Posted in Pastries

Almost Healthy Apple Crumble: Recipe and TBT

I’ve lucked out recently; I’ve gotten some great apples at reasonable prices. Yesterday my luck ran out. I’ve got three granny smith apples that are unbearably tart. What to do? That’s easy: make apple crumble! I haven’t made it yet (I started a new term of classes this week so I haven’t exactly had the time) but I will soon. And when I do, I’ll use this recipe.

So here’s a throwback to throwing things together–no recipe, no fallback ice cream in the freezer–and making a fabulous apple crumble (although, in hindsight, it’s more of an apple crisp) with a fabulous friend.

The last weekend I was with my friend Sophie we went to her place upstate. It was lovely and we picked up some beautiful peaches and apples at a local farm stand. I picked up some oatmeal at the store and planned to make a peach crumble, but it turns out all the peaches had been eaten…oops! So I decided on apple crumble instead.

I raided the pantry and found flour and brown sugar (the essential ingredients along with the oats and apples I had in hand) but it turns out they didn’t have butter, so I used olive oil instead. I figured I’ve used oil as a fat in cake (vegetable oil for chiffon cakes and olive oil in the occasional cake as well) and if it’s okay for something as finicky as a cake it should hold a crumble together alright. So I sliced the apples (Ozzy, Sophie’s standard poodle, was happy because I gave him all the bits I didn’t slice evenly…and let’s face it I did some badly on purpose since he’s just so cute!) and tossed them in a bit of lemon juice and white sugar and popped them in a casserole dish. I made a crumble topping with the brown sugar, oats, flour, a drizzle of olive oil and canola oil (it’s pretty much flavorless and I didn’t want the olive oil taste to be overpowering), and for good measure a healthy does of lite maple syrup. I crumbled this mixture on top of the apples and baked it until the apples were soft and the crumble was golden brown and crisp. It was darn good! And, in addition to being thrown together from very common ingredients, it was nearly healthy! Olive oil instead of butter, lite maple syrup instead of some of the sugar, oats, and a ton of apples–see it’s actually semi-healthy (as opposed to my usual, “well chocolate has anti-oxidants so it must be healthy.”)

Anyway, enough rambling (this is what happens after a transatlantic flight!)

Here’s the recipe:


  • 4 apples (medium slice)
  • 1 tbsp superfine sugar or to taste
  • A spritz of lemon
  • 1 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon or to taste
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 1 tbsp canola oil (or another other mild oil)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup (real is great if you’ve got it, but I used the “lite” stuff)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350*
  2. Toss the sliced apples in a spritz of lemon juice (to keep them from browning) and superfine sugar (1tbsp to significantly more depending on the tartness of the apples and your preference).
  3. Mix together the oats, flour, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Add the oils and the maple syrup and mix. You’ll end up with a sticky, lumpy mixture. Spread/crumble this on top of the apples.
  4. Bake for about 35-45 min depending on your oven.
  5. Serve warm. (I recommend adding some pouring cream or vanilla ice cream at this point, but of course it’s delicious plain too!)


Hi, I'm Mercedes. I'm a PhD candidate in politics and a trained pastry chef. I'm also an amateur photographer, hobby quilter, and all-around nutty girl living in the Big Apple.

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