I love, love, love apple crisp!  But, since I don’t eat gluten, or most grains anymore I came up with a “gut-friendly” version.  Since apples are so fine right now and you need a great dessert alternative to pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving, give this recipe a try.  But, I dare you to make the topping and not be tempted to eat most of it before adding it to the apples to bake.

By the way, I must give credit to our sweet friend, Maggie because she named the recipe.  She was over for dinner the other night and when I served this for dessert I said, “I need to give this recipe some name other than apple crisp.”  And, with her big creative brain she just popped out with, “Better Than Apple Crisp!”  So, thanks Maggie!

I didn’t use Granny Smith apples for this, too dry and tart so I used pink ladies, golden delicious and some other kind from a local apple farmer that I can’t recall.  If your digestion is really compromised then be sure to peel the apples but otherwise I love to leave the peel on.  I also saute’ the sliced apples for a bit before adding to the baking pan because they are just too crisp for me at the end of the baking time.

I find the fastest way to cut up apples is to hold the stem end up and cut down firmly as close to the core as possible on four sides and then cut them into 1/4 inch slices for this recipe, or something like that.

When serving be sure to add a little whipped cream, ice cream or whatever creamy thing you like on top of your desserts.  Honestly, I sometimes eat this for breakfast with a big dollup of yogurt on top!  You’ll be amazed at how satisfying this “Better than Apple Crisp” is.

Please share if you have a variation on this theme…love your recipe ideas!

Better Than Apple Crisp!

Serves 8


4-5 large apples (about 2 1/2 lbs.) cored, sliced into 1/4″ pieces & in half again
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


1/2 cup almonds
1 cup pecan halves
1/2 cup grated/unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 teaspoon & a pinch sea salt (really, an extra pinch makes the difference, it’s love!)
1/2 heaping teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons unrefined-virgin coconut oil melted, plus extra to grease pan
1/3 cup honey


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F, placing the rack in the middle of the oven, grease an 8″ x 8″ or retangular glass or ceramic dish.
  2. In a large saute’ pan mix together apples, honey, cinnamon, lemon juice and saute’ over medium-high heat for 7-10 minutes until apples just start to soften.
  3. Place apple mixture into gresed baking pan, set aside.
  4. In a food processor add almonds, pecans, coconut, sea salt, cinnamon, melted butter, coconut oil & honey.  Pulse for about 25 times until mixture just starts to come together as you see above.  Distribute evenly over the apple mixture and press it down a bit.  Bake for 35-40 minutes until toasty brown, let cool for 15 minutes or several hours before serving.
  5. Serve it up with whipped cream or ice cream…yum!




  1. Aletha Carr says:

    I wondered about how many servings does this apple recipe make?

  2. Shane says:

    Hey Aletha…it does serve eight!

  3. Marilyn Crumbliss Connelly says:

    This looks so good……my next trip to the store will be to buy some Golden Delicious apples. By the way, I went to school with your Mom…Ocala High school…many moons ago. I live in Washington State, but Ocala will always be “home”.



    • Shane says:

      Hey Marilyn…what a hoot, I love that you went to high school with May Fair! I visited Washington State for the first time this fall and loved it! But, Ocala is a special place. Take Care!

  4. Renee N. says:

    I just made this and it is awesome!

    I didn’t have all the ingredients on hand, so I made the following changes:

    I cut the recipe in half.
    I replaced the almonds with almond flour (and the pecans with more almond flour).
    I left out the lemon juice.
    I added a bit of nutmeg to the topping.
    And I only baked it 17 minutes because it was half a recipe… it came out beautifully.

    This was a hit in my home; I’ll definitely make it again! <3

    • Shane says:

      You are resourceful Renee…thank you for sharing your revision of the recipe!

      • Renee N. says:

        You’re welcome!

        I’ve made it once more since then. The last time I made it pretty much the way your recipe is, except I again used almond flour in place of the nuts.

        I forgot to mention that (probably because of the almond flour) it turned out more like a cobbler (which I actually love more than crisps). The second time I made it, I made a full batch so some actually lasted til the next day, and it’s even better cold!

        And because I really loved the topping, I tried baking just the topping in a thin layer to try to get “cookies.” I ended up with something much closer to a graham cracker, but they are absolutely delicious with some raw milk!

        (Now I should give the baking a rest for a while!)

        • Shane says:

          Yum and Yum! I will try this to create more of a cobbler and who knew, graham crackers? What fun. That’s what is so cool about these types of ingredients…you can play with them and they’re so forgiving, unlike “true baking” with gluten. Try some of my savory recipes…they’re tasty too! :-)

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  6. Penny Dee says:

    I just made a variation of this and I just have to tell you how wonderful this recipe is!! I am already planning to make it again tomorrow. The cocnut added a great depth to the topping and the nuts were fabulous! I didn’t even miss the oats:) Delish!

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  10. Allyson says:

    I came searching for an SCD apple crisp recipe that was NOT a cobbler, and my whole family was not disappointed! Made this as written and enjoyed it immensely! The non-SCD family members had homemade vanilla ice cream on it, and the SCD eaters drizzled sweetened “French Cream” (cultured heavy cream sweetened with honey and vanilla) on top. All 7 of were very satisfied, and no leftovers remained! Thank you!

    • Shane says:

      That makes me so happy…so glad it was enjoyed by the whole family! Thanks so much for taking the time to write me!

  11. Erica says:

    Do you think this would freeze well?

    • Shane says:

      I do! Just make sure after it’s thawed that you gently warm it up, uncovered, before serving. Enjoy!

  12. Linda Smith says:

    Hi Shane,
    So glad there are good cooks who cook “clean” .. I’m planning to make this for the first time this weekend. I am going to put fresh cranberries in with the apples .. maybe too tart? Tis the season you know .. I’ll let you know how it goes! Thanks again!

    • Shane says:

      Hey Linda! Thanks for the kind word…I love cookin’ clean! And, I love your idea of adding in cranberries…so festive! Look forward to hearing about it!

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