Gluten Free Desserts: Apple & Blackberry Vanilla Crumble



Whilst crumble is typically a winter pudding, with blackberries currently in season you have a great excuse to make this gluten-free twist of a British classic. The vanilla and nutmeg spice the crumble up delightfully and the blackberries add a tartness and lovely colour to the compote.

For the vanilla crumble topping

  • 250g gluten-free flour (we used Dove’s Farm gluten-free flour, including rice, tapioca and maize which can be bought online or found at several supermarkets)
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 1 vanilla pod, finely ground
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp brown sugar

For the fruit compote

  • 5kg apples (we used Granny Smith but Braeburn apples are equally suitable)
  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 60g demerara sugar
  • 250g blackberries
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Vanilla ice cream or single cream to serve


1 – Heat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5.  Tip the flour, ground vanilla, half of the nutmeg and sugar into a large bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the mix. Rub the butter into the mix finely using your fingertips and to make a breadcumb-like texture. Make sure the mixture isn’t too compacted or you’ll end up with shortbread rather than crumble! Spread the mixture over baking paper and place into a preheated oven (190C, 170C fan or gas mark 5). Leave this for 15 – 20 minutes until the mixture starts to brown on top.

Gluten Free Vanilla & Nutmeg Crumble

Gluten Free Vanilla & Nutmeg Crumble

2 – For the compote, peel, core and cut the apples into pieces 1/2 cm thick. Put the butter and sugar in a medium saucepan and melt together over a medium heat. When the mixture has dissolved, add half a cup of water. Cook for 3 mins until the mixture starts to brown before stirring in the apples and cook for 3 mins. Add the blackberries and cinnamon, and cook for 3 mins more. Cover, remove from the heat, then leave for 2-3 mins to continue cooking in the warmth of the pan. You should have a lovely thick and syrupy pink mixture in the pan and at this point you can take it off the heat.

Apple & Blackberry Compote

Apple & Blackberry Compote

3 – Pour the compote evenly across an oven-proof dish before topping with the crumble mix. Turn your grill up to its highest setting. Sprinkle the remaining nutmeg and the brown sugar over the top of the crumble before placing this under the grill for 5 minutes. As the top of the crumble turns darker, your pudding is ready! Scoop a generous portion into a bowl and serve with cream or vanilla ice-cream.