My Dear Grandma’s Apples

Sorry, but there’ll be no ‘Simple Supper Friday’ post today, but rather, a simple dessert recipe instead, inspired my dear grandma. I feel the need to share it now rather than later, and want to do so while it is fresh in my mind. So today, I got dessert covered!

My grandma has been on my mind a lot lately, even more so since arriving back to Alpena. You see, she passed away in early May of this year and it’s been hard for all of my family to cope with. She played a significant part in all of our lives and had so much love and appreciation for us, as did we for her. She endured a lot of tragedy in her life, starting at a very young age, but never let it stop her from living a fulfilling life. Any one of her experiences would have been enough to put a person over the edge or remain a pessimist, but grandma trekked on, held her head high and moved forward with her life. She is hands down the strongest woman I have ever known. She was stubborn, open-minded, strong, beautiful, put-together, loving, funny and determined. I am proud to have her as my grandma and grateful for the 27 wonderful years we shared together.

Grandma and me a few years back.
Grandma Reilly and me back in May 2008, the day after I graduated from college.

Today, my mom and I took a drive over to my grandma’s house and spent about two hours browsing around the house and looking at her things. We pulled out and admired her gorgeous ice blue, satin and lace wedding dress (from 1953), opened drawers and cupboards, looked through her many pairs of earrings, smelled her perfumes (at least I did) and so on and so forth. It was sad and strange to go to her house and not have her there, especially when all of her things are in place and everything looks and smells the same.

My mom mentioned that grandma had some bags of Michigan apples in her freezer that she sliced last fall and suggested bringing home one of the bags and making some sort of apple crumble with it. I thought it sounded like a good idea, so mom put me in charge of coming up with a recipe. We both knew grandma would be happy to see us preparing and eating the apples that she took the time to slice and store. There’s lots of love in each and every slice.

Apple crumble, inspired by Grandma’s apples


  • 8-10 sliced apples (this is an estimate, I used one gallon-size freezer bag worth)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 2 Tbsp grass-fed butter, melted
The filling -- grandma's apples, spices, honey and butter.
The filling — grandma’s apples, spices, honey and butter.

For the topping:

  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 2 Tbsp raw honey
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, chopped into smaller pieces
  • 3 Tbsp cold grass-fed butter, cut into cubes
The topping mixture
The topping mixture.
Filling with crumble topping, before going into the oven.
Filling with crumble topping, before going into the oven.


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix all filling ingredients together in a bowl and pour into a greased 9×13 or 9×9 baking dish.
  3. Mix topping together and then cut in cubes of butter until everything is crumbly. With your fingers, spread the topping over the apples.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 20-30 minutes or until topping is golden brown.

*Note: mine baked for about 37 minutes because the apples were still partially frozen.

Apple crumble, fresh out of the oven.
Apple crumble, fresh out of the oven.

These apples were delicious, well-spiced, tender and tasted like fall. I ate mine with coconut butter drizzled on top, but my mom and sister ate theirs with Greek yogurt and homemade granola. A drizzle of coconut milk would be tasty too. Most importantly, the representation of the apples and eating something my late grandma prepared was extremely meaningful and comforting.

Much love to you always, Grandma Reilly. I miss you every single day. Thank you for the memories and everything you’ve taught and given me … and for the apples too. They made for a darn good crumble! Xoxo

My bowl of apple crumble with coconut butter drizzle.
My bowl of apple crumble with coconut butter drizzle.

8 thoughts on “My Dear Grandma’s Apples

  1. Corrie Anne August 17, 2012 / 8:31 am

    Okay. I can’t believe it, but I just ran out of coconut flour!! I need some more asap. My husband would love this.

    • paleoinportland August 17, 2012 / 8:33 am

      Better make an emergency run to the grocery store!! You could try it with almond flour if you have that instead.

  2. Almond Oats. August 17, 2012 / 11:20 am

    That is such a sweet way to remember your Grandmother. I’m sure she’s glad you put those apples to good use 🙂

  3. myfoodreligion August 19, 2012 / 2:38 am

    I’d love some of that with a cup of tea right now!

    • paleoinportland August 19, 2012 / 4:41 am

      It’s delicious and would definitely pair nicely with a cup of herbal tea!

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