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Easy, Buttery Cognac Apple Crisp Without Oats

By Chef Devan

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Updated on

I’m no oat-hater or anything, but simply prefer my apple crisp without oats.

I actually favour the taste of the streusel topping that’s made with a mix of shaved almonds and almond flour, which means that this recipe is also 100% gluten-free.

Unlike a traditional apple pie, this recipe doesn’t require a pie dough that’s rested overnight. So if you don’t have time to make the whole apple pie, apple crisp is the time-saving dessert hero.

Go team APPLE CRISP!

Best Apples to Use for an Apple Crisp Without Oats

Not all apples are created equal, so choosing the right one is important to nail this recipe.

Ideally, you’ll want to use an apple suitable for baking because these apple varieties will hold their shape and not turn to mush after baking.

Here are some good apple varieties for this recipe:

  • Royal Galas (My personal favourite for baking)
  • Braeburn
  • Honey Crisp
  • Golden Delicious
  • Pink Lady
  • Spy Apples

Here are some apple varieties that won’t work:

  • Red Delicious
  • McIntosh
  • Rome
  • Fuji

Some of these suggestions are based on Serious Eats’ “Best Apples for Apple Pie” article.

Use a Cast Iron Pan

I found that my 10″ (25cm) cast iron pan fits this recipe perfectly. Plus it looks great and is really easy to share at the table.

Ingredients For an Apple Crisp Without Oats

Let’s break down some of the key ingredients for this recipe:

Apples: As mentioned above, choosing the right apple is important. But you can also swap the apples for other fruit like pear, raspberry, blackberry, blueberry peach or strawberry.

Icing Sugar: Some recipes for apple crisp call for cornstarch but because icing sugar already contains cornstarch, it’s one less ingredient to add. You cannot substitute this sugar with normal sugar.

White Sugar: White sugar provides the best texture for the streusel topping but can also be replaced with brown sugar for a darker crisp.

Almonds: I also experimented with hazelnuts for this recipe but they didn’t soak up the butter as well as almonds. The best flour replacement was a mix of shaved almonds (to replace the texture of the oats) and ground almond flour. If you can’t find shaved almonds you can replace them with more almond flour. Almond flour cannot be replaced with other nuts.

Butter: Feel free to use vegan butter if you’d like to make this 100% plant-based. But real butter has the best flavour.

Egg Yolk: You can omit this if you’d like but it makes the streusel a little more rich and more delicious.

Cognac: Cognac is amazing with apples but can be left out. You can also substitute the cognac for sherry, brandy or whiskey.

Spices: I really can’t imagine making apple crisp without cinnamon and nutmeg.

How to Make an Apple Crisp Without Oats

Here’s the quick recipe play-by-play:

  1. Set the oven to 325°F/165°C.
  2. Mix all ingredients together for the topping in a bowl. Mix with your hands until a nice dough is formed.
  3. Mix the remaining ingredients together in a bowl.
  4. Peel the apples and cut them into small cubes.
  5. Toss the apples in the spices, icing sugar, lemon juice and cognac.
  6. Add the coated apples to a cast iron pan or baking dish.
  7. Add the streusel topping.
  8. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until nicely browned on top.
  9. Serve warm with whip cream, ice cream or on its own.

Tips to Nail this Recipe

  • Use the right apples. Using the wrong apples will result in mushy apple sauce instead of soft and tender apple pieces.
  • Use almond flour. Almond flour works really well in this recipe to absorb the butter and make a good gluten-free crumble.
  • The apple crisp is best served the same day but makes great leftovers.
A slice of apple crisp on a plate with the rest of the apple crisp behind
Print Pin
5 from 18 votes

Easy, Buttery Cognac Apple Crisp Without Oats

This apple crisp without oats is made with almond flour and shaved almonds for a gluten-free alternative that's better than the original. Can be made in a little more than an hour.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Cooling time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6 pieces
Cost $10/8€

Ingredients

For the Streusel Topping

  • 100 g white sugar (1 cup)
  • 150 g almond flour (1 cup)
  • 100 g shaved almonds (¼ cup)
  • 1 g lemon zest (zest of 1 lemon)
  • 100 g unsalted butter, softened (⅓ cup)
  • 17 g egg yolk (1 egg yolk)
  • 3 g ground cinnamon (1 tsp)
  • 0.5 g ground nutmeg (⅛ tsp)
  • 1 pinch salt

For the Apple Filling

  • 635 g royal gala apples (4 apples)
  • 75 g icing sugar (about ⅓ cup)
  • 23 g lemon juice (½ lemon)
  • 1 shot cognac (1 oz)
  • 3 g ground cinnamon (1 tsp)
  • 0.5 g ground nutmeg (⅛ tsp)

Instructions

  • Set the oven to 325°F/165°C.
  • Mix all ingredients together for the streusel topping in a bowl. Use your hands to mix until a nice dough is formed.
    The gluten free streusel topping in a bowl.
  • Mix all of the ingredients for the apple filling except the apples, together in a bowl.
    All of the ingredients for the apple filling in a bowl with a whisk.
  • Slice the apples in quarters and remove the seeds and stems. Cut the quarters in quarters again.
    A picture showing how to cut the apples.
  • Toss the apples in the spices, icing sugar, lemon juice and cognac.
    Tossing the apple slices in a bowl with the spices, lemon juice, cognac and icing sugar.
  • Add the coated apples to a cast iron pan or baking dish.
    The coated apples in a cast iron pan.
  • Add the streusel topping.
    Bake for 35-45 minutes or until nicely browned on top.
    The apple crisp ready to be baked.
  • Serve warm with whip cream, ice cream or on its own. Enjoy!
    A slice of apple crisp on a plate with the rest of the apple crisp behind
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About Chef Devan

With exceptional talent and passion for gastronomy, Chef Devan has over 15 years of experience across the culinary world, bringing a wealth of experience to the table, even from Michelin-starred restaurants. He's here to help you captivate the senses and delight everyone with easy recipes you could cook at home. Learn more about Braised and Deglazed's Editorial Process.

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