Apple Picking and Gluten-free Apple Crisp (oat-free and nut-free)

One of the things I realized when I was back in Alberta a couple of weeks ago is that change takes time to accept and meld into our lives. It’s okay to dig our heels in the mud once in awhile and wish things were easier, cry a bunch, and hibernate from the world. Then, once you’re done with all that, it’s up to you to strap on your boots and make the most of the situation. As my Dad said, you won’t know you hate it in Montreal until you give it a fair chance.

Dads always give the best advice.

I came back to Montreal, made a list of all the cool things I’d heard that this part of our country had to offer, and made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t decide whether or not I truly wanted to go home until I’d tried them all.

I call it Operation Fall in love with Quebec.

First up – apple picking.

I found this fabulous list of apple picking orchards near Montreal and decided on Le Verger Labonté for our first apple picking experience. I’m glad I trusted my gut on this one because the place was absolutely amazing! The owner, Nathalie, has a passionate soul that can literally be seen in the brightness of her eyes! Her vibrant zest for life overflows into her business and the energy that surrounds her slice of paradise in Ile Perrot.

We arrived at 9am, just as the orchard was opening, paid $16 for our bucket, and began our first apple picking experience.

I must say that walking through an apple field with a bucket and an eye out for the perfect, succulent apple is quite soothing. I didn’t want the activity to end.

There were about 6 rows of Macintosh and Spartan apple trees to pick from, all which had enough fruit at arms reach that we didn’t have to use a ladder to find the perfect apple. Good thing too, because I have a history of bad experiences around ladders. It was safe for everyone involved that I didn’t climb up one.

Visitors began pouring into the orchard right around the time we were finished picking our last apple. We went into the store to return our bucket, Kevin got to try one of Le Verger Labonté’s famous apple muffins, and we bought a large bag of dehydrated apple chips. Kevin loves apple chips something fierce but hates every other type of dried fruit. Go figure.

During our drive home, I began trying to figure out what I was going to do with the incredibly large bag of apples we now had in our possession.

Apple crisp seems like a good start, don’t you think?

Christine, our babysitter, used to love making apple crisp. She was so good at it. Every time she came to take care of my sister and I, she’d make us a batch and get us to help her with coating the apples or mixing the topping with our fingers. It’s one of my most favorite childhood kitchen memories.

When our parents decided to move our family into the city, Christine gifted us with the recipe for her apple crisp. It’s one of the most precious gifts I’ve ever received… my first recipe card. Would you believe it, after 8 moves, 4 cities/towns and 14 years, I still have that original recipe card! It’s a bit worse for wear, but it’s legible and loved.

It was about time that I converted this tried and true recipe into a gluten-free, sugar reduced one.

Here goes.

Topping inspired by Karina

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4.5 from 2 reviews
Gluten-free Apple Crisp (Oat-free and Nut-free)
Recipe type: Vegan, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Refined sugar-free, Yeast-free, Corn-free, Nut-free
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 servings
Warming apple crisp made gluten-free with a crisp, golden topping of quinoa flakes and sorghum flour.
  • 6 cups diced apples, do not remove the skin
  • ⅓ cup coconut sugar
  • 3 tablespoon white rice flour
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (the secret ingredient)
  • juice from ½ lemon
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Oil a 9x13 dish or large casserole dish with a dab of coconut oil and set aside.
  2. Combine filling ingredients in a large bowl and toss to coat apples in the mixture. Make sure everything is well mixed before dropping into the prepared casserole dish.
  3. Place topping ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and mix with a hand mixer until well combined.
  4. Sprinkle topping over apples.
  5. Place in preheated oven for a total of 50 minutes, covering with a loose fitting glass lid or sheet of aluminum foil after 20 minutes to prevent the top from burning.
  6. Once complete, allow to sit with lid off for 20 minutes or so.
  7. Serve with ice cream, coconut cream, or straight up.
[url:6]View nutrition info[/url]
    Any type of apple can be used for the preparation of this crisp, but the slightly more tart apples will yield a better result. I used a mixture of Spartan and McIntosh apples.

    Begin by making sure that 6 cups of chopped apples will fit in your casserole dish. If not, you’ll have to adjust the recipe accordingly. Apple crisp is very forgiving, so don’t worry too much about it.

