Apple and Blackberry Crumble {gluten-free}

Apple and Blackberry Crumble is a delightful example of a gluten-free crumble. A crisp biscuity topping is the perfect contrast to the ooey gooey sweet and tangy fruit jumble beneath.

A bowl of apple and blackberry crumble with a scoop of vanilla ice cream in a bowl

If you are following me on Insta Stories you’ll know that I’ve been studiously working on a gluten-free crumble recipe for a couple of weeks. Cole received the Gruffalo Crumble and Other Recipes Cookbook for his birthday earlier this month and immediately set me forth to make the titular recipe.

Well I made the recipe from the cookbook as instructed but switched things around a bit to make a gluten-free version. Cole was happy enough with it. I was not. It definitely needed tweaking. So I set forth to embark on my next obsession. How to make a dazzling gluten-free crumble (gruffalos substituted for apples and blackberries on this occasion).

How to make a great gluten-free crumble topping

A gluten-free crumble topping is quite forgiving. I have made so many crumbles over the years as it’s my number one Sunday night dessert and they nearly always turn out delicious.

However lately I have settled on a method that gives a perfect crumble topping every time.

The secret… oats and almonds

Have you ever experienced a gluten-free crumble that has melted into your fruit base upon baking? Gluten-free flours tend to absorb too much liquid (especially if they are rice flour based). However, by tossing in some jumbo rolled oats and ground almonds they create a perfectly robust structure to the crumble topping.

The addition of oats and almonds not only has the added benefit of extra flavour but also provides the perfect crunch to your crumble.

However, if you are looking for an oat-free crumble try this Strawberry Gooseberry Crumble.

Baker’s Tip

If you don’t have any ground almonds you can grind your own from whole almonds. Place the whole almonds in the food processor with the brown sugar. The sugar will prevent the almonds from becoming almond butter and instead will give them a nice even grind.

a bowl of gluten-free crumble

Gluten-Free Flours

What I have found is that with the inclusion of the oats and ground almonds you can be a little bit laissez-faire with which gluten-free flour you choose to use. I wouldn’t even decry you for choosing a plain gluten-free flour which you can pick up at any supermarket. Although do avoid single origin starchy flours, especially white rice flour as it just absorbs too much liquid.

Sorghum Flour

Here we use sorghum flour. It’s one of my favourite alternative flours. It has an earthy yet slightly sweet quality which pairs so beautifully with the apples and blackberries. The touch of cinnamon included in the crumble topping really takes it into the sublime.

Alternative Version: Buckwheat Hazelnut Crumble Topping

You could switch out the sorghum flour for buckwheat flour which has an intense robust flavour. However if you were going to go in that direction then I would also dare you to swap the ground almonds for ground hazelnuts. A taste sensation indeed. Amazing with the apples and blackberries.

Quick and Easy Crumble

The assembly of the crumble topping is child’s play and in fact Cole often helps me with this job.

  1. Whisk the sorghum flour with the oats, ground almonds, sugar and cinnamon.
  2. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients to form a chunky rubble mixture, aka. crumble.

Now that the gluten-free crumble has been sorted, next on the agenda is the perfect apple and blackberry fruity base.

How to prepare apples for a crumble

Most recipes for apple and blackberry crumble will have you just peel and core the apples and just toss them in with the blackberries as they fall at the bottom of the baking dish.

However I’m going to let you in on a little secret on how you achieve the best texture in an apple blackberry crumble. No fruit swimming in a watery juice. No apples that are crunchy at best and raw at worst.

The best tip for a soft gooey perfectly sweetened fruit base which contrasts with the crisp crumble topping is…

The apples need to be pre-cooked.

pureed apples in a saucepan

When you pre-cook the apples the puree provides a saucy bed for the blackberries to absorb their excess juice and the two fruits jumble together so much better.

The apple prep is easy enough:

  1. Place the peeled apple chunks in a small saucepan.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon water and 1 tablespoon caster sugar.
  3. Place the lid on and cook for 15-20 minutes until the apples have completely broken down into a pulp.

Luckily you don’t need to do anything to the blackberries save place them on top of the apples.

Can you freeze Apple and Blackberry Crumble?

Yes, you can freeze this apple and blackberry crumble. After the final dish has been baked, leave to cool then double wrap well in cling film as well as tin foil to prevent freezer-burn. You can freeze the crumble for up to three months. To defrost simply remove the dish from the freezer the night before. Once completely defrosted you can re-heat the crumble for 20 minutes at 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4.

