Paleo Instant Pot Apple-Pecan Crumble (grain-free, dairy-free, vegan)
This Paleo Instant Pot Apple Crumble is a healthy and delicious Fall treat. It’s grain-free, gluten-free, and vegan, and cooks perfectly in your pressure cooker. We love it as an easy paleo and vegan dessert or with bacon or sausage for breakfast!
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I polled my Instagram audience about this recipe.
“Does the Internet need another Paleo Instant Pot Apple Crisp recipe?” I asked.
I got a 96% in favor of YES. So, apparently, the Internet does need another Instant Pot Apple Crisp (or crumble, in this case) recipe. 🙂
It may not do well in Google searches, since there are already a bazillion other Paleo Instant Pot Apple Crisp/Crumble recipes out there. But hey, here it is!
The SEO Expert Does a Google No-No
So, maybe you didn’t know that I’m actually an SEO expert? (SEO = search engine optimization)
I actually have other bloggers hire me to teach them how to get their blog posts to rank on Google (the #1 search engine).
When you google terms like “keto instant pot clam chowder” or “everything seasoning sweet potatoes”, my recipes will show up at the top of your search results. That’s because I’m damn good at what I do.
When you know how to write really good, original content that proves to the Google Gods that you are an expert, an authority, and a trustworthy source of information (or recipes, if that’s what you’re looking for), then your posts rank higher in people’s searches.
Which is why it’s a bit of an SEO expert faux-pas to post a Paleo Instant Pot Apple Crisp/Crumble recipe on my site.
Because there’s already a bazillion of them out there. Essentially, my chances of ranking in Google searches for this recipe are nil.
So why post such a recipe??
Like I said above… my Instagram audience wanted it! (Follow me here.)
Giving you, my dear readers, what you want is MY JOB. Without you making my recipes and reading my posts, I have nothing.
My readers are my priority. Ranking on Google will always be secondary.
So, I’ll try to do my best with every post to please the Google Gods, but I’ll always post the content and recipes that you find the most helpful, deal? 😉
Which Is It — a Crisp or a Crumble?
Guess what? I had to Google this to find out! LOL
I asked the Google “what’s the difference between a crisp and a crumble?”.
Here’s what The Kitchn had to say:
Cobblers, crumbles, and crisps are all baked desserts of fresh fruit topped with some kind of pastry. The fruit juices bubble up into the pastry as it bakes, forming little pockets of deliciousness and giving most of these desserts their signature pockmarked appearance.
Ok, so far, so good. At least I’m in the right ballpark with crisp or crumble. Calling it a cobbler never entered my mind.
Let’s see what else the experts say:
Crumbles and crisps are very similar, with the name crumble originating from England. They both contain fresh fruit with a streusel-like topping that gets baked until the fruit is cooked.
Hmmmm… still not sure. I do have British ancestry, so the fact that “crumble” originates from England had me going that route, but I still wasn’t sure.
What is the difference between a crisp and a crumble???
The original difference between the two lay in the streusel topping: crisps would contain oats and crumbles would not. In an actual crisp, as in apple crisp or strawberry crisp, the oats in the topping crisp up as it bakes, hence the name. As time has gone by, though, the lines have blurred and the names crumble and crisp are now used interchangeably.
Eureka! This recipe has no oats. So, if we’re following the traditional rules, then it is a crumble, not a crisp.
Still, the names are used interchangeably, and I can tell you for certain that my own family calls it apple crisp.
There ya go. We all learned something today. 😉
3 Easy Stages for this Paleo Instant Pot Apple-Pecan Crisp… errrr, Crumble
You can assemble this Paleo Instant Pot Apple Crumble in 3 easy steps:
- peel and cube apples
- make a fill that gets tossed with those apples
- make an amazing crumble topping
Once assembled, the crumble cooks in 25 minutes in your pressure cooker. Then, it gets finished off in the oven to make that topping browned and a little bit crisp.
Why Finish in the Oven?
I know, I know. No one likes extra steps. So why can’t you just cook it in the Instant Pot and be done?
You’re ready to dig in already, right?
Here’s the deal: you absolutely CAN cook the crumble in your Instant Pot, take it out, and eat it right away. It’ll be a hot, juicy, steaming bowl of deliciousness.
