Healthier Old-Fashioned Apple Crisp
The perfect dessert to serve a crowd, Healthier Old-Fashioned Apple Crisp is brimming with lightly sweet cinnamon-spiked apples and topped with a crunchy, satisfying oat topping.
It’s also naturally gluten- and dairy-free, so you can enjoy this comforting dessert more often!
Have I told you guys how much I love Ina Garten? So many of her cookbooks fall into my “most used” category.
She is amazing and I give her credit for teaching me to cook.
I learned to cook largely by watching Food Network in the first years after college, when I was newly married and working as a paraeducator in a classroom for children with autism.
Each afternoon I’d come home from school, flop onto the couch, and watch a lineup of my favorites: Ina Garten and Rachel Ray. Rachel taught me how to chop onions and throw together a meal in 30 minutes, and Ina taught me how to make food everyone wants to eat.
After a year or so of watching Ina’s show I invested in a few of her cookbooks.
I made her apple pie and coconut macaroons and chocolate cake.
I made her lemon pound cake so often I had the recipe memorized and there was so much of it around Andrew started taking it to work for breakfast.
And then there was her Old-Fashioned Apple Crisp.
I made Ina’s Apple Crisp for countless parties, holidays, and potlucks, and it was always met with rave reviews.
Over the years, though, I reluctantly stopped making her recipes because they tend to be heavy in the sugar-butter-white-flour department.
I missed those homey, comforting desserts, though, so I’ve worked on adapting healthier versions so we can enjoy them more often, like in this Healthier Maple Oat Mixed Berry Crisp
This Healthier Old-Fashioned Apple Crisp is based on Ina’s original.
It’s not quite the same as hers, as it uses maple syrup to sweeten naturally, coconut oil in place of butter, and swaps oat flour for white flour.
It’s definitely not as sweet as the original, but it’s still delicious and completely comforting.
We love it topped with Pumpkin Spice Coconut Whipped Cream, but my dad would say you can’t have apple crisp without ice cream, so I’ll leave the choice to you.
This recipe makes enough to feed a crowd, and can be assembled ahead, making it the perfect dessert for Sunday dinner or a holiday meal.
Leftovers are lovely for a snack with tea or even for breakfast, so no worries if there’s a bit left at the end of the night.
I hope this one becomes a favorite at your family table!
I hope you’ll make this one soon. If you do, be sure to share it on Instagram and tag me at @realfoodwholelife so I can see!
Now, let’s make some Healthier Old-Fashioned Apple Crisp!
RECIPE & KID FRIENDLY ADAPTATIONS
1 | Invite your child to help prepare the crisp. Older children can peel the apples, and younger children can help mix the topping and sprinkle over the apples.
THIS RECIPE IS . . .
Naturally Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Vegetarian, and Vegan
Tools to Make Healthier Old-Fashioned Apple Crisp
Oat Flour or Gluten-Free Oat Flour
Pin the image below to save Healthier Old-Fashioned Apple Crisp for later!
Healthier Old-Fashioned Apple Crisp
- 5 pounds apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
- 1 orange, zest grated and juiced
- 1 lemon, zest grated and juiced
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
For the Topping:
- 1 ½ cups oat flour*
- 1 cup whole, rolled oats
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅓ cup melted coconut oil
- ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
- Pumpkin Spice Coconut Whipped Cream, optional
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 14 x 2-inch oval baking dish with coconut oil.
- Combine the apples, zests, juices, ¼ cup maple syrup, and cinnamon in the baking dish, stirring well.
- To make the topping, combine the oat flour, whole oats, salt, cinnamon, maple syrup, and melted coconut oil. Stir until well combined and crumbly. Scatter evenly over the apples.
- Place the crisp on a sheet pan lined with foil and bake for 1 hour until the top is brown and the apples are bubbly. Serve warm, with pumpkin spice whipped cream if you like
This looks amazing and is totally happening for Thanksgiving!
Julie, fantastic. I hope you have a wonderful holiday!
Planning on making this for Christmas Eve, can’t wait but confused on one part of the directions. Do you mean to put foil on top of the crisp while baking? If the crisp is in a baking dish I’m unclear about the sheet pan part. Thanks for clarifying, love all your recipes!
Hi Madeline, no I do not put foil over the while baking because I found the the topping doesn’t brown and crisp if covered. Keep an eye on it toward the end of cooking and if it starts to brown too much feel free to cover with foil. I place the sheet pan under the baking dish because sometimes the fruit juices run over and can leave a sticky mess in the oven if there’s not something under to catch it. Happy you’re enjoying the recipes–Merry Christmas!
I made this last weekend and I just have to say that it’s THE tastiest refined-sugar-free apple dessert I have ever made. Our dwarf apple trees are loaded right now so I was looking for a healthy dessert to make with them. I used 12 apples (about 3.75 pounds) because I didn’t think any more would fit in my 9×13 pan without risk of making a mess. I also omitted the orange (because I didn’t have one) and the recipe still turned out great. I’m new to your site and can’t wait to try more of your recipes.
Kelly, I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe and that you were able to put the apples from your trees to good use. I hope you continue to enjoy other RFWL recipes as well! 🙂
Made this tonight for dessert to use up some apples and it was delicious! Hubby and kids all approved. I used all sweet apples so it turned out very sweet, yum! The topping is amazing!
Stephanie, yay, so happy to hear this was a hit with you and your crew!
Super delicious and healthy! My one year old loves it too!!
Kate, yay, so happy to hear you and your fam are enjoying this one. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review!