Rhian made this recipe for me on our first trip to Can Terrades (pre-rennovation) after I’d complained bitterly about the fact that my gluten and dairy-free existence (I suffer badly from eczema) was one entirely devoid of apple crumble – a desert I’d fallen in love with at school. It was February, freezing cold, and we’d just finished the El-Mont hike in the pouring rain (disclaimer: it is just as spectacular a hike in February as it is in the middle of July). Both of us were craving something sweet, warm and comforting: enter Rhian’s Apple Crumble. In the space of a mere hour, Rhian proved to me (for what was not the first time, nor the last) that my favourite childhood foods could be even more delicious when made without dairy and gluten. Full disclosure, we ate this for breakfast the next morning – yes, it’s that healthy.
FOR THE APPLE
5 large apples
2 pitted medjool dates
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tbsp vanilla essence
FOR THE CRUMBLE
150g gluten free whole rolled oats
2 pitted medjool dates
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/4 tbsp coconut oil
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
Rinse, peel and core the apples, then cut them into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
Chop up your 4 dates into small pieces and heat them in a saucepan over a medium heat for about 60 seconds, stirring occasionally.
Pour in a small amount of water (just enough to cover the dates), and continue to cook on medium heat for approximately 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the dates and water reduce into a syrup. Set half of the syrup aside in a bowl.
Add your bite-sized apple pieces to the pan with the syrup, then pour in 100ml water and gently stir on a medium to low heat.
Add your nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves, along with the vanilla essence and continue to mix in the pan ensuring the chunks of apple are evenly coated with spices.
While the apples are cooking, prepare the crumble. In a large bowl, combine the oats with the cinnamon and stir in the coconut oil. Add the remaining date syrup and mix well until you get a sticky but crumbly texture. You can always add a few more oats if you think the mixture is a little too wet.
Once your apples have softened in the pan, pour them into an oven proof dish. Using your hands, add the crumble onto the top, spreading evenly across the dish, and cook for 15-20 minutes.