Introduction: Ultimate Sugar Free, Gluten Free Apple Crumble

About: Inventor and Emergency Doctor.

In this Instructable you will learn to make a sugar free, gluten-free apple crumble. I have added blackberries for a blackberry and apple crumble but you can leave them out if you want a plain apple crumble. I have used banana to sweeten the topping and dried fruit to sweeten the fruit; no artificial sweeteners. The topping is deliciously biscuity, rather than crumbly, because of the banana. By 'Sugar-Free' I mean there is no added cane sugar, only naturally occurring fruit sugars.

My parents were visiting and I decided to do a roast. Our lovely friend Sarah Selway was also over for dinner and is on a sugar-free diet. She requested a sugar-free crumble; here is my recipe. The crumble is pleasantly tart and fruity.

My mum says my crumble is better than hers; it's the only time in my life she has said I am better at anything than she is.

Preparation time 20 minutes

Cooking time 40 minutes

Serves six

Send me photos of yours!

Step 1: ​You Will Need

600 g of cooking apples (Three large apples)

Two large very ripe bananas (you know they are ready when the skins are covered in black spots. This needs a bit of planning in advance)

50 g of dates

50 g of prunes

100 g of gluten-free oats (I used normal oats as Sarah is not gluten-free)

50 g of unsalted butter

Quarter of a teaspoon of cinnamon (you can use allspice or ginger if you have none. Cinnamon is better as it is slightly sweet)

3 teaspoons lemon juice

100 grams of blackberries (these are frozen, Sarah picked them whilst walking Timmy at the Helford River a while ago. Frozen blackberries from the supermarket are much cheaper than fresh)

Medium-size crumble dish

2 medium sized pans, scales, wooden spoon, half a cup of water (not shown)

A good pair of ear plugs so you can concentrate on cooking when everyone is nattering around you. I tend to make mistakes when people talk to me whilst I am cooking so I wear a pair of my ZenPlugs Molded Ear Plugs I developed myself because I found that most ear plugs were uncomfortable and not very effective at blocking out sound and water. They are antibacterial and are excellent at blocking out sound and water, you can get them from if you need them.

Step 2: ​Preparation

I picked and washed the apples from the apple tree in the back garden, most of them will go in the fridge to last the winter. After washing the apples I had a new friend, as you can see in the third image. Here you can see him trying to beat a hasty retreat.

Step 3: ​Weigh the Ingredients

You can do this as you go along if you wish: I have combined all the weighing into one step.

Step 4: ​The Dried Fruit

Put half a cup of water on to boil. Chop the dried fruit into small pieces and put it in the water. Leave it to simmer for around 15 minutes whilst you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Keep stirring it and topping up the water until the fruit has broken down and the water is syrupy. Reduce it to a thick sludge.

Step 5: ​The Apples

Peel the apples and chop them into the largest pieces that you can. Leaving them big improves the texture of the fruit and increases variety of texture and flavour in each spoonful.

Lightly douse them in the lemon juice, turning them over in the dish until they are evenly coated, as per the second photograph. This stops them going brown whilst you are preparing the rest of the ingredients.

Sprinkle the blackberries evenly over the surface of the apple, as you can see in the third photograph.

Step 6: ​The Topping

Put the butter in the pan on a low heat. Resting the wooden spoon on the top of the butter speeds up the melting as it presses it against the bottom of the pan, displacing the already-melted butter, as shown in the first image. (Obviously keep an eye on it to make sure the spoon and butter do not burn!)

While the butter is melting, put the bananas and oats in a mixing bowl, as per the second image. Mash the bananas thoroughly with a fork then mix the oats and banana together with a wooden spoon until there is an even texture.

When the butter has melted, as per the third photo, add the oat and banana mixture, as you can see in the fourth image and stir until well mixed. This gives a biscuity topping which we prefer; it would be difficult to make a crumbly topping with banana as it tends to bind.

Step 7: Dried Fruit 2

When the dried fruit is soft and mostly dissolved, spoon it evenly over the surface of the apples, as you can see in the second image. Use the back of a spoon to gently press the dried fruit inbetween the apple pieces, aiming to create a level surface.

Step 8: The Topping

Use two spoons to add the topping to the crumble, using one to scrape it off the other, distributing it evenly as you go. Add a small amount at a time and spread it thinly; you can always go back and add more if there is some left over. Make sure the surface is evenly covered; you can smooth it with a fork or spoon if you wish, I like to leave mine uneven.

Step 9: Cook It

Cook for about 30-40 minutes at 180 degrees. You are better off cooking for slightly longer on a slightly lower heat if in doubt as the apples go in raw, without precooking, unlike most other apple crumble recipes. This will vary according to appliance. I did mine in the top oven of the Aga set to 4.5 for about 40 minutes. I never time mine; I just cook it until the topping is starting to brown and the fruit is bubbling.

Leave to stand for 10 minutes before serving with custard, creme fraiche or ice cream.

Send me pictures of yours!

Step 10: ​The Dinner

The food went down a storm. I made 10 dishes and three sauces; I have never seen so much food disappear in such a short time.

Roast chicken (organic, free range)

Baked sea bass

Roast potatoes

Roasted baby purple carrots

Parsnips roasted in soy and honey (cooked slowly until they are caramelised)

Candy-stripe beetroot with cumin

Leek cheese

Steamed cabbage

Vegetarian shallot gravy

Chicken and shallot gravy

Chilli and fresh turmeric sauce (I might do an Instructable on this at some point)

Apple and blackberry crumble with crunchy topping (I might do an Instructable on this as well)

Sugar-free apple and blackberry crumble

The hubbub round the table was great; you almost needed earplugs because of the noise!

Baking Contest 2017

Participated in the
Baking Contest 2017