Homestyle Paleo Apple Crisp

Apple crisp 13

Hailing from the great state of Maine (The Way Life Should Be, The Pine Tree State, Vacationland), I love apple picking. Sadly, there’s not a whole lot of that going on in Florida. I’m still partial to my apple desserts however, so on Thanksgiving I experimented with a paleo version of Apple Crisp. It tasted good to me but I wasn’t really happy with it. I used eggs in the crumble to make it a little more doughy but I just didn’t really like it. I wanted a recipe more akin to the Apple Crisp I grew up with. So I tried again and this recipe I’m sharing with you is amazing. I brought it to a friend’s for dinner and it got 12 thumbs up (including Blayne’s and mine)!

The best Apple Crisp I’ve ever had used oats in the topping, it was amazing. I found some paleo recipes that substituted oats with shredded unsweetened coconut, I chose not to use coconut but check some of those out if you want a crunchy topping.

If you’d prefer to make a French Apple Pie with this recipe just add a pie crust to the pie plate, fill with the apple mix and top with the crumble. There are paleo pie crust recipes out there, I haven’t tried one yet, if you choose to use a paleo crust I’d love to hear about your experience!

**Please note that if you are trying to lose weight and eat a very strict diet, decide for yourself if you want to use sweeteners and Paleo-approved baking ingredients, such as coconut sugar, almond flour, etc. While these are better than the typical ingredients of white sugar, shortening, and white flour, they still should be consumed in moderation and treated as dessert items.

See full ingredients and instructions further down the page, here I’m going to walk you through some tips…

I use Macintosh or Cortland apples because they are soft, not too sweet, and not tart like Granny Smiths. Here is a guide for choosing good baking apples, Apple Guide.

To peel, core and slice the apples you can use an apple peeler, spiraler, or corer if you wish. Personally, I enjoy preparing apples for pie and crisp by hand. I peel using the method my Mimi taught me, pierce the skin with a paring knife and rotate the apple. I then quarter all my apples at once, core them all with my paring knife, and slice in 1/4 inch triangular pieces.

Apple crisp 1
Apple crisp 2
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I use tapioca flour as a thickener in the filling, you can substitute with arrowroot powder, or a non-paleo thickening agent. You can also leave this out altogether, your filling may just be a little more runny.

In this recipe I substitute white and brown sugar with coconut sugar. It’s produced from the sap of a coconut palm tree and has a lower glycemic index than white sugar. Read about coconut sugar here. This is a look at the filling ingredients combined with the apple slices…

Apple crisp 5

This next step is very important… YOU MUST TASTE TEST THE COVERED APPLES. Why? Because they are freaking delicious!!

Apple crisp 6

I’m not sure how others grease a dish with coconut oil but I wear a sandwich bag over my hand like a glove and spread the oil liberally. I  just bought this unrefined coconut oil from Sam’s Club, 54 fl. oz. for $13.98. When I can’t get to Sam’s I usually buy LouAnn’s brand from Publix because its less expensive than the other brands. However, I noticed Publix is now selling their own which might be cheaper than LouAnn’s.

A note about unrefined coconut oil, it has a pretty distinct coconut flavor. Refined coconut oil is very mild and doesn’t have a taste in the final product.

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Spread apples evenly into greased dish

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At room temperature most coconut oil is gel-like, it is solid if chilled, and a clear liquid if heated. Chill your coconut oil to thicken it up, it doesn’t have to be an absolute solid.

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Add 1/2 cup coconut oil to your topping by dropping spoonfuls into the bowl.

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Cut the dry topping mixture with the oil, the same way you would cut a mixture with butter. I use this masher and it works like a dream, but you can use a fork just as well. Once the oil and dry ingredients are completely combined, fluff the mixture by scraping the masher or fork along the bottom of the bowl. This will allow the mixture to look more like a crumble.

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Cover the apple filling loosely with the crumble.

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Bake at 350 for 40 mins till the apple filling bubbles and your kitchen smells delicious : ))

Apple crisp 13

This recipe makes about 6 servings, divide leftovers into tupperware dishes for a quick snack or dessert. You can also freeze it for later. I like to take leftovers like these on the road with me for a snack : ))


Have you found a great alternative Apple Crisp recipe? Have you tried mine? Let me know what you think in the comments below. 

  • Prep time: 20 minutes, Cook time: 40 minutes
  • Servings: 6
  • Approved for: Paleo, Primal, Gluten-free
  • Macronutrients: Carbs (apple, coconut sugar), Fat (coconut flour, almond flour, coconut oil)
6-7 medium (or 5 large) apples
½ cup coconut sugar
½ tbsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp tapioca
½ tsp nutmeg

1 c almond flour
¼ c coconut flour
½ c coconut sugar
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp salt (optional)
½ c solid coconut oil (or butter if dairy tolerant)

1. Whisk filling ingredients together in a large bowl
2. Peel, core, quarter, and slice apples into 1/4 inch pieces
3. Add apple slices to the bowl with filling ingredients and toss or mix with a spoon (or hands) till the dry filling ingredients cover the apples
4. Grease your pie plate or baking dish with coconut oil
5. Spread apples evenly into greased dish
6. Place the all topping ingredients except coconut oil into a bowl and whisk to combine.
7. Add the coconut oil to topping mix by taking spoonfuls of the solid oil and dropping it into the mixture.
8. Cut the dry mix with the oil, the same way you would cut a mix with butter. Once the oil and dry ingredients are completely combined, fluff the mixture with the masher by scraping it along the bottom of the bowl. This will allow the mixture to look more like a crumble.
9. Cover the apple filling loosely with the crumble
10. Bake at 350 for 40 mins till filling bubbles

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