Keto Apple Pie Crumble

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This Keto apple pie crumble recipe is meant to recreate a healthy and delicious version of comfort food that everyone will enjoy. In this recipe, the apple pie filling is made with almond flour and coconut flour while adding some cinnamon, nutmeg, and all-spice, loads of fresh apples, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and a dash of heavy whipping cream.

Almond ‘Apple’ Crumble (i.e. Chayote Squash) 🍏 gluten free, paleo & keto

Missing apples this fall?! Chayote squash might just be the answer! Its crisp and juicy texture lends itself as the perfect sub in this keto apple crumble!

Keto Apple Crumble 🍏

i.e. Chayote Squash Crumble

Crispsweet, and quite apple-like, chayote is a great low carb apple substitute (with the help of a little bit of extract)! So if you’re missing all things apple this fall, you gotta give this keto apple crumble a go.

If you’ve been doing keto for a while, odds are you’ve heard of chayote squash subbing in for all things apple. From a classic apple pie, to keto apple crumble, and even English minced pies. So we decided to take this traditionally Mexican veggie for a ride.

So how well can chayote squash impersonate an apple? 🔍

The Chayote Squash

Chayote, crisp and mostly taste-less, is an interesting veggie. Related to melons, cucumber and squash, it’s traditionally used in savory dishes in Mexican cuisine.

And aside from being low carb (think just 2.8g net carbs/100g serving), chayote is rich in dietary fiber, iron, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, potassium, copper, vitamins B1, B2, B6 and C. Not to mention a bunch of antioxidants.

And living in Mexico and all, we couldn’t wait to give it a shot given that we adore all things apple come fall.

The Extract 🍏

This apple extract is a real wonder. It helps to up the apple factor up quite a notch. So if whipping anything apple/chayote this fall, make sure to get hold of this extract.

The Acidity 🍋

Apples, unlike chayote, are rather acidic. So you really need to up your acid factor via lemon juice here. I suggest starting with 1 tablespoon, and adding more as needed to taste.

The Results

We were oddly divided by this keto mock apple crumble at chez gnom-gnom (as in me, friends and my mom who regularly judge ‘how close to the original I got’). It’s super yummy don’t get me wrong (I wouldn’t be posting it if it weren’t!).

But during tasting, it seemed that the apple-ness factor varied from taste bud to taste bud.

It seems that for some peeps it tastes almost like apples, and to others it simply doesn’t quite do it (yet still confirm it’s a yummy dessert). So I suggest you give it a go, in case you’re one of the lucky few to whom chayote tastes like apples.

Plus, the filling is also super yum as a yogurt or chia seed pudding! Oh, and I’m fairly certain that our (no-churn!) vanilla ice cream is non-negotiable!!

The Thickener

In all my tests with chayote, I found that a thickener (i.e. arrowroot etc) is not really needed. You see, chayote has a funny quality in that it releases some water at the beginning of cooking and after 15 minutes or so it soaks it all back in.

So when I added arrowroot (or even tapioca), the crumble came out all dry and clumpy. But when we let it do it’s own thing, the texture came out just right after 30 minutes of baking. Slightly crunchy, yet nice and tender.

If you’re planning on making a mock apple pie with chayote, this poses a slight problem. Unless you’re doing a skillet pie with just a crust on top, the chayote will make your bottom crust all soggy.

Alternatively, you can cook your chayote filling on the stove-top first to release the initial moisture, let it cool and then use it as your keto apple pie filling!

The Sweetener 🍯

Apples are clearly much sweeter than chayote. As in, chayote is not sweet at all. So you’ll have to do some tasting here, to cater to your sweet tooth.

You can pretty much use whatever sweetener floats your boat. Xylitol (non-corn though to avoid tummy troubles!) is my top choice (no aftertaste!), Lakanto (barely any aftertaste, and the Golden version would be particularly good here!), and Swerve (some cooling sensation, but still great).

Pyure also works, just note that it’s not my top choice here. It seems that it leaves behind a slight stevia trace when the crumbles are warm, though it might just be me.

Fun fact: it might also be my taste buds here, but I’ve noticed that stevia-based sweeteners (such as Pyure) work best when allowed to cool completely. Or even after a thorough chilling. i.e. when I made test batches with Pyure (stevia & erythitrol) and Sweetleaf (stevia), the stevia taste was very prevalent when warm (particularly with Sweetleaf). But after allowing them to cool completely, the stevia taste was barely discernible. If at all.

