Who doesn’t love a hearty bowl of apple crumble post Sunday lunch?
Or post Tuesday dinner.
Or, right now..?
Okay, crumble bowl in one hand, laptop-typing in the other. Let’s continue.
The best thing about this crumble recipe is not how gorgeously satisfying it is with a dollop of smooth cashew cream, nor is it how delicious the oaty, nutty, crunchy topping is, or the fact that’s it’s 100% plant based making it accessible to all. No no.
The BEST thing about this apple crumble is that it’s refined sugar free.
LET’S TALK ABOUT SUGAR
Now I know ‘refined sugar free’ is a bit of a buzz word at the moment – everyone seems to be talking about it and framing sugar as the devil.
Well, let me tell you something.
Sugar is delicious. And sugar is to be enjoyed from time to time.
But if you come across a dessert that has been sweetened with the more natural, nutrient dense stuff (like honey, or coconut sugar) AND it turns out it tastes completely delicious, AND it boasts a handful of health benefits too, then you’d be a FOOL not to give it a go.
And this crumble recipe does all of those things. So yay for crumble!
See P.S below for a little more on sugar.
This crumble is:
- And delicious
AND it’s really simple to make.
THE CREAM OR CUSTARD DEBATE
Some crumble lovers, like me, prefer their serving to be topped with fresh double cream.
Others however, prefer custard. Served either warm or cold; lumpy or smooth.
My boyfriend prefers warm, smooth custard, which he pours generously into his crumble bowl before mixing it all up with a teaspoon until it’s just a bowlful of beige mush – much like a 4-year-old child. And I say that with love.
As I mentioned earlier however, this recipe is 100% plant based, which rather rocks the cream or custard boat. And yet, the silky smooth cashew cream compliments this gorgeous dessert so perfectly that I’m surprised it’s only just entering the crumble scene!
So instead of reaching for the cream or custard this evening, try giving this healthy-fats, protein-packed, cashew nut cream a go. You won’t be disappointed.
Oh, and before you go, it’s worth letting you know that this gorgeous crumble doubles up as a great brunch option too! Especially when you add some fresh berries and a dollop of yoghurt, or a handful of nuts and seeds.
After all, crumble leftovers for breakfast are in fact the best thing since sliced bread.
At the end of the day, sugar is sugar. It still does the same thing in your body whether you choose caster sugar or honey, and you still want to watch your daily intake. But swapping out the refined white stuff for some more natural and nutrient dense alternatives that don’t cause such a spike in your blood sugar levels is definitely a step in the right direction.
For more information on sugar I’d recommend the following people/resources:*
Dr Hazel Wallace
Books: I Quit Sugar and several others (all listed on her site)
*No affliliate links in this post.
To the recipe!
For the stewed apple base
- 500g cooking apples, peeled and chopped
- 1 tbsp maple syrup (or agave syrup, or honey)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
For the crumble topping
- 125g oats
- 125g spelt flour
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar (or brown sugar if preferred)
- 75g pecans, chopped
- 125g coconut oil or butter
For the cashew nut cream
- 150g cashews, soaked for anything up to 12 hours (I soaked mine for 2 max, because who has time for that!?)
- 75+ml water or plant-based milk, depending on desired consistency
- 1 tsp maple syrup, or more to taste
- If making the cashew nut cream, pop the cashews in a bowl and cover with water. Leave to one side and allow them to soak for as long as you can. Drain before use.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan) and grease a medium sized oven proof dish.
- Pop the apples, maple syrup (or honey), and cinnamon into a saucepan with a couple of tbsps of water and cover with the lid. Cook on a low heat for 10-15 minutes or until the apples have softened slightly. I like my apples to retain a little crunch, but if you want yours softer simply continue to stew until you reach your desired consistency. Transfer to the oven dish when ready.
- Meanwhile, make the crumble topping. Combine the oats, flour, coconut sugar and nuts, then add the coconut oil or butter. Using your fingertips, lightly rub the fat and flour mix together until it resembles breadcrumbs (and no large lumps remain). Sprinkle evenly on top of the stewed apples.
- Pop the crumble into the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until the apples start to bubble and the crumble topping turns golden brown.
- To make the cashew cream, pop the soaked cashews, 75ml water or plant-based milk and the maple syrup into a food processor and blitz for several minutes until completely smooth. Add more liquid until you reach your desired consistency.
- Serve the crumble with a dollop of cashew cream and some fresh berries. Or just eat straight out of the dish with a spoon, like me.