But, should you choose to up the ante (provided you can wait another 15-20 minutes), finishing this apple crumble off in the oven is a very wise choice.
As great as the Instant Pot is at pressure cooking, it lacks the ability to brown and crisp things. Personally, I want a crumble topping that’s browned and has some texture to it. Otherwise, I’m basically eating a bowl of amazing mush. 😉
It’s totally up to you, but my directions and cook time is under the assumption that you’re going to finish this thing well — by baking it after it’s done pressure cooking.
Wait. Couldn’t I bake it in the oven and forgo the Instant Pot?
Yes, you sure can!
Although, I am partial to my Instant Pots (yes, I have 2… here’s why!).
I’m often making a dessert like this one while making dinner. So, if my oven space is taken up by whatever I’m making for dinner, I like that I can cook dessert in my Instant Pot.
But, if you prefer, you can simply bake your Paleo Apple-Pecan Crumble from start to finish in your oven. Here’s how to do that:
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Prep the apple crumble according to the recipe below.
- Bake it for 20 minutes with the lid on the baking dish. Yep, I’d still recommend this baking dish.
- After 20 minutes, remove the lid and finish baking until it’s all bubbly and caramel-y and delish! (About 15 more minutes.)
Wanna go for it in the Instant Pot? Then, keep reading!
Best Dish to “Bake” in the Instant Pot?
To make the most successful Paleo Instant Pot Apple-Pecan Crumble, you have to have the right equipment.
Baking in the Instant Pot can end one of two ways, and it all depends on your equipment:
- either the dish turns out perfectly
- or, it’s full of water from the cooker/steam and is way, way mushy and wet
The difference in perfect and watery, wet, mushy crumble? The dish you’re cooking in!
For this all-important task, I can only recommend a Corning Ware 1-1/2 quart covered round dish with glass lid.
Bonus: when you’re not pressure cooking, use it in your oven, too!
Instant Pot Apple-Pecan Crumble FAQs
Best variety of apples to use?
Any kind is fine (except Granny Smith alone)! In fact, feel free to grab 5 different varieties, Fuji, Gala, Red Delicious… whatever suits your fancy!
The recipe calls for solid coconut oil, so it’s dairy-free. If you tolerate dairy, you can use cold butter or ghee. Liquid fats, such as avocado oil, are not suitable for this recipe. Save 10% on my favorite coconut oil here.
Can I lower the carbs in this recipe?
Sure. You can omit the cassava flour and use all blanched almond flour, if you like. You could also swap the coconut sugar for a keto version, like Lakanto Golden. However, the apples themselves are not suited to keto/low-carb. (I have not tried the recipe with Lakanto Golden, however.)
I don’t have cassava flour. What can I use instead?
See above. Simply omit the cassava flour and use 2 whole cups of blanched almond flour. 🙂
I can’t have nuts. What can I use instead?
Sorry, pal. I haven’t tested this recipe with all cassava flour or coconut flour. You can omit the pecans easily, but the almond flour is a pretty crucial ingredient.
Can I use a liquid sweetener, like raw honey or maple syrup?
Nope. Crisps and crumbles have lots of liquid due to the fruit and the fat in the topping. I’m afraid you’d end up with more of a porridge than a crumble if you used anything but a granulated sweetener.
Coconut sugar is lower on the glycemic index than both honey and maple syrup, so it’s actually better for your blood sugar. Plus, it has an AWESOME flavor. Save 10% on my favorite coconut sugar here.
Got more questions? Ask them in the comments below!
How to Make the BEST Paleo Instant Pot Apple-Pecan Crumble
#1 — Prep the apples.
Grease your Corning Ware 1-1/2 quart covered round dish with glass lid with coconut oil cooking spray. Peel and dice 5-6 medium-size apples and put them in the dish. Stir in lemon juice and vanilla. Set aside.
#2 — Prep the Fall spice filling.
Whisk together the filling ingredients in a medium bowl. Add the pecans (if using) and mix well.
Dump the dry filling ingredients right into the baking dish with the apples, lemon, and vanilla.
Stir the apples around and get them nice and coated with that filling mix!
By now, your kitchen should be smelling so apple-y and cinnamon-y!
