I love going apple picking in the Fall as a family. And, of course, you can make so many things from those yummy apples that you picked. Apple sauce, apple pie, apple crisp, apple strudel, apple cake. I could think of more, but you get the picture.
For my first recipe, I wanted to make something pretty fast since we were tired from all that fresh air while apple picking, so I settled on apple crisp this time around. I also wanted something that wasn’t super unhealthy (I love pie but gluten-free crusts can be full of butter, and the pie itself ends up super sugary). I also wanted something nut-free for Violet. Apples and walnuts/pecans are yummy, but I like to make things the whole family can enjoy.
For my crisp, I gathered 7 apples from our apple-picking trip. Jonagold were some of the ones we had available, which are crisp and tart, but not as tart as Granny Smith. I peeled and sliced the apples somewhat thinly, but not paper-thin. I put them in a large casserole so that I could mix all the yummy ingredients together. I added to the sliced apples, 1 teaspoon of gluten-free flour and mixed it all together. This helps when the apples are cooking, to thicken up any juices. Then, I added 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg, and 1 teaspoon of brown sugar. You’ll note there is not a ton of sugar in this mixture. You really don’t need it with apples, in my opinion. After mixing all the apple slices, flour, spices and sugar together, I spread the slices out into a 9×13 glass dish.
The fun part was next – the yummy topping! I mixed in a small bowl, 1/2 of a cup of brown sugar, 1/2 of a cup of gluten-free oats, 1/4 cup of gluten-free flour, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and 4 teaspoons of butter (I used Brummel & Brown yogurt/vegetable oil spread as usual, instead of real butter).
For the gluten-free oats, make sure they are certified gluten-free (I used Bob’s Red Mill brand). Regular oats can become contaminated by other grains while growing and harvesting, so you need to buy certified gluten-free oats, not “regular” oats.
I mixed my yummy topping together, and sprinkled it on top of the sliced apples.
The apple crisp went into a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. About 20 minutes in, I was concerned it was looking dry, so I pulled it out of the oven for a moment and sprinkled a tablespoon of water around the pan. It came out delicious. The easy printable recipe is at the end of the page.
For my second apple-themed recipe, I was craving a gluten-free apple spice cake. However, a lot of recipes include frosting at the end, and I just didn’t want quite that big of a sugar rush! So I settled on modifying a recipe for spice cake that I saw on the Taste of Home website.
I began by making a really simple batter out of 1 cup of applesauce (I used unsweetened cinnamon applesauce), sugar – I used half white and half brown, a little vegetable oil, and 1 egg. In a separate bowl, I mixed 1 cup of gluten-free flour blend, baking soda, salt and all of my spices – I used 1 teaspoon of Gingerbread Spice mix (this is a mixture of allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger – use 1/4 teaspoon of each if you don’t have Gingerbread Spice mix), an additional 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon of cloves. I didn’t go too crazy with cinnamon since my applesauce was cinnamon flavored, so feel free to add more cinnamon if you use regular applesauce.
I combined my dry ingredients into my wet ingredients, and poured it into an 8 inch square pan.
Now, because I didn’t want to use a sugary frosting for this cake, I decided to go in a different direction. For some reason my kids love white chocolate, so I decided to put white chocolate chips on top of this apple spice cake. Another, prettier option would be to bake without the chips and melt white chocolate separately to drizzle on top. Better for you than frosting? I don’t know, but I like to think this is a little less sugary!
Easy Gluten-Free Apple Crisp
For the filling:
• 7 apples, peeled and sliced, tart variety
• 1 teaspoon of gluten-free flour
• 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
• ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg
• 1 teaspoon of brown sugar
• 1 tablespoon of water
For the topping:
• ½ cup of brown sugar
• ½ cup of gluten-free oats
• ¼ cup of gluten-free flour
• 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
• 4 teaspoons of butter (or tub margarine works just fine)
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. For the filling, combine in one large bowl or casserole dish, the sliced apples and gluten-free flour. Then mix in the cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar. Spread into casserole dish or 9×13 glass dish. Sprinkle in 1 tablespoon of water. For the topping, combine in a small bowl the brown sugar, gluten-free oats, gluten-free flour, cinnamon, and butter. Sprinkle topping over sliced apples. Bake for 30 minutes until warm, bubbly and apples are cooked through.
Gluten-Free Applesauce Spice Cake
• 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce, regular or cinnamon flavored
• ¾ cup of sugar (white or brown or a combination)
• ¼ cup of vegetable oil
• 1 egg
• 1 cup of gluten-free flour
• ¾ teaspoon of baking soda
• ½ teaspoon of salt
• 1 teaspoon of gingerbread spice mix, or ¼ teaspoon each of ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice
• ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon
• ¼ teaspoon of cloves
• ½ cup of white chocolate chips
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, stir together applesauce, sugar, oil and egg. In a separate bowl, stir together gluten-free flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Pour into a greased 8” or 9” square pan. Sprinkle top of cake with white chocolate chips. Bake for 25 minutes, let cool slightly and serve warm.