KETO MOCK DUTCH APPLE PIE – GLUTEN-FREE

Keto Apple Pie without the apples! Tender and juicy chayote takes the place of apples giving America’s favorite dessert a low carb makeover-Dutch style!

Dutch apple pie is just one of those desserts everyone loves. Apples cooked with butter and cinnamon baked in a delicate crust with a crumble topping is simply drool- worthy. The sweet and familiar aroma alone, as it bakes, has everyone heading to the kitchen waiting for it to be ready to slice.

But wait! Apples are loaded with carbs so how can this be a Keto Apple Pie? You won’t believe it until you try it! Low carb chayote squash steps in as an amazing substitute for sugary apples! And trust me when I tell you, you won’t miss the apples one bit!

A gluten-free pie crust and sugar free streusel topping top off the carb saving substitutions in this recipe! If you’re on Keto or a low carb diet, you’re going to want to try this one. Even your non-Keto friends and family will love it!

WHAT’S IN KETO MOCK DUTCH APPLE PIE

  • Chayote Squash
  • Butter
  • Egg
  • Brown Swerve
  • Swerve Confectioners
  • Lemon
  • Pecans
  • Apple pie spice
  • Natural Apple Flavoring
  • Vanilla extract
  • Xanthan Gum

*Exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below.

HOW TO MAKE MOCK APPLE PIE

TO MAKE THE MOCK APPLE FILLING

Wash, peel, core and dice the chayote squash.

Heat a pot or large skillet to low and melt the butter. Add in the squash and toss to coat. Cover with a lid and cook for 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350F. Add in the rest of the filling ingredients and stir to combine. I prefer using this silicone spoon, so nothing sticks to it! Continue cooking for 10 more minutes, covered or until fork tender.

You’ll notice this recipe uses homemade Apple Pie Spice. Though you can use store bought, I highly recommend you give this recipe a try. It’s so incredibly quick and easy and it truly has a much more intense flavor.

Okay, back to making the filling. Before moving onto the next step, taste the filling mixture for sweetness. If you want it sweeter, add in more Swerve confectioners at this time.

HOW TO MAKE THE GLUTEN FREE CRUST

Add the almond flour, butter, egg, swerve confectioners and vanilla extract to the bowl of a food processor and mix until a dough is formed.

Place the dough in a pie dish and press out, going up the sides. I greased mine with some butter, but this step is optional, depending on your dish.

Prick the dough with a fork and bake for 10 minutes, then remove and set aside while you make the topping.

HOW TO MAKE THE SUGAR FREE STREUSEL TOPPING

Add the almond flour, pecans, apple pie spice and Swerve into a mixing bowl and mix them together.

Then pour the melted butter over the top and mix until well combined. Once you add the butter, you’ll see the crumbles will start to form.

Pour the mock apple filling into the pie crust.  

Add the streusel crumble over the top and gently press down.  

Place on the lower ⅓ rack of your oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the topping is slightly golden. If the crumble topping starts getting too dark, tent it with foil and continue baking.

Store leftovers in the fridge for several days or freeze.

WHY IS IT CALLED DUTCH APPLE PIE?

Dutch apple pie has a crumble topping made with nuts, flour and brown sugar, or almond flour and Swerve brown in this case. Traditional apple pie has a pastry lattice or second pie crust baked on top.

CAN I EAT APPLES ON KETO?

I am always hesitant to label a fruit or vegetable Keto or non-Keto; however, because apples contain so much sugar, even though it’s all natural sugar, it’s hard to keep within in your carb macros by eating apples. That’s why chayote squash works so great for all us low-carbers!

WHAT IS CHAYOTE? WHAT ARE THE CARBS IN CHAYOTE?

Chayote is a little strange looking type of squash that’s part of the gourd family, similar in shape to a pear. They are considered a fruit, sort of how a tomato falls into the fruit family.

You can season them and use them in savory dishes or sweeten them up and cook them in many low carb apple or pear desserts.

Chayote originates from Mexico but because of it’s ever growing popularity, it’s now grown in warmer climates all over the world. Part of the reason they have grown in popularity is because with less than 4 net carbs per squash, more and more recipes are using them from low carb substitutions.

WHAT DOES CHAYOTE TASTE LIKE?

