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Crunchy Buckwheat Apple Crisp with Cranberries by Martin Sorge

Crunchy Buckwheat Apple Crisp with Cranberries by Martin Sorge

By: Terra Brockman (Read Bio)

Crunchy Buckwheat Apple Crisp with Cranberries by Martin Sorge
Martin is a terrific baker and the winner of a recent season of The Great American Baking Show. He bought his first bag of Janie’s Mill flour in 2019, and has baked with it ever since.
Martin Sorge w/the All-Purpose Girls

Of this wonderful Buckwheat Apple Crisp recipe, Martin says it's "probably good for your body, but definitely good for your soul. Oh, and it's vegan, gluten-free*, whole grain, and refined-sugar free. If that matters to you."

*NOTE: Although buckwheat and oats are naturally gluten-free, Janie's Mill is NOT a certified gluten-free facility so there may be traces of gluten in our non-wheat products. 

We thank Martin for permission to post his recipes and photos on our site.

Martin shares his food adventures on Instagram @martinsorge and provides terrific recipes and commentary in his weekly newsletter Great Bakes.  

Martin Sorge with apples for Buckwheat CrispMARTIN's INTRO

A fruit crisp or crumble is my go-to fruit dessert. It inspired my first bake on the Great American Baking Show.I will eat a traditional crisp for breakfast, but I thought I better try to make one that’s a bit more wholesome. I'm not saying this dish is good for you (I’m not an expert on that stuff.), but it's 100% whole grain, gluten free, and vegan. Full of healthy nuts, seeds, olive oil, lots of fruit, and sweetened only with maple syrup, you won't feel the slightest bit of guilt having a big bowl of this crisp for breakfast.

This version is gluten-free, but you can swap out the buckwheat flour for all-purpose or whole-wheat flour (or rye or spelt, for that matter) if that’s what you have. The buckwheat flour gives this crisp a dark, earthy quality that I adore. The filling ingredients are flexible, too. I often take out an apple and add in one peeled, cored, and chopped quince.

Watch me make this on Instagram.

Janies mill hulled buckwheat groats raw kasha

for the Topping

Janies mill oats and buckwheat for crisp topping

Heat the oven to 375F with a rack on the bottom shelf of of the oven.
In a large mixing bowl, add the oats, buckwheat groats, buckwheat flour, nuts or seeds, coconut, and salt. Toss to combine. Add the olive oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract and stir to combine.

for the Filling

  • 4-6 large apples (use apples that are firm, tart, and tasty)
  • Juice of 1/2 medium lemon (about 1 Tablespoon)8-10 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries (don’t thaw if using frozen)
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 hefty teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 80 g maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, for the baking dish


    • Medium or large mixing bowls
    • Large spoon or spatula for stirring the grain topping
    • Paring knife and cutting board for the apples
    • Oven-proof baking dish, 9 x 9 or thereabouts
    Martin Sorge apple crisp before adding buckwheat topping


    • Peel, core, and quarter your apples then slice them about 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick, then place them in a large mixing bowl and toss them with the lemon juice.
    • Add the cranberries, cornstarch, sugar, ginger, and salt then toss to combine.
    • Add the maple syrup and toss to combine.
    • Rub a couple of teaspoons of olive oil on a 9-inch square Pyrex or ceramic baking dish. Dump your fruit mixture into the baking dish and spread it out evenly. It's going to look very full, but it will shrink after baking. Ideally the fruit is piled up higher than the baking dish.

    • Sprinkle the crisp mixture on top of the fruit and spread it out evenly.

    • Set the baking dish on a larger sheet pan to catch any drips.

    • Bake on the bottom rack at 375F/190C for about 60 minutes. After 40 minutes, drape a piece of aluminum foil loosely on top of the crisp to prevent it from browning too much. You know it's done when you see the filling bubbling vigorously all around the edges. 

    • Remove it from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Let cool for at least 30 minutes before eating, but ideally let it fully cool so that the filling sets. (It isn’t pie, so a bit of runny filling doesn’t matter.)


      Martin sorge apple crisp with Janies Mill buckwheat topping

    MARTIN'S NOTES and Suggestions for Variations

    • This warm, cozy breakfast crisp is a way to have good-quality fruit (apples and/or some sort of frozen fruit) underneath a hearty, nutty, texturerific, whole-grain topping. In the summer I freeze excess farm-fresh fruit, whether that's peak-season blueberries, apricots, plums, tart cherries, or peaches. Once midwinter hits, these frozen memories of summer become my breakfast champions.

    •  This recipe happens to be free of gluten, dairy, and refined sugar. It's even vegan. It is not too sweet, and probably better for you than most supermarket granola. I don’t know if it’s good for your body, but it’s definitely great for your soul. It's also very flexible. One of my favorite combinations is apple, cranberry, and ginger. But you can change it up however you see fit.

    •  I use 4-5 large apples plus 10-12 ounces of frozen fruit. The frozen fruit can be berries (blue, cran, rasp, or black), cherries, or stone fruit like frozen plums or apricots. The balance of sweet-tart apples and berries gives you bright flavor without the need to add much sweetener. Or cut out the apples and use all frozen (or even canned! gasp!) peaches. Be sure to pile the fruit high, because apples and cranberries will shrink after baking.

    •  I typically make this recipe the evening before and reheat it for breakfast with a big scoop of yogurt on the side.  After the first serving, I cover it and refrigerate it. To reheat: scoop out the crisp into a bowl, and cook for about 30-40 seconds in the microwave.

    • This crisp will last, covered, in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

      Happy Baking,

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    Posted on February 19 2024