May 10, 2013

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Apple Crumble

My mom makes a mean fruit crumble. She might not know this, but as a child I loved when she made it for us. I could never figure out why hers was so much better than anyone else's, until we made it together during her last visit to Baltimore. Her mantra is simple: double the crumble. No one ever puts enough crumble on top.

My father and I are known as the cooks in our family, but this is only because my mother, who is a great cook, prefers to clean our mess and critique our meals rather than get her cute little hands dirty. But when she cooks it's always great and comforting. I guess that is the Irish in her. She'll whip up meat and potatoes, cheesy casseroles, delicious refrigerator cookies, quick shepherd’s pie, and perfect mushroomy beef stroganoff like nobody's business. She'll have you know.

During her visit to Baltimore, we were sitting at my kitchen table giggling like fools and drinking wine (as only we can do when we are together) while mom was thumbing through an Amish cookbook in my collection. She came across a recipe for peanut butter apple crumble that made us both salivate like Pavlovian dogs. Of course, it required lots of butter and lots of flour, but the gist of the crumble was decadent natural peanut butter to help form the gooey crumbly texture. And what goes better with apples than peanut butter? It was the perfect recipe to recreate with gluten free and dairy free ingredients. It took a few tries (for example, mom put cumin instead of cinnamon in the first batch...she blames the wine) but we finally got it right.

It was an absolutely noteworthy apple crumble for a noteworthy cook and mom. Of course, we doubled the crumble.

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Apple Crumble
*Gluten-free and dairy-free
Makes 6-8 servings
Bake time: 40 – 45 minutes

  • 4 cups peeled and thinly sliced apples
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 cup brown rice flour, divided
  • ¼ cup tapioca flour
  • 5 tablespoons trans-fat free margarine, divided
  • 1 ½ cups gluten free old-fashioned oats (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ cups creamy natural peanut butter
  • Optional: sweetened whipped cream or ice cream to pile on top
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan.
  2. Stir together sliced apples, ¾ cup sugar, and ¼ cup brown rice flour in large bowl. Spread in prepared pan; dot with 2 tablespoons margarine. Combine oats, remaining ¾ cup brown rice flour, ¼ cup tapioca flour, remaining ¼ cup sugar and cinnamon in medium bowl; set aside.
  3. Place 1 tablespoon of margarine and peanut butter in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds, or until the mixture is melted; stir until smooth. Add to oat mixture; mix gently until crumbs are formed. Sprinkle crumb mixture over apples.
  4. Dot with 2 tablespoons of margarine. Bake uncovered for 40-45 minutes or until apples are tender and edges are bubbly. Cool slightly. Serve warm or cool with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired (I don’t do this because I can’t eat dairy, but this is how my husband and family rolls).


  1. I love fruit crumbles, and the idea of adding peanut butter is ingenious!

  2. Sounds soooo good. I love apple in any dessert so I am sure I will love this!

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

  3. If you made me this I'd be one happy mother... ;)

    Waitttt... you didn't have the code thing before, did you?! These drive me nuts. No offense...

    1. Lol. No I didn't have the stupid code thing before. I hate them too. I am just getting like 200 spammers a day lately and thus helps. Damn spammers.

  4. Hi daughter dear! That recipe was all you, but did you have to mention the cumin? It *was*, of course, the wine but good thing I noticed it before we baked it! I love you two for doing most of the cooking and not minding when I critique - which is usually to say how lovely everything is except it needs more salt, or less salt, or wouldn't it be better, if...?

    Thanks for the wonderful dessert blog!

  5. That sounds just like a crumble they sell in the Amish market here. Cumin, though ... hm ... you must have your spices alphabetized, like I do.

    1. LOL, Justine! Unfortunately, I can't say my spices are alphabetized. :-)

  6. I love the idea of a double crumble topping! Genius! And I never say no to an apple dessert :)

  7. Double the crumble... sounds like a fantastic plan!! I love cooking with my mother so I know you two had a blast in the kitchen together making this. :)

  8. nice pic!! I am dying for a bite of that crumble. (OK, who are we kidding. I want the whole pan.)

  9. The texture of the crumble looks so delicious. I love the little story of you and your mom over food. I wish I lived closer to her (or at least in a same country). :)


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