Gluten-Free / Vegan / Paleo Fruit Crisp

This post was originally written for Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp, but the basic recipe works for any fruit crisp. The recipe below includes modifications for Apple Crisp; and I’ve added Paleo substitutions at the end of the ingredients list. Enjoy!

Here’s another awesome strawberry recipe! Check out last week’s post for Gluten-Free Shortcake. Our local farms are still picking strawberries, and I am more than happy to eat them. I heart the combination of strawberry and rhubarb. The sweetness of the strawberry with the tartness of rhubarb is simply divine. If you haven’t tried it yet, you must. Right now. Go out to your local farm stand and pick up strawberries and rhubarb. They are literally made to go together. In the Northeast, these two hardy perennial plants bear fruit at the same time.

Rhubarb – an Unusual Fruit (or Vegetable?) 

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Are you familiar with this unusual fruit? I possess fond memories of this beautiful plant growing in my grandmother’s garden. She would give me a large stalk of rhubarb and a small dish of sugar. I would dip the end of the stalk in the sugar and chomp away on rhubarb – yum! Here’s an interesting fact about rhubarb. According to Wikipedia, while technically a vegetable, in the 1940’s the US classified it as a fruit in order to reduce tariffs.

Easier than Pie 

I call this recipe “easy” because I believe that Crisps are so much easier to make than pies, particularly if you make your own pie crust. As an added bonus, crisps are made with whole grain oats! And, I simply enjoy the taste of the crispy topping better than pie crust. This beautiful dessert can be made quickly, with just six steps. I make them all summer long, with whatever fruit happens to be in season; berries, peaches, apples, yum!


Gluten-Free Fruit Crisp

Crisp Topping

1/4 C           Flour (substitute Gluten-free  Flour, or Almond Flour – equally delicious)

1 1/2 C       Rolled Oats (choose GF, if needed, I used Bob’s Red Mill

1/3 C           Brown Sugar

1/4 C           Melted Butter (make it Vegan/Paleo with Perfect Coconut Oil)

1/4 tsp       Cinnamon

Choose either Apple Filling or Strawberry Rhubarb.

Apple Filling

6 – 8           Apples – chopped into 3/4″ chunks

1 T              Corn Starch

1 T               Lemon Juice

2 T               Water

Strawberry Rhubarb Fruit Combo

3 C               Strawberries – chopped into approximately 3/4″ chunks

3 C               Rhubarb – chopped into 1/2″ pieces (see picture at the top of the post)

1/2 C          Sugar (I think 1/2 cup is perfect, but some may prefer it sweeter)

3 T               Orange Juice

1 T                Corn Starch

Paleo Substitutions for 9×9 pan: For the topping: 1. Eliminate the rolled oats. 2. Increase the almond flour to 1 Cup. 3. Add 1/2 cup chopped pecans. 4. Substitute Coconut Sugar for sugar (I found other natural sweeteners do not “crisp” properly). For the filling: 1. Substitute any natural sweetener (honey, maple syrup) for sugar. 2. Substitute 2 tsp. tapioca starch for 1 T corn starch.     


1. Grease the bottom of a 9X13 pan (I use Perfect Coconut Oil). Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Drop the chopped fruit directly in the pan, sprinkle with 1/2 cup sugar (apples are naturally sweet enough and do not need added sugar), and stir to combine.

3. In a small bowl, stir the corn starch into the orange juice (for apple crisp, use 1T lemon juice + 2T water) until smooth; then pour this over the fruit in the 9X13 pan, and stir to combine.DSCN3163

4. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, and cinnamon; then mix in the butter. The topping will look crumbly.

5. Sprinkle the topping over the fruit mixture in the 9X13 pan.

6. Bake uncovered at 350 for 25 – 30 minutes; until the top is golden and the filling bubbles at the edges.

Crisps are my favorite baked dessert … I hope you love this as much as I do! What is your favorite fruit crisp? Please share.

Rhubarb photo credit: Copyright: <a href=’’>hicster / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

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