Chayote squash has a very mild flavor. Raw chayote shares some of the same characteristics as jicama. Best described, it would be a cross between a very lightly sweet apple and and cucumber. But it’s also like a sponge when it’s cooked. It adopts the flavors of the seasonings and or spices it’s cooked with making it a super versatile ingredient.

CAN I FREEZE DUTCH KETO APPLE PIE?

There are two ways to freeze this Keto apple pie.

First way is to freeze the pie once it has baked. To do so, let the pie cool and then wrap it with a double layer of plastic wrap. Place it in the freezer for up to a couple of months.

To reheat, unwrap the pie and allow it to set out for about an hour. Preheat the oven to 400F. Place a piece of aluminum foil over the top and heat the pie 25-30 minutes. Remove the pie from the oven, let it cool slightly and serve.

ZUCCHINI KETO APPLE CRISP RECIPE

This easy and delicious low carb keto apple crisp doesn’t use any apples! To keep it keto friendly, the recipe is made with zucchini but your taste buds will never know the difference!

Sweet and tender pieces of sliced zucchini can have the flavor of apples by adding a sweetened spice blend. You’ll get all the taste you love without the unwanted carbs.

The delicious keto apple dessert is a simple and easy way to enjoy the crunchy, sweet flavor of apples on a low-carb diet. It’s also a tasty way to get in your daily does of vegetables.

If you are trying to get your family to eat more veggies, this treat is a great way to do it. They may not even be able to tell you didn’t use real granny smith apples or fuji apples in the mock apple filling.

📋 INGREDIENTS

You only need a few basic ingredients and a little time to make this low carb apple crisp recipe. In fact, you may already have everything you need right in the kitchen!

Mock apple mixture

For the low-carb apple pie crisp filling, you’ll need the following:

  • zucchini
  • lemon juice
  • keto sugar substitute
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg

You can also add a keto-friendly thickener like xanthan gum to make a thicker filling and apple extract for a stronger apple flavor.

Apple crisp topping

I use a nutty topping for the zucchini apple crisp. It’s just a blend of these ingredients:

  • Chopped pecans
  • Almond flour
  • Oat fiber or coconut flour
  • Granulated keto sweetener
  • Cinnamon
  • Melted butter

💭 QUICK TIPS

  • Keep the zucchini slices at least a quarter inch thick. If you cut them too thin, the squash will get soft and mushy when cooked.
  • Use a coarse almond flour. Low carb baked goods are generally better with fine almond flour, but for an apple crisp, a coarser grind works best. You can even use almond meal with the skin still on.
  • Add apple extract. The lemon juice provides a fruity taste to the zucchini but you’ll get a more believable taste if you add in a little apple flavoring.
  • Use a ball shaped squash. There are round ball varieties of zucchini that you can grow yourself. The shape and size is more like an apple.

🔪 INSTRUCTIONS

To make the recipe, simply prepare the zucchini mixture then add the crumb topping. Then simply bake it in the oven. That’s it!

Mock apple filling

Before using the zucchini, it needs to be peeled and sliced in half lengthwise. Then the seeds need to be removed using a spoon to scrape them out.

Cut the zucchini into half moon slices to look like apple slices. The summer squash pie filling will look just like apples!

Once the zucchini is sliced, it’s mixed with lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, sweetener and optional apple extract. Then it’s poured into a baking dish.

zucchini apple crips filling ingredients in glass mixing bowl.

Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Then cut in the butter using a pastry cutter until the mixture is crumbly.

Sprinkle the topping over the filling and baked until the zucchini is tender. It takes about 45 to 50 minutes to cook completely.

🍽️ SERVING SUGGESTIONS

This keto zucchini apple crisp is perfect served warm or cold. When warm, it tastes great with a scoop of keto vanilla ice cream on top. Topping off with some whipped cream is also a great option.

📒 VARIATIONS

It’s easy to modify this recipe into a keto mock apple pie. Just add my almond flour crust or coconut flour crust and bake in a pie pan. You’ll end up with a low carb Dutch apple pie!

If you’d rather have a traditional apple pie, add a top crust too.

🙋 FAQS

Before getting to the printable recipe card, here are some answered to questions people have asked about the keto apple crisp dessert.

Are apples keto friendly?

Apples are avoided on a keto diet because even a small apple can have over 20 grams of carbs. That’s twice the limit for what’s recommended for each low carb meal and it’s likely to knock you out of ketosis!

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