It’s hard to believe I have not yet posted a gluten free fruit crumble, but here we are! Surely one of the most underrated desserts, crumbles can truly be whatever you want them to be. Today, crumble is gluten free, FODMAP friendly, gum free, starch free, made with a single flour and easily made vegan.
Gluten free fruit crumble is the best of friends with a good quality vanilla ice cream. I’ve included a recipe for a homemade version here, in partnership with Queen Foods Vanilla Bean Paste. I have (truly) been using this vanilla bean paste for years now, so it feels seamless to incorporate it into this incredibly good dessert.
Gluten free fruit crumble notes
I have tested white rice and sorghum flour for the crumble. I daresay it would also work with brown rice flour and perhaps buckwheat flour. Both millet and quinoa would likely be too bitter on their own. I would recommend using half rice flour and half one of these flours if you’d like to try them.
You can use caster sugar or light brown sugar for the crumble, too. Heck, you could use panela or another unrefined sugar of your choosing. Coconut sugar is not appropriate for anyone who is fructose intolerant, particularly in the quantity we’re using.
To make this crumble vegan, you can easily use plant based butter and milk. I recommend choosing a butter with roughly 80% fat per 100g, to be best emulate butter. Make sure it doesn’t contain too many weird ingredients, either.
How much fruit to use
As you will have noticed in the recipe and recipe notes, there’s an option for using either 1 or 2kg worth of fruit. Simply put, this comes down to preference. If you prefer a higher fruit to crumble ratio, use 2kg. If you like more crumble to fruit, use 1kg.
Both the 1 and 2 kg fruit crumbles fit in a 28cm/1.6L Le Creuset baking dish. I have used baked this, as per the below photo, in my Lodge 28cm cast iron skillet. For a larger vessel like this, I recommend using 2kg fruit.
Ice cream notes
Needless to say, you don’t have to make your own ice cream. This gluten free crumble is perfectly delicious on it’s own, with custard, or with store bought ice cream.
If you are making your own, though, make sure you buy full cream milk and cream. The fat content is necessary to keep the ice cream from crystallising as it freezes.
You don’t have to use an ice cream machine, in fact, the instructions are for machine free ice cream. That said, it can’t be denied that constant churning makes for a much smoother and less icy ice cream. So if you have a machine and fancy pulling it out, feel free to use it.
If you don’t own a machine but do have a blender, you have another option. Make the ice cream and allow to freeze completely, as per the instructions. Remove the frozen ice cream from the container, cube or slice it as best you can, then blend it up until it’s nice and smooth. Return it to the container, smooth it down and allow it to freeze one last time.
NB: I have not tested this with a Nutribullet, so I can’t say for sure if it would work. Nutribullets don’t have an air hole for hot/cold air and pressure to escape.
One final thing to note about making your own ice cream: it will melt quicker than store bought. Store bought have fillers and weird ingredients to prevent them melting in a rush, whereas homemade doesn’t. It’s to be expected!
First, it should be said that you can use any sort of fruit if you’re not restricted by fructose concerns. This would work well with essentially any fruit you’d regularly see in crumble. Adjust the sugar in the filling as you see fit – rhubarb is quite tart, so use less for a naturally sweet fruit.
You can add nuts, quinoa flakes, seeds or spices to the crumble mixture. I have used sliced almonds, hemp seeds, quinoa flakes, nutmeg and extra vanilla bean paste. All were delicious.
Gluten free strawberry and rhubarb crumble with lactose free vanilla ice cream
For the ice cream:
- 300 ml lactose free full cream
- 300 ml lactose free full cream milk
- 165 g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
- 6 extra large egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons Queen Vanilla bean paste
For the fruit:
- 1-2 kg fruit Half rhubarb and half strawberries, or the fruits of your choosing (see notes)
- 55 g (1/4 cup) caster sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice or water
- 1 tablespoon gluten free cornflour
For the crumble:
- 160 g (1 cup) white rice flour (you can also use sorghum flour or teff flour)
- 100 g caster or light brown sugar see notes
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 125 g butter room temperature
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup (60-120ml) lactose free full cream milk (see notes)
To make the ice cream:
- Measure the cream, milk and sugar into a medium sized heavy bottomed saucepan. Crack the egg yolks into a clean, dry mixing bowl.
- Heat the cream mixture over a low-medium heat until hot but not scalding. Take it off the heat and slowly pour about half the warm cream mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. This is to slowly heat the eggs without scrambling them, so take your time.
- Place the saucepan back on the heat and repeat the process: slowly pour the egg yolk mixture back into the milk, whisking constantly. Continue whisking and cooking just until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. It will still be relatively thin. Don’t push it or you’ll end up with expensive scrambled eggs (been there, done that).
- Transfer the mixture to a clean steel cake tin or vessel that will fit in your freezer. I used a USA pan 21.5cm x 11.4cm x 6.9cm cake loaf pan, but you could also use heat proof Tupperware or an old, clean ice cream container.
- Drizzle over 2 teaspoons Queen Vanilla Bean paste and stir into the mixture. Transfer to the freezer to set (ideally overnight).
To prepare the fruit:
- Preheat the oven to 180C/360F. Wash, trim, de-hull and chop the fruit into bite size pieces. You can mix in the pan to save dishes, but I prefer to use a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar, lemon juice and cornflour and toss gently to combine and coat.
- If you like a juicy fruit crumble, pour your fruit mixture into a 28cm/1.6L baking dish (I use a Le Creuset enamel dish) and cook for 30 minutes until juicy and soft. If you prefer firm fruit in a crumble, proceed to the next step without cooking your fruit first.
To make the crumble:
- Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Add the cubed butter and use your fingers to rub the butter into the flour until it resembles a course meal.
- Add the milk and stir to combine.
- Use your hands to spread the crumble mixture evenly atop the fruit. Place the dish on a baking tray to catch any fruity spillage, then bake for 30 minutes or until the top is golden and the fruit is cooked (only pertinent if you chose not to pre-cook it).
- Allow the ice cream to sit for 5-10 minutes before scooping. Ideal served warm with a big scoop of melty vanilla ice cream on top.
- Crumble leftovers keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Leftovers ice cream can be covered and stored for as long as you have the self-control not to eat it all.