Can crumble be made in advance?

Yes, you can make the crumble a day or two in advance. I recommend assembling the crumble to the stage where it’s ready to be baked in the oven. When you want to serve it then follow the instructions for baking stated below.

Can you make Apple and Blackberry Crumble with frozen fruit?

Yes. I will often have scores of apple puree and wild blackberries in my freezer in late August/September leftover from our adventures in foraging. The apple puree will need to be defrosted before adding into the crumble. However, the good news is that the frozen blackberries can just be tossed in straight from the freezer with no amendment on the original cooking time.

If you are looking for more gluten-free desserts that make the most of summer produce why not try:

Plum Nectarine Cornbread Cobbler
Blackberry Lemon Pudding
Coconut Cherry Clafoutis
Blueberry Ricotta Coconut Crisp

If you make this Apple and Blackberry Crumble then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own baking creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

Apple and Blackberry Crumble

Gluten-Free Apple and Blackberry Crumble boasts a crisp biscuity topping. The perfect contrast to the ooey gooey sweet and tangy fruit jumble beneath.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 338kcal

Equipment

  • 30cm x 20cm Baking Dish

Ingredients

  • 3 dessert apples peeled cored and cut into chunks
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 300 g blackberries

Crumble

  • 100 g sorghum flour
  • 50 g gluten-free rolled oats
  • 50 g ground almonds
  • 50 g soft light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 75 g unsalted butter room temperature, cubed

Instructions

  • Pre-heat oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4
  • Place the apple chunks in a medium sized saucepan along with the water and caster sugar.
  • Turn the heat on low-medium and place a lid on. Give the apples a stir occasionally but only remove from the heat once the apples have broken down into a pulp. Maybe 15-20 minutes.
  • Place the apple pulp into a 30cm x 20cm baking dish and tumble the blackberries evenly over the top.
  • Prepare the crumble topping by placing the sorghum flour, oats, almonds, sugar and cinnamon into a large mixing bowl.
  • Rub the butter into the dry ingredients until a chunky rubble has formed.
  • Scatter the crumble topping over the fruit and bake for 30 minutes until the crumble has turned golden.
  • Serve immediately with vanilla ice cream or in cooler months hot vanilla custard.

Notes

  • Apples - I like to use pink lady apples or braeburns.
  • Frozen Fruit - You can use frozen blackberries straight from the freezer without any alteration on the cooking time.
  • Sorghum Flour - You can replace the sorghum flour with gluten-free plain flour.
  • Make Ahead – The crumble can be assembled a day or two in advance and baked on the day of serving.
  • Freeze – The crumble can be frozen after baking for up to 3 months. Defrost thoroughly before re-heating.

Nutrition

Calories: 338kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 6mg | Potassium: 271mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 470IU | Vitamin C: 14.7mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 1.6mg

SHOP THE RECIPE

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A bowl of apple and blackberry crumble with a scoop of ice cream in a bowl with text overlay

Blackberry Lemon Pudding {gluten-free}

Blackberry Lemon Pudding is the most deliciously sweet and tart gluten-free dessert, cakey on the top with an ooey gooey blackberry lemon sauce puddled beneath.

Blackberry Lemon Pudding on a plate

This Blackberry Lemon Pudding is the dessert of late summer. With the summer heat chastening it might just be safe enough to turn your oven on again and if you do then you must make this delicious dessert.

Blackberry Lemon Pudding on a table

Blackberries are without doubt my favourite berry. I have a deep affection for them as they grow abundantly in our area of North London so July to August we are never in short supply. It’s rare though that I actually pick the berries myself as Luke is obsessed with local foraging, as I’ve mentioned before. He only need leave the house for a half hour Billy walk to return absolutely laden with plump juicy berries. Of course it’s usually on a Monday when I am faced with three days of solo childcare so have no hope in hell of doing anything worthwhile with the berries save keeping a few in the fridge for eating. The rest have to be frozen for weekend baking.

Blackberry Lemon Pudding on a plate

I spend all week dreaming up the best use of the blackberries and my favourite recipe that I have made this blackberry season is this Blackberry Lemon Pudding. It has been such a huge hit in our house with the tartness of the blackberries pairing beautifully with lemon.

