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Apple Cranberry Crumble

Monday, March 17th, 2014

A very dear friend has been fighting cancer for several months now, enduring chemo therapy and strong medications that have sapped his strength and affected his appetite. In an effort to “eat clean” to starve the cancer and promote healing, he has eaten a diet characterized by protein, whole grains and organic produce, with minimal amounts of processed products such as sugar. Recently, I invited my friend and his lovely wife to come for dinner to celebrate the approaching conclusion of his treatment and I wanted to make a special dessert that would satisfy his sweet tooth while respecting his special diet.  Granny Smith apples were mixed with dried cranberries and a small bit of orange juice and sweetened with raw honey. This mixture was then topped with a combination of oats, almond meal, ground cinnamon, maple sugar and bits of cold butter which rendered a gluten-free crust.  Maple sugar was chosen because it is the least processed of all other granulated sugars and its intense flavor allows the use of less sugar to achieve the desired effect.  It was heartening to create “a sweet” that my friend could eat…and enjoy…and our evening became a time to enjoy food and friends…and especially to celebrate the living of life.

Apple Cranberry Crumble
(To make this recipe completely gluten free, use oatmeal processed in a gluten-free facility)
Serves 6


Fruit Filling:
3 large Granny Smith apples, washed, peeled, quartered and cut into thin slices
½ cup dried cranberries
3 Tablespoons raw honey
¾ teaspoons cinnamon
¼ cup orange juice

1 cup old fashioned oatmeal (not quick cook oatmeal)
½ cup almond meal
¼ cup maple sugar (can substitute ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon brown sugar)
½ teaspoon cinnamon
3 Tablespoons chilled, unsalted butter cut into small pieces


1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2) Mix the apple slices, dried cranberries, honey, cinnamon and orange juice in a large bowl and then spoon this mixture into a 8 x 8 inch baking dish that has been coated with cooking spray.
3) After removing the apple mixture, add the oatmeal, almond meal, maple sugar, and cinnamon to the large bowl.  Distribute the small pieces of butter throughout the oatmeal mixture and use a pastry blender or fork to mix the butter with the dry ingredients.
4) Using your hands, sprinkle the oatmeal/butter topping evenly over the apple/cranberry mixture in the baking dish.
5) Put the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for 40 minutes or until the apple mixture is bubbling and the oatmeal topping is golden brown.
6) Remove the baked crumble from the oven and allow to cool approximately 10 minutes before serving with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Note:  I place a cookie sheet under the crumble in the oven to prevent the fruit mixture from bubbling over onto the oven rack as it bakes.

2 Responses to “Apple Cranberry Crumble”

  1. Dan Says:

    This is a great-tasting dessert, even if you are not on a special diet!

  2. Rose Hood Says:

    Creative and delicious! Thanks for sharing your amazing recipes!!!