Brandied Gluten-Free Apple Crisp is a flavourful, adult update to a childhood favourite. The brandy works SO well with the fall flavours.
Note: This recipe was first posted on my original blog, Celebration Generation, on November 10, 2014. It was transferred over to this blog - existing comments and all - on 9/17/2021. It was most recently updated on 5/9/2022.
Apple crisp was the dish that I was first known for, back when I was a kid. I substituted my favorite granola cereal for the rolled oats that most recipes called for... and a favorite was born!
As an adult, I’m a big fan of the combination of apples, cinnamon, brown sugar, and apple brandy when it comes to apple desserts - as you may have noticed by now. (Mmmm Brandied Apple Upside Down Cake!)
The Apple Brandy gives a little extra something to tender apple filling, an added warmth and complexity.
It tastes like the holiday season!
This gluten free apple crisp is the perfect way to end a crisp, cool day of apple picking with your special someone.
My easy Apple Crisp was definitely one of the things that immediately came to mind, when I found out about my gluten allergy - so of course, I had to make a GF apple crisp.
This easy recipe won't be for everyone - I realize that some people have issues with oats - but it'll hit the spot for those who CAN have oats.
Also, bonus: Because the crisp topping is oats-based anyway, NON-gf people not only don't take it as a specifically GLUTEN-FREE apple dessert, but find it tastes better than with regular flour!
... so, you know, the perfect dessert to serve a crowd. 🙂
This recipe uses mostly simple ingredients that should be easy to find in any grocery store, if not actual pantry staples.
Amounts and technique are in the recipe card at the end of this post, but I wanted to go into some extra information about ingredients here.
While a lot of people are very specific about what kind of apple to use, I’ve got to be honest - you can use almost any one (more more) of the apple varieties out there that you like.
If you like sweet apples, go for something like honeycrisp apples or pink lady apples. If you’re in the mood for tart apples, granny smith apples.
IMHO, Mutsus are the BEST apples, and they’re the variety of apple I will ALWAYS choose, when I can get my hands on them. They have a great sweet AND tart flavor!
The only thing I’ll really specify is that I’m not a fan of using soft apples to make apple crisp. I like to start out with a good bit of crunch, so they retain some body after cooking.
Oat Flour and Granola
These two simple ingredients form the bulk of the topping ingredients.
For both of them, make sure you’re using products that are certified gluten free / purity protocol oats, ESPECIALLY if you’re serving someone who has celiac disease.
Gluten Free Oat Flour
I like to use Gluten-Free Oat Flour as the gluten-free flour, rather than any kind of gluten free all purpose flour.
Truth be told, I use it even when the apple crisp doesn’t need to be gluten free - it just tastes better than regular flour!
This recipe doesn’t need any of the properties of wheat flour, so using oat flour is the best way to boost the earthy flavour of the streusel topping.
No oat flour? No problem - just run oats through a food processor until finely ground!
You can use your favourite Gluten free Granola, whether homemade or store bought.
If you prefer, gluten-free oats can be substituted for the same amount of granola.
Gluten-Free Apple Crisp Variations
– While I love this with apple brandy.. try rum, whisky, or whatever else you like. Non-cream liqueurs work best.
– For a “Candy Apple” crisp, use sour apple schnapps for the flavoring, add a layer of ½ – 1 cup chopped Kraft Caramels on top of the apple layer, before coating with the streusel topping
– Add sweetened dried cranberries instead of – or in addition to – the nuts.
Vegan Apple Crisp
This recipe is easy to make as gluten free dairy free apple crisp - simply swap the regular butter out for a dairy-free option, like Earth Balance Original vegan butter.
Non-alcoholic Gluten-Free Apple Crisp
For a nonalcoholic version, you can swap apple juice or apple cider.
When I’m not using liqueur as a flavour, I will usually toss the apples with a little lemon juice and vanilla extract, as well as warm spices in both the apple mixture and the crumble topping.
My go-to spices for this are cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and/or ginger - depending on what I’m in the mood for!
More Gluten-Free Dessert Recipes!
Looking for even more fantastic gluten-free desserts that *everyone* will love? Look no further!
Easy Gluten Free Brownies
Gluten Free Butter Tart Bars
Gluten-Free Doughnut Holes
Gluten-Free Earl Grey Pie
Gluten-Free Lemon Bars
Gluten-Free Maple Pumpkin Pie
Gluten-Free Nanaimo Bar Brownies
Gluten-Free Puffed Rice Bars
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Mini Doughnuts
Gluten-Free Raspberry Bars
Gluten-Free Schmoo Torte
Gluten Free Sticky Toffee Pudding
Pina Colada Fluff
Also, be sure to check out our collection of Gluten Free Cookie Recipes!
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Brandied Gluten-Free Apple Crisp
- 9 x 13 Baking Dish
- 1 cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 cup Gluten-Free Oat Flour
- 3 cups Gluten-free Granola*
- 1 cup Butter melted
- 7-8 Large, tart apples
- ⅓ cup Apple Brandy
- ½ cup Brown Sugar packed
- ½ teaspoon Cinnamon
- ½ cup Walnuts , almonds, or dried cranberries optional
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease a 9″ square baking dish, set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine sugar, flour, and granola. Add melted butter, stir until well incorporated. Everything should be wet, but crumbly.
- Peel (if you want – I don’t usually), core, and chop or slice the apples, placing in a large mixing bowl. Toss the sliced apples with the apple brandy.
- Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nuts or cranberries - if using - to the large bowl of apples, toss until apples are evenly coated.
- Spread apple mixture evenly over the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
- Top with an even layer of the granola mixture, patting down lightly.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until topping is lightly browned, and apples are tender.
- Serve with a scoop of ice cream or mound of whipped cream.
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a week or so. For best results, don't cover it til after it's cooled to room temperature!