Blackberry Lemon Pudding on a plate

This gluten-free sponge uses a simple mix of a plain gluten-free flour blend (I use Doves Farm which is xanthan gum free) and ground almonds, leavened only with whisked egg whites. Lemon juice is added to the finished batter which gives the result of the batter separating during the bake so a soft cakey sponge gives way to a sweet lemon blackberry sauce puddled beneath.

Blackberry Lemon Pudding on a plate

I have made this Blackberry Lemon Pudding for a few Sundays now after our roast dinner and each time it is received with rapture, especially when served with a rich dollop of unsweetened whipped double cream.

Blackberry Lemon Pudding on a plate

Blackberry Lemon Pudding {gluten-free}

Blackberry Lemon Pudding is the most deliciously sweet and tart gluten-free dessert, cakey on the top with an ooey gooey blackberry lemon sauce puddled beneath.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 351kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs separated
  • 75 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 190 g caster sugar + 1 tablespoon for sprinkling
  • 3 lemons juice and zest
  • 40 g gluten-free plain flour
  • 40 g ground almonds
  • 200 ml whole milk
  • 200 g blackberries

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 160°C.
  • First whisk the egg whites until they have reached soft peaks. Scrape the egg whites out of the mixer or the bowl and set aside.
  • Don’t worry about cleaning the mixing bowl and into it add the butter, sugar and lemon zest then beat until light and creamy.
  • Add the egg yolks one at time.
  • Whisk together the flour and almonds then beat into the mixture as well.
  • Stir in the milk and lemon juice, the batter may look a little curdled but don’t worry about it.
  • Then fold in the egg whites into the lemon batter until completely incorporated and finally stir in the blackberries.
  • Pour the batter into a 1 litre ovenproof pudding dish and bake for 50 minutes. Check after about 35-40 minutes to make sure the surface isn’t browning too much, if it is place a tent of foil over the top.
  • Remove from the oven, leave for 10-15 minutes to rest then sprinkle with caster sugar and serve with whipped double cream.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Lemon Sponge in Delicious Magazine

Nutrition

Calories: 351kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 112mg | Sodium: 48mg | Potassium: 202mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 570IU | Vitamin C: 35.6mg | Calcium: 95mg | Iron: 1.4mg

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Blackberry Ripple Ice Cream

Blackberry Ripple Ice Cream is amazingly light and creamy made from a base of Italian meringue and whipped double cream shot through with a burst of fruity blackberry.

Blackberry Ripple Ice Cream

This recipe is an update from the Blackberry Ripple Ice Cream I posted in 2014 which I now make every blackberry season without fail. Because of the base method I do find it an incredibly easy ice cream to manage without the risk of any ice crystals forming. The blackberry ripple is sweet and tart with immense fruity flavour contrasting with the smooth and creamy ice cream.

Blackberry Ripple Ice Cream

I originally adapted the recipe from one of my father’s old Taste Magazines from the 1980s. I love looking through these magazines, it’s amazing how much food photography and writing has changed. There are fewer pictures in the magazines and styling and lighting has changed a lot so much so that the food itself doesn’t look terribly appealing from the photographs. If you look past the dusty images and focus on the recipes themselves though there are some true gems and this ice cream was one of my favourite discoveries.

Blackberry Ripple Ice Cream

This Blackberry Ripple Ice Cream recipe was a bit of a revelation for me in terms of ice cream making. I love homemade ice cream but sometimes I can’t be bothered with the hard-set stuff, the kind that you have to take it out from the freezer for 20 minutes so that you don’t snap your spoon in half desperately trying to dig at it. These 20 minutes are always an endless time of frustration for me. Blackberry Ripple Ice Cream though is proudly soft scoop. If you fancy a teaspoon of ice cream whilst you are waiting for the toast to pop up then this is ideal. Luscious and creamy direct from the freezer. It achieves the soft set by adding liquid glucose to pureed blackberries which helps the crystallisation of the sugar and also protects the fruit, as without the sugar the blackberries would freeze solid. The ice cream base is made by whisking egg whites and drizzling in a sugar syrup to form a fluffy meringue which is what gives the ice cream its texture. Billows of double cream are then folded through, giving the ice cream richness.

