Apple crumble was the first thing I ever learned to make as a kid – or, at least, it’s the first thing that I remember learning how to make. Apple crumble has always been my favourite dessert, and as the apple trees in our garden would furnish us with enough fruit to keep us swimming in apples for the entire year, I would set to making one every Sunday to follow the Sunday roast. A lot of my childhood memories involve sitting waiting for apple crumble while my dad inevitably burned the milk for the custard, having to employ outstanding self-restraint not to eat my portion while the rest of the family argued about whose fault the burning was.
The only problem with apple crumble (well, from a nutritional perspective; obviously from a taste perspective there is NOTHING wrong with apple crumble) is that it’s loaded with sugar, flour and butter / oil. Thankfully, there is a way to make it crunchy, sweet and perfectly textured while making it a little bit healthier: Nuts. Well, nuts and dates.
For this recipe, I’ve replaced the butter and sugar with a date paste and added in some walnuts for texture. The flour is replaced by oat flour, making this recipe totally gluten-free. Though there’s still a tablespoon or so of sugar in the filling, you can leave this out if you prefer; the apples might be sweet enough for you!
1 cup oats
1 cup oat flour
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 cup dates + 1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon + 1/2 teaspoon reserve
6-8 medium apples, peeled and sliced thinly
2 tablespoons brown sugar
the juice of 1 lemon
a pinch of nutmeg
pinch of salt
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius
In a large baking dish, layer the sliced apples, brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, the pinch of nutmeg and the lemon juice
In a blender or food processor, whizz together the water and dates until they come together in a paste
In a mixing bowl, combine the oats, oat flour, walnuts and salt, then add in the date paste and use the rubbing method until everything comes together in a crumble
Top the apples with the crumble and place into the oven for 30 minutes
If you can, place the crumble under the grill for 2-3 minutes to brown on top. If not, simply serve
Enjoy! It’s great with vegan ice cream or on its own!
To me, there’s no more homely dessert than the humble apple crumble. With a gorgeous blend of textures and flavours, and that sort of warm belly feeling you only get from a crumble that’s fresh out of the oven, this is the perfect little mouthful for any time of the day. This is also healthy enough that you can have it for breakfast, guilt-free!
If you’re not into sugar, you can always leave out the sugar altogether too.