    Add lemon to the diced apples as soon as you can so they don’t brown. I suppose this doesn’t matter too much if you’re not planning to take pictures of your food, but hey.

    Add the remaining filling ingredients.

    Stir to coat all apple pieces with the flour and sugar mixture.

    Press apples into a lightly greased casserole dish.

    Now, to get your topping ready!

    I managed to find quinoa flakes at Tau Marche. Thanks for the suggestion!

    Mix all of the topping ingredients in a small bowl.

    Then pour over top of the apples. You’ll have a lot of crispy coating to go around, so no worries on that!

    Bake as instructed, and prepare yourself for a delicious (and healthy) Fall dessert!

    If that’s not enough apple for you…

    You can also find me over at the DeLallo Foods blog today sharing some insight into gluten-free grains and, you guessed it, another apple recipe! An Apple Raisin Pasta Bake that can be enjoyed for breakfast or topped with ice cream as a light dessert to be exact. Yes, dessert pasta.

    Check this out if you’re in need of a dairy-free version of this pasta bake recipe.

    More apple recipes to come.

    Gosh, I hope you like apples.

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    Comments | Leave Your Comment

    1. Oh bring on the apple recipes!!! I adore them and since watermelons are now becoming prohibitively expensive (I guess I finally have to accept that they’re no longer in season), apples are my fruit of choice!! The apple crisp sounds fabulous. I suppose you could adjust the recipe if the casserole dish doesn’t fit 6 cups of apples…. or just get a bigger dish!! ;)

    2. Awesowe! My mom loves to make apple crisp to! I can’t wait to try this and put my bag of apples to use!

    3. Dad’s definitely give the best advice :) I’m glad you are being proactive about exploring your new city – I’m sure you’ll find things you love about it! Are you going to be going home for Christmas?

    4. I went apple picking for the first time a few weeks ago. I had so much fun! I’ve made a few really great recipes that I’ve posted, using the apples. So delicious! Can’t wait to see all that you come up with, too.

    5. Those photos at the farm are amazing. I live in farm country (in NJ if you believe it!) and there are 2 pick your own apple farms within 5 miles of my house. I can’t wait to make a weekend of going, your photos and recipe definitely inspire me to do so!!!!

      • Thanks, Alissa. It was definitely a great experience. I think next time though we wont pick as many. I’m up to my elbows in apple recipes!

    6. Yum this looks amazing Leanne, I love the idea of using quinoa instead of oats. We are going apple picking this weekend, maybe I will have to try a big pan of this when we get back :)

      • I’ve already written down your cobbler recipe for tonight!

      • Oh you must give them a try, Kim. They’re just fabulous!

    7. I can’t wait to go apple-picking! I went for the first time last year with my boyfriend, and we had an absolute blast. I ate more apples that day than I would normally eat in a month. I’m so glad you guys had a good time and hopefully your trip together helped you fall in love with Montreal just a little more :)

      I am very intrigued by the dessert pasta recipe! I would love a step-by-step for the recipe. Do you have the link the the DeLallo blog? The link that you posted just goes to your recipe page :)

      • Gosh, I know what you mean… I’m happy I went to the orchard on an empty stomach!

        Thanks for catching the incorrect link, I seem to be doing that a lot lately, sheesh! Just updated the post with the link to the guest blog and recipe. Enjoy your day, Andrea :)

    8. I love the idea of using quinoa flakes for an apple crisp crust! And OH YES, bring on the apple recipes! I don’t get excited about many other fall food trends, but I love fresh apples!

    9. I had no problems falling in love with Montréal when I visited 2 years ago. Seriously, I would happily move there except for the pesky need for a work visa. (I’m American.) I saw the most amazing Tiffany glass exhibit at the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, attended a Garou concert, ate at great vegetarian restaurants and spent a whole day at Mount Royal. Yep, if you hear of anyone needing a UX designer, let me know. I can be packed in 2 weeks!

      • Sounds good, Jillian. I’ll keep my ears open for you :) Thanks for the words of encouragement!

    10. PSYCHED about a crisp recipe that does not have oats in it :)

      Thanks, Leanne.

      How’s Montreal treating you these days? Warming up?

      • Thanks Sophie! Montreal is getting better and better. Currently looking for spin classes in my area which is proving to be a bit difficult, but other than that, things are going well!