Blackberry Ripple Ice Cream

When it comes to the blackberries one of the things I am a bit of a stickler about is the preparation of the fruit. The seeds absolutely have to be removed. If not the smooth creamy ice cream is marred by the rock hard little pellets you have to keep removing from your teeth. I bought a homemade raspberry ice lolly from the market a couple of weeks ago and the seeds were so overwhelming that it completely ruined the treat for me. I was picking them out of my teeth for the rest of the afternoon and complaining about it to anyone unlucky enough to be in my company that day.

Blackberry Ripple Ice Cream

Since I am currently trying to restrict my dairy I have also tried making Blackberry Ripple Ice Cream by switching out the double cream for whipped coconut cream which makes the recipe dairy-free. It worked fine and if you want to make that swap for the same reasons then I do encourage it, it’s still a completely delicious ice cream. However, it’s funny, I haven’t had too hard a time limiting my dairy intake at all and didn’t miss it nearly as much as I thought I would. Ice cream though is proving my downfall. I can certainly be satiated with sorbets and ice creams made from frozen bananas or coconut milk but when you taste this ice cream as it is intended with the whipped double cream then it’s nigh impossible to succumb.

Blackberry Ripple Ice Cream

Blackberry Ripple Ice Cream

Amazingly light and creamy ice cream shot through with a burst of fruity blackberry.
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 315kcal

Ingredients

  • 500 g blackberries
  • 50 g icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon liquid glucose
  • 250 g light soft brown sugar
  • 4 egg whites
  • 300 ml double cream

Instructions

  • Pour the blackberries into a medium sized pan and heat gently with a splash of water to aid the breaking down of the berries. Once the berries have completely softened then remove them from the heat and pour into a sieve. Push the berries through, the best aid for this I think is a silicone spatula, so that all the seeds are extracted from the fruit pulp. Discard the seeds (or save to make a fruit alcohol infusion as explained above) and return the pureed blackberries back into the pan.
  • Add the icing sugar and liquid glucose to the blackberry puree and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat then leave to cool before covering and refrigerating overnight.
  • Meanwhile pour the brown sugar into another medium sized saucepan and add 300ml of water. Heat gently so that the sugar completely dissolves into the water. Then bring to the boil and carrying on boiling until it reaches a very thick and syrupy consistency, it should reach 112°C on a sugar thermometer and can take about 20 minutes. You must keep your eye on the saucepan at all times so that it doesn’t bubble over.
  • In a large mixing bowl whisk up the egg whites until stiff, then drizzle in the sugar syrup in a slow steady steam whilst continuing whisking. The egg whites will turn beautifully glossy.
  • In a separate bowl lightly whip the double cream then fold into the egg whites until they are fully incorporated. Cover the bowl with cling film and place in the fridge overnight.
  • The next day pour the egg white and cream mixture into your ice cream machine and churn for about 15 minutes or until the ice cream has reached a thick milkshake consistency.
  • Finally whilst the mixture is still churning drizzle in the blackberry puree until it has rippled evenly throughout the ice cream. Turn off the ice cream machine then decant the ice cream into tubs and freeze overnight to reach the correct set.

Notes

Adapted from Taste Magazine, August 1987
Yield 2 pints

Nutrition

Calories: 315kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 51mg | Potassium: 195mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 40g | Vitamin A: 685IU | Vitamin C: 13.4mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 0.6mg

SHOP THE RECIPE

Many years ago Luke tried to persuade me than I didn’t need yet another space hogging kitchen gadget that I didn’t use so I bought my ice cream maker on the sly. I honestly haven’t looked back and throughout the summer I keep it constantly in the freezer ready for churning should an ice cream craving set it. I chose the Magimix Le Glacier 1.1 Ltr Ice Cream Maker (White) on a whim but it’s been absolutely brilliant and was very reasonable so I heartily recommend it.

The links above are affiliate links which means if you decide you want to click through to buy then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

If you like this blackberry recipe then you may like…

Blackberry Cheesecake Hazelnut Oat Bars

side view of Blackberry Cheesecake Hazelnut Oat Bars on a wooden board

Blackberry Hoisin Sauce

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Blackberry Cheesecake Hazelnut Oat Bars {gluten-free}

These Blackberry Cheesecake Hazelnut Oat Bars have a thick layer of blackberry cheesecake sandwiched between gluten-free crumbly oaty hazelnut shortbread.

side view of Blackberry Cheesecake Hazelnut Oat Bars on a wooden board

It’s hard not to go overboard on blackberries living in this part of North London. We live a stone’s throw from Parkland Walk, a nature reserve following the old railway line which ran many years ago between Finsbury Park and Alexandra Palace. The hedgerows along Parkland Walk team bountifully with thousands of plump juicy blackberries every year and we certainly take full advantage.

