I grew up on that classic crumble topping made with flour, butter, sugar, and cinnamon blended together by hand. It made an appearance not only on fruit crisps but also on that special family dessert that no one else we knew ever had at their house: Blueberry Buckle. Butter-sugar crumble made every dessert almost painfully good and I even loved it straight out of the bowl, but the after effects were monstrous. Sleepy, crabby, crashy.
I haven’t yet managed to de-glutenize the Blueberry Buckle — the cake is so particular, dense and heavy and moist — but I have come up with a reasonably delicious gluten-free crumble topping. And since I prefer desserts that don’t leave me feeling like a bloated narcoleptic bitch, this recipe manages to ditch both sugar and gluten. A dessert-win just in time for Thanksgiving!
1.5 cups raw walnuts
1 cup dried mulberries
2 tbl dried cranberries (or other dried fruit, I like the hint of tartness from the cranberry)
1/4 tsp vanilla
3 tbl ghee or 2 tbl softened coconut butter. I prefer ghee, but if you use coconut butter reduce the amount because it has a strong (but delicious) taste. It will also BROWN more, so don’t be alarmed.
2 tsp cinnamon (1 for the topping, 1 for the apples)
Dash of nutmeg
Pinch of salt
6 baking apples
Grind the walnuts, dried fruits, and spices briefly in the food processor. Do not over grind! Add the ghee or coconut butter and pulse. Taste and adjust as needed. It shouldn’t be super sweet, more nutty and rich.
Peel, core and slice apples. Mix lightly with a squeeze of lemon and about a teaspoon of cinnamon.
Layer apple slices in 8 by 8 oven proof dish. No need to grease the pan. Spoon the topping over the top.
Cover with foil and bake until the apples are tender in a 350 degree oven, about 30-45 minutes depending on your apple type. Remove foil and bake for another ten minutes to brown the top.