Reduced Fat and Sugar Apple Crumble

In 20-seconds, Google found approximately 994,000 recipes on the internet for apple crumble, which means that everyone and their pet iguana think their version is better than everyone else’s recipe.

Make that 994,001 as of this recipe.

Mine isn’t particularly excellent or worthy of a 3-star Michelin restaurant. It tastes pretty good but it won’t stun you by its complexities. It’s just an apple crumble. But with a slight twist. It has no saturated animal fat because it uses olive oil rather than butter, and it has a very low GI number because the crumble is made from raw rolled oats and nuts with half sugar and half sweetener. I’ve used Silverspoon’s Half Spoon to make life sweet but you could do-it-yourself with equal amounts of sweetener (like Splenda granulated) and sugar.

I am not a dietician or nutritionist but I can say that my husband tested his blood glucose levels a few hours after eating a sizeable portion of this apple crumble, and his numbers were rock steady. Additionally, since the sweetening agent has half the calories of sugar, it’s a good candidate as an occasional treat for anyone wishing to control calories and/or animal fat intake. So what we have is a flour-free (unless you add it), nearly-sugar-free (unless you add it), no saturated animal fats (after all that, why add it!) … pretty darned good tasting apple crumble.

Obviously using Half Spoon isn’t a must, if you’d rather not. Just replace the quantity of Half Spoon shown with double the quantity of sugar. Also, everyone’s preference as to how much crumble should be on top is different. If you like a thin amount of crumble, then use the quantities shown which should adequately cover the apple mixture. If you like more, double the crumble amounts.


1. Prepare the crumble first so that you can cover the apples with it as soon as you’ve prepped, spiced and sweetened them.
2. If your apples are extra-juicy, you can reduce the lemon juice.
3. If you want to add a tablespoon of flour to the crumble mixture, feel free. I threw 15g sliced almonds into a mini-food processor and whirled them around until they were a flour consistency, and I used that rather than flour. The use of flour is not essential for this recipe.
4. The crumble won’t go crunchy-hard because it lacks butter and massive amounts of sugar. I compensated by adding sliced almonds and chopped pecans to the crumble mixture.
5. After peeling the apples, I used an apple corer-slicer-whatsit to make things easier. I then sliced each segment in half again.

P1010311 (800x618)

Low-Sugar, Low GI Apple Crumble

For the Crumble:
50g rolled oats (not instant oats)
50g pecans, chopped
20g sliced almonds (process some as flour substitute)
1 tablespoon Half Spoon sweetener
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Apple Mixture:
500-600g medium (dessert) apples (approx 5-6 apples)
1/2 small lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons Half Spoon sweetener
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (or cinnamon)

Preheat the oven to 400F/200C, and prep a 9-inch/22cm square baking dish with non-stick spray.

Prepare the crumble mixture in a medium bowl, using a fork to thoroughly toss and combine the ingredients with the olive oil. See Notes 3 and 4 regarding flour and nuts. Set bowl aside.

Juice the half lemon into another medium bowl. Check that there aren’t any pips floating around in there. See Notes 1, 2, and 5. Prepare the apples by peeling, core and thinly slicing each. A apple corer is handy for this. Toss the apples in the lemon juice, and then add the sugar/sweetener and nutmeg or cinnamon. Toss well until evenly coated.

Pour the apples into the baking dish, top with the crumble mixture pressing it down lightly and spreading it out to completely cover the apples.

Bake 40-minutes or until the juices start to bubble and the crumble is lightly browned. It’s quite nice served with some reduced-fat crème fraîche.

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Joanna says:

    This sounds fantastic !! 🙂

    You work so hard at these recipes for P, all that thought and love going into these delicious puddings.

    I’ve never tried oil for a crumble but I will give it a go as you say it works well!

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      The crumble topping won’t be like what you’re used to, not totally crispy and crunchy, but it does taste nice. My old crumble recipe calls for melted butter, which made me wonder about using liquid fat of a different sort like olive oil. It seems to work, so I’ll be interested in knowIng if you two can stomach this version. We have to make all sorts of adjustments and compromises in this kitchen. 🙂

  2. I’ve read about Half Spoon a lot more recently. It’s definitely something I’m going to see if we have here in Canada. I think it’s a perfect fit for my resolution to eat healthier… at least for a few weeks:)

  3. Misk Cooks says:

    Have you ever tried using agave syrup as a sweetener?

  4. Brilliant, Misk! I wonder if agave would work as a sugar substitute here too?

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      I’m not sure that it would, Celia, because it doesn’t crystallise or go crunchy when heated; it just stays liquidy. I wish I could find a method of getting that crumble topping crispy and crunchy without sugar! I just can’t seem to find a way.

  5. Amy Dorn says:

    What is the nutritional values of this recipe. Calories per serving,etc.

    1. Misky says:

      I have no idea Amy. We don’t count calories. We aim for food that’s low on the GI Index so that sugars are slowly released. You could, if you wish, run the ingredients through a calorie count database.

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