We don’t do a gluten-free, casein-free diet, but my friend K’s little boy J does, so when she asked if we could bring dessert to our families’ Christmas dinner last night I was determined to find something that J could enjoy as well.  Let me tell you, if you’ve never tried to cook GFCF, and especially if you live somewhere like here without ready access to things like sorghum flour or xantham gum, it’s really tricky to find a dessert that doesn’t rely heavily on either flour or butter.  I cobbled together this recipe from a couple of different ones, I loosely based the filling on Ina Garten’s Apple and Pear Crisp recipe, and then used this recipe for the walnut streusel topping but I doubled it.  I didn’t have an oval dish, so I used a 9×12 rectangular pan and that worked just fine.  It came out pretty well, especially considering that I ground the rice flour in our Cuisinart grain mill, which is sufficient for our needs but definitely doesn’t yield commercial-grade flour.

If you’re not doing GFCF you could definitely still make this using regular flour and butter.  I prefer butter to margarine under normal circumstances, so next time I make this (and there will be a next time!) I’ll probably do a butter/oatmeal/brown sugar streusel topping.

GFCF Apple Pear Cranberry Crisp

– 4 pounds apples and pears, peeled, cored and cut into 3/4-inch chunks (I think I had about 1 lb. apples and 2 1/2 lbs. pears, but any combination would probably work)

– 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries

– 1 teaspoon grated orange zest

– 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

– 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

– 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

– 1/2 cup granulated sugar

– 1 1/2 teaspoons apple pie spice

– 1/4 cup rice flour


1 cup rice flour

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tsp apple pie spice

1/2 cup cold margarine

1 cup walnuts, chopped fine

Grease a 9×12 baking dish (rectangular or oval).  Preheat oven to 350° F (165° C).

Make filling: Combine cranberries, sugar, zests, juice, and spices in a large saucepan.  Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer until cranberries are softened and juices thicken slightly, about 5 minutes.  Stir in flour, apples, and pears, stirring to coat.

Make topping: In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugars and spices.  Cut in cold margarine with knife or pastry blender until mixture is coarse and crumbly.  Stir in walnuts.

Pour filling into prepared dish, and sprinkle topping over.  Bake in preheated oven for approximately 50 minutes, or until filling is bubbling and topping is a deep golden brown.  Cool 10 minutes, and serve warm.