Apple and Blackberry Crumble – wheat-free

As a child, I remember picking blackberries from the hedgerows with my family. I rediscovered the joy of it a few years ago, and also found that when they ripen, depends very much on the summer we have had. In August last year, with my daughter and granddaughter, we picked a kilo in about half an hour. But this year, on Portland, it will be mid-September before they are ready. Of course, you can buy blackberries in the supermarkets, but there is something special about picking and cooking your own. I like these times when I’m in synch with nature. Perhaps this year you will try it too? For this recipe, you will need a food processor.

As you may know, I am sensitive to wheat, so I avoid it as much as possible and this recipe is wheat-free, but not gluten free (although the gluten found in oats is often far more easily tolerated). This apple and blackberry crumble is satisfyingly sweet and filling, as all good puddings should be. But what of it’s nutritional and sugar/fat content vs a traditional crumble? I decided to do a full nutritional analysis too—see below if you are interested—or simply enjoy, knowing it a delicious treat and better for you than a traditional recipe.


Makes 6 portions
For the fruit…

  • 2 large Bramley (or other cooking) apples
  • 1 large Braeburn (or other dessert) apple
  • 200g blackberries
  • 3 dessert spoons of pure maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 100ml water

For the crumble…

  • 150g hazelnuts
  • 300g oats
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 40g coconut oil
  • 3 dessert spoons of pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon


Preheat the oven to electric 190°C, fan assisted 170°C or gas mark 5.

Peel the apples, core and cut into chunks. Wash the blackberries. Put all of the “for the fruits…” ingredients into a medium/large saucepan. Bring to the boil, then turn down and simmer for 15 minutes.

Whilst the apples and blackberries are cooking, blitz the hazelnuts in the food processor until they become a coarse, flour-like consistency. Pour into a large bowl. Add to this the oats and ground almonds and mix these dry ingredients together.

Take a small saucepan, add the coconut oil, maple syrup and cinnamon. Melt them together, then pour into the dry ingredients and mix well.

Back to the apples and blackberries. After 15 minutes of simmering, the cooking apples and blackberries will have become completely stewed, but the Braeburn apple chunks will still be firm and there will be a good amount of liquid too. Pour the fruit into a shallow dish. I use a glass-pie dish that is 23cm diameter. Cover with the crumble. Place dish into the oven and bake for 20mins.

Enjoy by itself or serve with a dollop of natural, bio yoghurt.

This apple and blackberry crumble freezes well: simple portion into bags or plastic containers.


old-recipe-bookThis is my recipe book that I created in my 20’s! Reading it now, I cringe at this recipe, but this was typical of the time, and probably still used today. For the analysis, I’ve used the 6oz of flour version with 3-apples as I know this is what I would have done (i.e. 6 apples was for the 10oz flour version).


What does this mean?
The new apple and blackberry crumble receive contains 129 calories less. But as you know, counting calories alone can so easily lead you astray. So lets go deeper. There is a good amount of fat both recipes, but in this new recipe, the fats having come from the hazelnuts, ground almonds and coconut oil, are nutritionally better (lower amounts of saturated fats) than the margarine. Both recipes are high in sugar, but the new recipe has an increased amount of protein (and more fibre from the hazelnuts) which helps slow down the absorption of sugar.

This recipe is in the category of a treat, but as you are learning, it is important to be able to enjoy treats from time-to-time otherwise you will feel deprived. So when it’s time for a treat, enjoy every mouthful.

Eat Well—Be Well:-)

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