By week three of blackberry picking the hedgerows are still churning out fruit but we have had our fill. The jam has been made, the Blackberry Gin is steeping and our freezers are fit to bursting whilst I decide how to best use up all our bounty.

Blackberry Cheesecake Hazelnut Oat Bars

Like most years I have really gone all in on blackberries this August and have made all my most trusted blackberry recipes, plus I’ve been thrilled with a few new ones that I’ve developed. If you like blackberries as much as I do then get ready as I’m going to bang on about blackberries for the next few posts whilst I purge all the recipes onto the blog. If you don’t like blackberries then pretend I’m talking about raspberries, the berries can be almost interchangeable.

side view of Blackberry Cheesecake Hazelnut Oat Bars on a wooden board

I am such a big lover of blackberries for many reasons. For starters, they are free. Raspberries go for a small fortune in Tesco but blackberries which are just as flavourful, but perhaps not always as sweet, are sitting pretty on hedgerows at the sides of roads, in our back gardens and, as North London can attest, right here in the big city.

Blackberries do need a little more love than berries from the supermarket and you might want to be careful about popping them straight from the bush before checking them over. Fruit flies love blackberries just as much as we do and to ensure you have a worm-free berry then check the tip of the blackberry where the stalk has come away. It needs to be solid white, not broken and the fruit should feel firm and not juicy. Also be sure to soak your blackberries when you get home in a sinkful of water. Let them rest for half an hour where any residing bugs should sink to the bottom of the water, leaving you to fish out your clean and healthy berries.

Blackberry Cheesecake Hazelnut Oat Bars

Blackberries can also be a little tart, another reason you might choose not to eat them direct from the bush. But once you add sugar then the blackberries sing with flavour. They make a wonderful jam, pair beautifully with apple for crumbles and pies and as I will show in the next few posts can be used in a plethora of different ways. So let’s begin.

Blackberry Cheesecake Hazelnut Oat Bars

These Blackberry Hazelnut Cheesecake Oat Bars were developed for the cake stall and use homemade Wild Blackberry Lime Jam which I wrote about last year. You can really use any jam but of course the bars live and die by the quality of the jam used so if you can use homemade then you’ve basically nailed it.

Blackberry Cheesecake Hazelnut Oat Bars

Using jam also means that it’s a very quick and easy bake. The jam is beaten into cream cheese and then spread between two layers of oaty shortbread, sprinkled with hazelnuts. The oaty shortbread is quick to pull together by throwing everything into the food mixer and processing for a couple of minutes. Half of the mixture is pressed into the cake tin, the blackberry cheesecake is spread on top, then the rest of the hazelnut oat shortbread is crumbled on top.

side view of Blackberry Cheesecake Hazelnut Oat Bars on a wooden board

Blackberry Cheesecake Hazelnut Oat Bars are a great recipe to kick off our blackberry season. Don’t go anywhere there are plenty more blackberries to come.

Blackberry Cheesecake Hazelnut Oat Bars {gluten-free}

A thick layer of blackberry cheesecake sandwiched between crumbly oaty hazelnut shortbread
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Servings: 12 bars
Calories: 512kcal

Ingredients

  • 350 g cream cheese
  • 150 g blackberry jam
  • 1 egg
  • 240 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 100 g sweet white rice flour
  • 75 g gluten-free oat flour
  • 40 g tapioca flour
  • 160 g gluten-free oats
  • 100 g hazelnuts roughly chopped
  • 185 g soft light brown sugar sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Pre-heat oven to 170°C and line and grease an 8 inch square cake tin.
  • In a medium sized bowl stir the cream cheese, jam and egg together until well combined then set aside.
  • Place the rest of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and rub together with your fingertips until the mixture resembles rough breadcrumbs.
  • Tip half the mixture into the cake tin and press in tightly.
  • Spread the cheesecake over the top of the tin, then tip over the rest of the oat mixture, pressing down lightly.
  • Place in the oven for 30 minutes.
  • Remove and leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then remove from the tin carefully and leave to finish cooling on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

Nutrition

Calories: 512kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 209mg | Potassium: 248mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 910IU | Vitamin C: 1.7mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 1.7mg