Recipe: Grain-free crumble topping

A crumble topping is something I figured I’d never have again once Andy and I gave up wheat in September 2012. Crumble toppings require one main ingredient–flour (or breadcrumbs if you’re going the savory route), and flour was out entirely.

Imagine my joy (I may have squeaked–I do that when I get excited) when I realized I could make a grain-free crumble topping (sweet or savory) with just a few ingredients I already keep in my pantry.

I’ve provided two variations here–one sweet and one savory. I use this on everything from apple crumble to chicken divan. Feel free to trade up the spices in either version to suit your preference. I like the option of being flexible.

Base ingredients:
1/2 cup almond flour (I prefer Honeyville, but as this is a crumble topping something coarser will do)
2 TBL cold butter, cut into small pieces and stored in the refrigerator until just ready to use*

Sweet version:
1–2 tsp. cinnamon (or a combination of warm spices including ginger, nutmeg, and cardamom)
1–2 tsp. granulated sugar (I like brown or coconut palm)

Savory version:
1 tsp. garlic powder
a pinch of salt
a couple grinds of black pepper

Stir together the almond flour with either the sweet or savory ingredients. Add the butter and cut in with either a fork or your fingers until the mixture resembles small pieces of gravel. If you use your fingers, the butter may get a little melty. Don’t worry, you can pop it into the fridge to chill so the butter is nice and cold going into the oven.

Evenly sprinkle the mixture over your pie, coffeecake, or casserole. Pop into the oven and bake per your recipe’s instructions. (Almond flour can be a little sensitive when it comes to high cooking temps. Keep an eye on it– if it starts to look a little dark, just cover it with foil while the dish finishes cooking.)

* Don’t want to use butter? You can use melted coconut or olive oils, just use a fork to stir until the mixture gets a little clumpy. I find that coconut oil can be a little too sweet for savory dishes, but that’s just me. Coconut and I have a complicated relationship. If that’s all you have, go for it!

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