One of my favourite things to do when the weather gets a little colder outside is to get into the kitchen and bake apple crumble.  I love it how the whole house gets filled with sweet aromas of vanilla and spice and how warm and cozy the house gets from a day spent having fun, baking in my kitchen.  Apple crumble is one of those comfort food dishes that is so simple to create and so delicious to eat.

I love to use red apples or nice golden delicious apples as they are lovely and so naturally sweet so you don’t have to add a load of sugar.  Vanilla is a must and a pinch of cinnamon adds that finishing touch that all apple crumbles need.  I vary the crumble topping depending on what I have in the fridge. Rolled oats, quinoa or almond meal form the base  – depending on how I feel, then aromatics such as cinnamon and vanilla are combined with organic maple syrup and a delicate drizzle of cold pressed macadamia nut oil.

What’s great about it:
Apples are high in fiber (around 5 g) they contain both soluble and insoluble fiber which is great for a healthy digestive system.  The soluble fiber is known as pectin and the beauty of this fibre is that it has the power to help lower cholesterol, keep you regular and stabilize blood sugar, as well as decrease the appetite for hours. I’ve also used macadamia nut oil in my recipes which works as an anti-inflammatory and replaces traditional trans fats + margarines found in most store bought crumbles.

6 medium sized apples  – approx 1 kg (2  1/4 LB) (pink lady, fugi apple or golden delicious)
1 cup (250 ml / 9 fl oz) 100 % apple juice – maybe juice it yourself
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, paste or 1 vanilla bean
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
zest from 1/2 orange

Crumble topping
1  1/2 cups rolled quinoa (120 g / 5  oz) – or your choice of  (see notes )
50 g organic desiccated or flaked coconut (1/2 cup / 1  1/2 oz)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, paste
3 tablespoons organic maple syrup
3 tablespoons macadamia nut oil or cold pressed coconut oil
50 g (1/2 cup / 1  1/2 oz) walnuts or macadamia nuts (optional)


  • Wash the apples.
  • Cut & remove the centre core.
  • Place the apples into a large heavy based pot.
  • Combine with the apple juice, vanilla, cinnamon and orange zest.
  • Cook stirring occasionally until the apples have completely softened and collapsed. Cover the pot for the first 10 minutes, which allows for more liquid to be released from the apples and helps to keep them moist.
  •  Remove the lid for the last 10 minutes of cooking, if necessary which helps some of the excess moisture evaporate. Your apples are now ready – taste them and adjust if necessary.
  • To make the crumble – combine rolled quinoa or your alternatives as well as coconut, cinnamon, vanilla, maple syrup, oil and walnuts into a food processor or dry jug in the Vitamix.
  • Process for a few seconds or until mixture is combined and lovely and crumbly. Taste and adjust if necessary.
  • Preheat your oven to 160 C / 315 F.
  • Pile your apple mixture into a suitable sized pie or baking dish.
  • Scatter the crumble over the top.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until the crumble is golden and delicious looking.
  • Remove from the oven and serve with coconut cream or yogurt.

Serves 8

Courtesy of Theresa Cutter

Use rolled quinoa or almond meal if gluten free in place of the oats.
For oats use – 150 g / 5 oz/ 1  1/2 cups
For  almond meal (GF – 150g / 5  oz/ 1  1/2 cups)

Add a handful of raspberries or blueberries to the apple before filling.
When in season – swap some of the apples with 2 – 3 fresh raw peaches cut into wedges.
Fold through the pulp of 2 -3  passionfruit before baking.


Would love to hear if you like the recipe or have a variation on it yourself.