There’s nothing like the smell of apples and cinnamon baking in the oven. These mini apple crisps promise all of the comforting flavors of apple pie, and they’re ready in less than half the time!
Summer may have its own rich bounty of stone fruits and berries, but fall has apples. And where I live in the northeastern United States, fall also brings the simple pleasure of apple picking. We always climb the trees in the apple orchard, because, well, it’s just so much fun. And by the time we finally schedule our annual pilgrimage to the orchard, it’s usually late enough in the season that all the best apples are up there anyway. After we’ve eaten our respective weights in raw apples, fresh off the tree, we bring bushels upon bushels home. Then the real fun begins.
There is just something uniquely comforting about the smell of peeled, cored and sliced apples cooking down with just a touch of sweetness and plenty of cinnamon. These individual apple crisps are so much quicker and easier than making a whole apple pie, but they’re just as delicious and comforting. Make the topping a few days ahead of time, and all that’s left is to peel, core and slice the apples, then let the crisps bake and bubble away in the oven.
Mini gluten-free apple crisps recipe
Yields 4-6 servings
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour (use your favorite blend, or my go-to blend: 9 tablespoons superfine brown or white rice flour plus 4-1/2 tablespoons tapioca flour/starch plus 2-1/2 tablespoons potato starch)
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
- 1 cup certified gluten-free old-fashioned rolled oats
- 2-1/2 pounds firm baking apples (I used 4 large Granny Smith apples)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- Whipped cream, for serving
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Grease the insides of 4 (16 ounce) or 6 (12 ounce) glass Mason jars (or other ovensafe containers of similar size), and place them on a small rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Set aside.
- First, make the crumble topping. In a medium-size bowl, place the butter, vanilla, granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt, and mix to combine well. Add the flour blend, xanthan gum and oats, and mix to combine well. The mixture will be very soft. Place the bowl in the refrigerator to chill until firm.
- While the crumble topping is chilling, make the filling. Peel and core the apples, slice them thinly (each slice about 1/8-inch thick) and then place them in a large bowl. Add the granulated sugar, cinnamon and salt, and mix to combine. Divide the filling among the prepared Mason jars. Pack the apples tightly into the jars as they will compress considerably during baking.
- Once the topping has finished chilling and is firm, remove it from the refrigerator and, with the tines of a large fork, break it into chunks of various sizes. Divide the crumble topping over the top of the apple filling in the jars, pressing down gently on the topping if necessary to prevent it from rising out of the lip of each jar.
- Place the baking sheet with the Mason jars on it in the center of the preheated oven and bake until the apples are soft, the filling is bubbling and the topping lightly golden brown (30 to 40 minutes — less for the smaller jars, more for the larger jars). Remove the jars from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before serving. The apple crisps will sink by about one-quarter in the jars as they cool. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle lightly with cinnamon before serving.