Food Sweets

SINFULLY GOOD Rhubarb and Apple Crumble with a Ginger and Coconut Topping

July 2, 2014
TSL AIP-friendly Crumble

(Image by JFC

I’m currently on the Autoimmune Protocol, a nutrient-rich elimination diet that removes foods that irritate the gut, cause gut imbalance and activate the immune system. You can read more about the protocol and why I’m doing this here.

Never rub another man’s rhubarb. (Jack Nicholson as The Joker, ‘Batman’)

I know I said I wasn’t a fan of sweet breakfasts. But, I make an exception for cold leftover crumble. It’s especially perfect when you’re on the autoimmune protocol and just can’t face another breakfast hash! I imagine it’s a bit like those people who enjoy cold leftover pizza for breakfast. Hey – I don’t judge…

Rhubarb always makes me think of my Dad. He adores rhubarb with its tart taste. And, LM loves it too. This is a good thing because rhubarb is pretty readily available here in Sydney. It marries well with a number of flavours – strawberries, oranges, blueberries, cinnamon, ginger, and – of course – apple.

Over the weekend I experimented a little with making an AIP-friendly crumble. For this wee number, I took a leaf out of the ever-so-wonderful Maggie Beer’s book and used verjuice (the juice of unfermented grapes) as a more gentle acid than the more traditional lemon juice to keep the apples from browning. I was quite pleased with the result!

Rhubarb and Apple Crumble

Rhubarb and Apple Crumble

Rhubarb and Apple Crumble

Rhubarb and Apple Crumble

The 4 Stages of Rhubarb & Apple Crumble!
(Images by JFC)

Now, for you crumble purists out there, this is not the same topping as when you make a flour and butter topping in the traditional way. It’s not even the same as using oats as a substitute. But, for those of us who are gluten-free AND who struggle with oats, too (that would be me!), this recipe offers an alternative that tastes great and gives you the ‘I’m eating a crumble’ feeling.  LM gives it his big tick of approval, as well.

On the LM scoring sheet, this one sits at a, ‘You can make this any time. I’ll eat it every day’

SINFULLY GOOD Rhubarb and Apple Crumble with a Ginger and Coconut Topping
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
This recipe is 100% Autoimmune Protocol friendly
  • For the fruit filling:
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • ¼ cup verjuice
  • 50 g coconut oil, melted
  • 6 Granny Smith apples, peeled, quartered and cored
  • 1 bunch rhubarb (10 - 15 sticks), washed, trimmed and cut into 2 - 3 cm lengths
  • For the crumble:
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • 1½ cups coconut flakes
  • ⅓ cup coconut sugar
  • ½ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  1. Heat your oven to 180° C/350° F (fan forced)
  2. Mix your sugar, verjuice and melted coconut oil in a bowl. Cut your apple quarters into thin slices. Add to the verjuice mixture, tossing to combine well. Transfer to your baking dish. Give it a shake to distribute the fruit evenly. Scatter the rhubarb over the apple.
  3. Bake the apple and rhubarb mixture for 20 - 25 minutes until fruit starts to soften but retains its shape.
  4. While the fruit is cooking, prepare the crumble topping by mixing your coconut flour, coconut flakes, coconut sugar, coconut oil, ginger and salt in a bowl, stirring until a crumb forms.
  5. When the fruit is ready, spoon the topping evenly over the top.
  6. Bake for 20 min or until the topping starts to turn a golden brown.
* as an alternative to verjuice, 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and enough water to make up a ¼ cup will do the trick

E N J O Y !

This recipe features in the Phoenix Helix AIP Recipe Roundtable


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  • justine July 2, 2014 at 8:53 am

    Looks easy and crisped up gorgeously! My Mum is a macaroon fan so I reckon this would be up her alley.

    • This Sydney Life July 3, 2014 at 9:01 am

      It’s quite yummy, Jus’ – especially if you’re partial to coconut!

  • Anna Van July 2, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    Looks yummy and easy, I’ll definitely add this to my breakfast options!

    • This Sydney Life July 3, 2014 at 9:03 am

      Hey ho, StRS! A pretty fine brekky’ option for the day after the night before!

  • throve July 2, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    Love the chunky coconut topping. I’ve never used coconut flour or coconut sugar before. I like the way you bake the fruit in the oven first, so much easier than using the stove top. I have granny smith apples on the kitchen bench begging to be made into a crumble. No rhubarb in the house so will have to go without. Still undecided if I am a fan of rhubarb. 🙂

    • This Sydney Life July 3, 2014 at 9:04 am

      Oh! – cinnamon and lemon juice with the apple – and maybe a little lemon zest – that would be a winner!

      • throve July 3, 2014 at 10:31 am

        Unfortunately mine was a disaster! 🙁 I used apples, blueberries and lemon juice but my coconut oil was at the very back of my cupboard without an expiry date, fault one, then I used crumble mix from the freezer that was not really crumble mix but a crumble looking mix, fault two. The results were disappointing. However I did manage to eat a bowlful somehow. The rest I will toss out. I have more apples and I may try again but without the coconut oil. That I think needs to also be tossed. Shame about the waste. 🙁
        Loved using the oven to cook the apples and blueberries first. So simple.

        • This Sydney Life July 3, 2014 at 10:34 am

          Oh no! I’m sorry your crumble was not such a great experience. But! – on the plus side – you’ve discovered baked fruit! 🙂

          • throve July 3, 2014 at 10:37 am

            In no way am I put off! 🙂

  • Dad July 2, 2014 at 3:28 pm


    • This Sydney Life July 3, 2014 at 9:04 am

      If you’re very nice, I may make you some when you next visit… XXX

  • thepaleopi July 2, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    Looks delicious TSL! Reminds me of the rhubarb crumble mum used to make as a kid (minus the gluten). Can’t wait to try it out

    • This Sydney Life July 3, 2014 at 9:05 am

      Hey PI – how’s tricks with you?

      It reminds me of my childhood, too. 🙂

  • kirsty warman July 3, 2014 at 8:57 am

    Sounds like a great alternative in the morning. kx

    • This Sydney Life July 3, 2014 at 9:05 am

      I may have started a new breakfast trend, K!

  • Eileen @ Phoenix Helix July 10, 2014 at 11:45 am

    Hey! Isn’t it fall where you live? Where did you find rhubarb (which just might be my favorite vegetable.) This recipe looks fabulous.

    • This Sydney Life July 10, 2014 at 2:44 pm

      Eileen – we are bang, smack in the middle of winter here. But, winter for us is on the mild side (its been weeks since we’ve had any rain and the sun shines every day) so, rhubarb seems to be available (naturally, from the farmers market) for most of the year. I, for one, am not complaining!

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