Rose-Infused Blackberry & Apple Almond Christmas Crumble – Gluten Free

This year, 2013, my soul has craved a change for many reasons, but we won’t go into all of that.  Suffice it to say, my head has been whirling ideas around that I have just felt compelled to follow.  Textures, colours, and aromas float above my eyes, and what I see makes my mouth water.  To that end, I bring you a most sublime Christmas (and gluten-free) dessert that will have you singing songs of bliss.  I love the combination of blackberries and apples, and as the sauce turned red, roses sprung to mind – what a lovely, decadent mixture of ingredients to really lift the spirits.  I also wanted to offer a healthier choice without the stodge this year – although many of us fall prey to overeating, and that being the case, it may as well be full of substance and delicious culinary nutrition.

You may prepare both the filling and topping the day before, refrigerate, and then put them together in the morning. Lightly bake until almost golden, then re-bake just before serving.  I suggest either a nice, hot traditional custard, or some dairy-free cream, or maybe both.  If you want to go the whole way with the health ticket, then make some cashew cream in the liquidizer – 1 cup of pre-soaked cashews, a dash of sweetener of your choice, and half a cup of cold water – process until smooth and serve.



2 apples, peeled and chopped into medium size pieces

¼ cup (60 mL) water

1½ Tbsp agave syrup, or sweetener of your choice – more if you wish

3 cups blackberries (I used frozen ones)

1 Tbsp rose water (I used a Middle Eastern one – but you can find from here in US, here in UK)

1 tsp arrowroot, mixed with the rose water until a paste is formed, set aside



  1. Place the apples in a saucepan with the water and sweetener, and stew until the apples are soft.
  2. Then add the blackberries, lower the heat, cover, and allow to cook for a further 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the arrowroot and rose mixture, stir for a minute, then take off the heat, and allow to cool a little.  Taste for sweetness, and adjust if needs be.



5 Tbsp tapioca flour

100g blanched almonds

2 Tbsp xylitol, or other dried sweetener of your choice (xylitol can be purchased from here in US, here in UK)

2 Tbsp vegan margarine of your choice (one that is suitable for baking)

a pinch of salt

a pinch of cinnamon (optional)



  1. Place the almonds in your food processor, and process until they turn to crumbs.
  2. Next, add the remaining ingredients, and process until crumbs are formed again.  The mixture should be thicker crumbs, but still on the loose side.  The margarine will make the crumbs denser to the eye, but when handled softish to the touch.  If the mixture is too doughy, add a little more flour, and process for a few seconds until crumbs are formed again (but don’t overdo it).



extra blanched almonds for decoration



  1. Pre-heat your oven to 400ºF (200ºC)
  2. Place the blackberry mixture in a medium-sized pudding basin, and then spoon on, or use clean hands, to gently place the crumble on top – a peak will most probably form.
  3. Now decorate your pudding with the almonds on the edges, and place in your preheated oven until golden.  Keep your eyes on it, as every oven is different.
  4. When it’s turned a nice golden colour, remove from oven, and allow to stand for some minutes, before serving with hot custard or vegan cream.  Then share and devour ! Enjoy !



All recipes and content © Miriam Sorrell 2010




  1. Hi Miriam
    I would like to subscribe to the new magazine but I don’t have either a Facebook or Twitter account – is there any other way of doing it? It certainly looks a great magazine.

  2. Hi there Gloria – if you go to this link, you’ll be able to subscribe directly. Good luck, and let me know if you have any problems.

  3. Hi Miriam
    Many thanks for your reply – unfortunately the only way I could see to pay was by Paypal and I don’t have a Paypal account. Thank you for your help anyway.

  4. There is a way Gloria, we are e-mailing you now. Thanks. 🙂

  5. Many thanks for your help Miriam – I got there in the end!!! Am certainly glad I did too because it’s fantastic – the recipes are great and the articles are very interesting – I would recommend anybody to get it. It’s very good value and I just wish it was in hard copy but that would make it too expensive I suppose and not practical. I will certainly be buying it again.

  6. This looks absolutely amazing! Love the Middle Eastern twist too.

  7. Let me know how it goes as and when you’ve tried it out Tehmina, and hope you enjoy it. Happy Holidays ! 🙂

  8. Gloria Hi and so glad to hear that you have ordered our magazine and enjoyed the content. You can print anything of value and keep it in a private folder for your use. Kindest wishes for the Festive Season in the meantime !

  9. Pingback: Rose-Infused Blackberry & Apple Almond Christmas Crumble – Gluten Free | Mun's Page Mun's Page

  10. Hi Miriam I have only just discovered your fab website. I am not vegan but have recently decided to eat less or no meat. I am inspired by your recipes and I am now thinking I may be able to make the transition with ease. I wanted to ask you a couple of questions which vegan margarine do you use? don’t know where to start on that. If you wanted to use normal sugar how much would you use say in this recipe. I about to order your cook book as I am very impressed with the recipes on your website. Thank you Miriam.

  11. NM UK Hi there and welcome here. Any margarine that is dairy free should do the job for you in this recipe provided you can cook/bake – I use a variety, I make my own butter, sometimes I purchase vitalite, here is what I have found for you from a vegan site : – Margarine

    First things first – margarine is not vegan unless it specifically says ‘suitable for vegans’ on the tub. Yes, even sunflower spread and olive spread and whatever other plant-based spread you care to mention gets milk added to it.

    Vegan margarine is available and in general it tastes the same as non-vegan margarine, particularly the sunflower varieties. The main ones available are Pure and Vitalite, both of which are sold in supermarkets. Suma also make vegan margarine, this tends to be sold more in independent shops.

    An alternative in some types of baking (pastry, biscuits etc.) is to use blocks of vegetable fat. Some vegan cake recipes use sunflower oil in place of margarine.

    Regarding sugar, use the same amount, but taste the crumble before you add it to the top of the fruit, so that if you prefer it sweeter you can add more.

    If you order my book, let me know when it reaches you. You will also find very easy recipes for cheese in it at the back. Enjoy and best your way !

    With regards to sugar, use the


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