Crumbles are one of my favourite desserts. A great example of how a little goes a long way: fruit + a few other ingredients, put together in a way that transforms everything into a warm happy mess :D And I’ve realized they can be real crowd pleasers, too. I think the humble crumble- and her many cousins- are uncomplicated, forgiving desserts that won’t let you down.
Yeah. I really feel for crumble. Is it strange to have feelings for a dessert?
Hmmm…I’ve come this far, so I might as well take the liberty to ramble a little longer. Here are 5 more reasons why I think you absolutely must involve crumbles in your dessert routine.
- Crispy on top + juicy and melting beneath.
- No fancy baking equipment required. No whisking. No whipping. You don’t even need a fork!
- You can serve them individually.
- It takes less time to assemble than a pie or a cake.
- You can make them with any kind of fruit! (Ok, perhaps not with watermelon. We’d best leave those for juices, smoothies or as they are. But has anyone had a watermelon crumble? Let me know.)
This *healthy* crumble came about as a way to use up leftover almond meal and Granny Smith apples. I usually make my crumble topping with some butter, sugar, flour and oats, but I thought Hey! Almond meal. Why not? And if you have a guest, friend or anybody who eats gluten-free, then this crumble is the way to go. (I pulse my own almond meal with the skin on, FYI.)
The inspiration for this recipe comes from the Flourless Anything Crumble recipe from It’s All Good. In it, Gwyneth Paltrow and Julia Turshen came up with a vegan, sugar-free and gluten-free crumble recipe, for any kind of stone fruit. I didn’t go the vegan or sugar-free route, just opted for the use of almond meal instead of flour. You could easily stick to the healthier option as outlined in the book: leave out the butter, swap the oats for quinoa flakes, and sub the granulated sugar for a combination of maple syrup + brown rice syrup. (Quinoa flakes and brown rice syrup are things I will probably not buy. Like ever. So I just converted the healthy recipe into a with-sugar, with-dairy version.)
FLOURLESS APPLE CRUMBLE (Adapted from It’s All Good.)
- 2 cups Granny Smith Apples, cored and chopped
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar+ 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ tablespoon lemon or lime juice
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
- ½ cup almond meal
- 2-3 tablespoons cold butter
- Preheat the oven to 200 C
- In a bowl, toss the chopped apples with the lemon/lime juice, 2 tablespoons brown sugar and cinnamon powder and set aside.
- In another bowl, mix the almond meal and 4 tablespoons granulated sugar until well combined.
- Work the cold butter into the almond meal mixture with your fingers until it’s rubble-y and like wet sand.
- Divide the chopped apples between individual ramekins.
- Crumble the mixture over the fruit and bake until the top is browned, about 15-20 minutes. (Do check on your crumbles, since oven temperatures vary- I took mine out at 15, other ovens may need more or less time.)