Frugal Foodie Friday: Crumbly Maple Apple (or Peach) Crisp


As I looked around for ideas to use up some organic apples that I found in the discount bin (still nice and firm, but begging to be turned into a baked goodie!), I came across oodles of recipes for one of our favorite desserts, Apple Crisp. Feeling that it needed something extra, I drizzled it with a modest amount of pure maple syrup before popping it in the oven. The result was incredible! Maple Apple Crisp might just be our new favorite dessert around here.

Crumbly Maple Apple Crisp - Simple dairy-free, vegan, and nut-free dessert

My family devoured the crisp in one evening, but if we had come up for air from our dessert plates for just a moment, we may have thought to heighten the experience even more with a scoop of vanilla dairy-free ice cream. Either way, this dessert won’t last long, and when made as is, it is vegan, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, and nut-free! Preparing this maple apple crisp is just about as easy as devouring it was…

It is high on the streusel to apple ratio (can you ever have enough streusel topping?), and the light drizzling of maple seals the deal, quite literally. Not only does it add a heavenly flavor, it also binds the streusel to form a crust that crumbles beautifully when you dig your fork into it. You can easily mix up the fruity base as well – peaches, berries, or a combination of all of the above would all make delicious crumbly maple crisps.

Crumbly Maple Apple Crisp - Simple dairy-free, vegan, and nut-free dessert

Special Diet Notes: Maple Apple Crisp

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian.

Crumbly Maple Apple Crisp
Serves: 6-8
  • 4 medium to large apples (I don’t peel them)
  • ½ cup all-purpose or whole wheat pastry flour
  • ½ cup dairy-free margarine (I used Earth Balance Soy-Free)
  • ¾ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats (not instant; can reduce and use part nuts, if desired)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (mine was spiked with vanilla! – stir ¼ t vanilla into the maple if desired)
  1. Preheat your oven to 350º.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the oats, flour, sugar, ½ teaspoon of the cinnamon, and the nutmeg. Add the margarine and combine with a fork until the mixture looks like big, coarse crumbs. Set aside.
  3. Core the apples, and thinly slice them (about ⅛ to ¼-inch thickness). Toss them with the remaining ½ teaspoon of cinnamon, and place them in an 8 x8 inch baking dish. Top the apples with the oat mixture. Drizzle the maple syrup over everything. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the apples are soft and tender and the crumble is as crispy as you like it.
  4. Baking Note: If you are like me, then you probably made sure the topping was very evenly distributed, and covered all of those apples. The maple drizzled over top almost creates a seal then. So even when you remove the dish from the oven, the apples will keep cooking a bit under the crumbly crust. For that reason, I wouldn’t cook this for too long. Depending on your apples, you may even be able to get away with 25 or 30 minutes of baking time, but 35 minutes worked well for us.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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