Granny Smith Apple Crisp

Here’s a lovely seasonal treat –gluten free apple crisp that’s simple and easy to make with very few, and very healthy ingredients. This recipe for Granny Smith Apple Crisp is particularly low carb because I use the low glycemic sweetener xylitol.

Since so many people have written to me to tell me they do not use agave, I thought it would be nice to research a variety of alternative sweeteners and experiment with them. Hence the use of xylitol (a low glycemic sweetener) in this recipe. My children couldn’t taste the difference and my doctor highly recommends xylitol for those that can digest it –it is not as easy to digest as agave for some people.

As always, use the ingredients that suit you best, and take the time to experiment with substitutions, as I cannot answer your (or my own) substitution questions without actually testing them in real life in my real kitchen.

apple crisp with xylitol gluten-free recipe note

As you can see from the note above, this recipe was a major hit with my older son. He left me a note on the dessert that said, “Mom, please do not let ANYONE eat the crisp. I want to eat it. TKS (Thanks).

Granny Smith Apple Crisp

Print Recipe
  1. In a 1.5 quart pyrex bowl, toss apples, xylitol and lemon juice
  2. Stir water and arrowroot together to make a slurry then toss into apple mixture
  3. In a medium bowl, combine almond flour, salt and cinnamon
  4. In a small bowl combine vanilla, coconut oil and xylitol
  5. Stir wet ingredients into dry --mixture will be very crumbly
  6. Sprinkle topping over apple mixture
  7. Bake covered at 350°F for 45 minutes, until apples are soft and topping is golden brown

Every fall when I begin baking fruit desserts in earnest, I have the same internal dialogue –what is the exact difference between a crumble and a crisp? And every fall, without fail, I pull out my well worn copy of the Joy of Cooking and look this up again. I thought I would share what the good book says with all of you:

“For a crisp, the flour, butter, and sugar are mixed together like pie dough before the liquid is added, and the mixture scattered over the top.”

“A crunch is fruit sandwiched between two layers of sweetened, buttered crumbs; it is served cut into squares, like bar cookies , but is more fragile…Crumble is the British name for a crisp or crunch with oatmeal in the topping.”

Here are some more healthy gluten free recipes using apples:
Cinnamon Apple Cake
Caramel Apples
Fennel Apple Soup


64 responses to “Granny Smith Apple Crisp”

  1. Hello Elana- I have been following your website for about a year now and have loved the recipes you provide. You are amazing and I look forward to being a “follower” for a long time. Also, I’m in Caslte Rock, CO so I love our somewhat “local” connection.
    I just made this apple crisp and have to say it’s divine. I did make some changes though that I thought I would share since it hi-lights another one of your recipes. First, I used Honey Crisp apples instead of Granny Smith. I LOVE Honey Crisps and couldn’t resist the sweater taste of them. Second, I used the same amount of “sugar” that you call for but instead I used 1/2 xylitol and 1/2 coconut sugar (I love the brown-sugar taste it provides and it’s also low glycemic). Third, I added additional cinnamon and then grated fresh nutmeg directly to the apples. Fourth, I doubled the crisp topping since I was making it for gluten-loving, sugar-loving friends and didnt want it to apoear too “healthy” LOL. Lastly, after the crisp had baked, I made a 1/2 recipe of your Vegan Caramel Sauce. I added pecans to it when it was done and then poured the caramel/pecan mixture on top of the crisp. It was absolutely amazing and our friends had no idea that it was a healthier treat than traditional crisps.

  2. Thank you for this great recipe!

    I doubled the recipe and made it the other day.

    I had to bake it longer for the apples to bake through. I added some ghee after baking it for a bit.

    Everyone enjoyed it :o).

  3. Just thought I would let some people know about coconut nectar. It is nice to see a recipe with xylitol as it is a lot cheaper than coconut nectar. But for all you people who find a recipe that requires agave or honey and are on a candida/low glycemic diet, I have substituted coconut nectar for many recipes on here and they have always worked for me.

  4. Hi Elena,

    New to the gluten-free world and still learning so much! I made the Pear Crisp recipe from your book last night and it was quite delicious. Is there a way to get the topping to be “crunchy”?

    Many thanks!

  5. I use stevia and coconut sugar for the very reason that I have too much bacteria in my intestines. They create too much gas and bloating from the other sugars. Did you know all bacteria feed off the food you eat in your intestines and thus create more or less gas depending on the food? Artificial sweeteners, sugar, honey, maple syrup, etc. are not recommended if you have stomach problems only coconut palm sugar and stevia. Check out the tv program “Know The Cause”. Quite amazing when you check out their website too and understand all the science behind it.

  6. Hi Elena,
    I made this last night with stevia and it was yummy. Or at least I think it was yummy with the few bites that I had. My two teen-age sons and two of their friends then ate the whole pan. So I guess it was pretty good, lol! I’m finding that sweet desserts just don’t agree with me, so it is nice to have a dessert with a lot of friut and a tiny amount of sweetener. Thanks for all of your hard work. Your recipes are my go-to recipes now, I’m still working my way through your first book, and starting on your second book. I’m hoping there’s another book in your future. Happy Holidays!

  7. I made this tonight with three apples and one pear and honey as a sweetener. So, so good…a must repeat! Thank you

Have Something to Add?

Your comment will need to be approved before it will appear on the site.

Recipes » Desserts » Granny Smith Apple Crisp