.
The topping gets crispy in the last 5 to 10 minutes of baking, so be sure not to cheat the time! It's sweet and crunchy and crumbly and is all the things I've ever wanted in a crisp topping.
Now, that paleo apple crisp is looking a little naked. Let's pair it with some coconut whipped cream, shall we?
How to make coconut whipped cream
An important side note, if you want to top this paleo apple crisp with coconut whipped cream, you'll need to stick that can in the fridge at least an hour ahead of time - preferably overnight.
If you forgot to do it the night before, don't worry. As long as you have it in there for at least an hour, it should separate for you. Stick it in the back of the fridge where it's coldest!
To make coconut whipped cream, take your can out of the fridge and open it. Spoon out the cream into the bowl of your stand mixer, saving the water for another use.
Turn the mixer on high and beat it just as you would regular cream, until it firms up and peaks form.
Once you've gotten whipped cream, spoon on top of your warm apple crisp and serve immediately.
Just like the real thing
Do this: just make this for someone - a friend, family member, dinner guest, person that's walking by your house that you grab and drag inside (not recommended) - and don't tell them it's gluten free.
Don't tell them it's anything other than apple crisp, and see how they react.
I guarantee you if they don't like it, I will eat the whole pan. (See what I did there? I tried to make you think eating the whole pan was punishment, when really, I am just making off with your entire pan of apple crisp. Winning.)
- 3 to 4 crisp sweet apples, Fuji or Pink Lady work well
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons tapioca flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- ½ cup pecans
- ⅓ cup + 1 Tablespoon coconut sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 Tablespoon coconut flour
- ½ cup almond flour
- 3 Tablespoons ghee or grass-fed butter
- 1 can of coconut milk
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Peel, core, and dice apples into large chunks and place in an 8x8 baking dish.
- Combine maple syrup and lemon juice in a small bowl, then add to the apples and toss to coat.
- Combine tapioca starch, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl.
- Sprinkle the apples with the tapioca starch mixture; toss again to coat evenly.
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine all topping ingredients and pulse until a crumbly mixture forms.
- Sprinkle the topping evenly over the apple mixture.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes, until apples are tender and topping is brown and bubbly.
- While cobbler is baking, remove coconut milk from the fridge. Spoon out solidified coconut cream, reserving separated water for another use.
- Place coconut cream in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on high until light and fluffy.
- To serve, spoon the cobbler into a bowl, then top with the coconut whipped cream.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 530Total Fat: 40gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 148mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 6gSugar: 21gProtein: 6g
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