#3 — Prep the crumble topping.
It’s important to use solid coconut oil for this so you can properly “cut” the fat into the dry ingredients. (I prefer expeller pressed coconut oil so it doesn’t impart a coconut flavor. Save 10% on my favorite coconut oil with my discount code NOURISHING.)
Combine all the topping ingredients, except pecans, in a large mixing bowl. Use a pastry cutter to cut the fat into the dry ingredients while mixing.
And yes, I do use a pastry cutter for this.
If you use your hands, the coconut oil will melt. Then, it sticks to your fingers instead of forming a wet sand-like crumble topping.
It’s ok to have large chunks and small chunks of the topping. Remember, this is a crumble! It’s supposed to look homemade and rustic. 🙂
Once you have a wet sand-like texture, stir in the rest of the chopped pecans. These add such a lovely crunch to the crumble topping.
Not to mention, apples + pecans + fall spices = HEAVEN.
Once you’ve got your topping all mixed up, dump it onto your apple filling.
If it seems like a LOT of crumble topping, it is. I did that on purpose. (You’re welcome.)
To keep it from overflowing your baking dish, you will have to press it down, like so:
Now, it’s time to pressure cook this baby!
#4 — Cook in your Instant Pot.
Place the metal trivet into the stainless steel insert pot. Add 1 cup of water.
Set the Apple-Pecan Crumble on top of the trivet and place the lid on the baking dish.
Press the “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” button and set the time to 25 minutes on high pressure. Make sure your vent is closed.
When it beeps, manually release the pressure.
Carefully, using a towel or oven mitts, remove the trivet with the baking dish from your Instant Pot. Now, you have to make the all-important choice: to finish in the oven or not?
If finishing in the oven, preheat it to 350 degrees. Remove the glass lid from the baking dish and put the crumble in to brown up for 15 to 20 minutes. I promise, it’s worth it. 🙂
Here’s the whole recipe!
Paleo Instant Pot Apple-Pecan Crumble
This Paleo Instant Pot Apple Crumble is a healthy and delicious Fall treat. It's grain-free, gluten-free, and vegan, and cooks perfectly in your pressure cooker. We love it as an easy paleo and vegan dessert or with bacon or sausage for breakfast!
Grease a 1.5 quart round baking dish with a glass lid.
Peel, core, and cube 5 to 6 medium size apples and add them to the greased baking dish. Toss with lemon juice and vanilla. Set aside.
In another bowl, combine the remaining filling ingredients and stir together.
Pour over the prepared apples and toss gently to coat. Set aside.
Pecan Crumble Topping
Add all topping ingredients, except pecans, to a large mixing bowl.
With a pastry cutter, cut the ingredients together until the texture is like wet sand. Then, stir in the pecans.
Carefully dump the crumble topping over the apple filling.
Use your hands to press down so the baking dish doesn't overflow.
Place the lid on the baking dish.
Put the trivet inside your Instant Pot and add 1 cup of water. The water is necessary for the pot to pressurize.
Place the covered apple crumble on the trivet. Press the "Manual" or "Pressure Cook" button and adjust the time to 25 minutes on high pressure.
When the pot beeps, immediately release the pressure. Carefully lift the trivet with the baking dish out of the Instant Pot.
To finish in the oven, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the lid from the baking dish and bake until browned and bubbly (about 15 to 20 minutes).
Serve immediately. (Optional: top with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream). Store leftovers in the fridge.
More Healthy Instant Pot Recipes for Fall You’ll Love…
- Keto Instant Pot Chai Hot Chocolate (dairy-free, nut-free, stevia-sweetened)
- Instant Pot Keto Zuppa Toscana (Whole30, potato-free, nut-free)
- Low-Carb Instant Pot Cheesy Veggie-Stuffed Meatloaf
- Keto Instant Pot Beef Stroganoff (nut-free, dairy-free, Whole30)
- Whole30 & Keto Instant Pot Buffalo Wings (paleo, too!)
- Instant Pot Quinoa Breakfast Porridge (grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free)
- Instant Pot No-Peel Applesauce (vegan, paleo, Whole30)
- Paleo Instant Pot Pumpkin Pie
You tell me… Is this a crisp or a crumble? Oven or Instant Pot?
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