    11. You are so creative! I wish that I had your creative spirit. I am always so afraid of making a horrible dish that no one will eat…I am sure that never happens in your kitchen!

      • Oh my gosh, it happens daily! Luckily, many of the things I make are safe for dogs, so our pups get a lot of my mess ups. They don’t seem to mind in the least!

    12. I’m so excited to try this recipe! Thanks for making one of my all-time favorite desserts a possibility again, since I’ve recently gone gluten and sugar-free. Do you think it would be okay to sub brown rice flour for the white rice (only because it’s what I have on hand) and coconut nectar for the maple syrup (for the low-glycemic factor)? Thanks in advance for any feedback! ;)

      • Hi Heather – it’s great that you’ll be able to have apple crisp again! That’s just fabulous. The white rice flour is there to make the insides a bit more gooey, you know how ‘normal’ apple crisp is. You’d be better off using tapioca starch or arrowroot. Do you have either of those? If so, about 1 tablespoon should do the trick. And no worries about the maple syrup. It’s the maple flavor I was going after but if you have to omit it, just remove it completely and don’t bother with the coconut nectar. It wont change the overall outcome. Enjoy (but I don’t think I have to tell you that!)

        • Thank you so much for your quick advice! I do believe I picked up some arrowroot starch when I was last at Whole Foods. I haven’t tried it before, so I’ll be excited to give it a whirl. I’m going to make this tonight to share with my in-laws! Thanks again! Hope things take a positive turn and you start feeling more at home in Montreal every day. I’ve never been, but I would love to visit someday, so I enjoy your posts about what to do and where to eat in the area. xo

    13. OMG, this is just too weird! You picking apples in Ile Perrot! I was practically born there and lived there until I turned 23. Both my kids were born there… as a matter of fact, my daughter currently lives in my mom’s house, the one where I was raised. That is so uncanny! To think that I never went, not once, apple picking as a kid, nor did I take my own kids. I first went a couple of years ago, after I moved to the Laurentians.

      I see you got to pay TAU a visit! Did you like it? I can literally spend hours in that store!

      As for the ton of apples you now have on hand, turn them into home made applesauce, which you can then use to sweeten all your baked creations! I’m bummed ‘cuz I didn’t get to go apple picking this year, so I won’t have a chance to make my usual batch of applesauce. I’m wondering if perhaps I won’t take a chance and go check out the orchard this week-end. Who knows, there might be a few apples left in the trees…

      Oh, and I can’t wait to see what else you have on your “Operation Fall in Love with Quebec” list! :)

      • It’s such a beautiful place out there, I loved it! How awesome that you got to grow up there. It felt so friendly and inviting.

        TAU was amazing! It felt just like the health food stores back home. We’re going to go again this weekend as my stop in was just to find quinoa flakes and nothing else. So hard to leave that store with just one bag of goodies. It seems like we’re in Dorval more than we’re here at home… they have so many great stores out that way!

        Nathalie (the owner of the orchard) said there was apple picking until the end of the month I believe, so I think you still have time! Good idea about the apple sauce, I could freeze it in batches I’m sure?

        Any recommendations of things we should do here that are just awesome?

        • Well, for starters, I think you should definitely go to La Ronde during the month of October for the Thrills by Day, Fright by Night event. I myself am planning on going, hopefully next week-end. Looks like a load of fun to me!

          As for the applesauce, I can mine in Mason jars, but freezing would also work out well, I’m sure.

          I think I need to place a phone call with one or two orchards to find out whether their trees still have fruits hanging from their branches. I wouldn’t mind sinking my teeth into a freshly picked apple! (they’re just the best and I always end up eating at least a dozen when I go apple picking!!!)

    14. I´m part of a group of volunteers that is starting a new scheme in our community in Portland. One of the community projects that we are about to initiate relatates to your blog, and therefor some of the information here is of value for us and I just wanted so say thank you for that.

      • Wow, that’s so great Margaret! I’m so happy the blog can be part of something so fantastic. Thanks for sharing your story with me :)

    15. Hello Leanne,
      This sounds like a delicious recipe, I plan to give it a try today! Would this recipe work well in a slow cooker?
      Thank you so much!

      • Hi Jessica! I’ve made crisps before in the slow cooker with great success, although the topping never crisps up quite like the oven version. Let me know how it goes!

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