Note to self: next year, buy the fruit before the fourth of July…
I’ve never been one to get psyched for the fourth of July. I was looking forward to this holiday as a free day to clean my house. No plans, just me attacking the shower tiles and eating leftover Chinese for dinner. But, when Bronson and I went for a walk and saw everyone in our neighborhood with their charcoal grills, checkered cloths and all-American food, my stomach became insanely jealous. It demanded its own summery dinner with all of the fixins – especially with a crumbly, sweet, berry dessert.
After I picked my way through the unattractive fruit that Meijer had left (what could I really expect at 2pm on the fourth of July?), I went home with strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, two honeycrisps and a granny smith apple, and started on making an apple berry crisp.
I thoroughly rinsed the fruit and trimmed the tops of the strawberries, cutting the giant ones in half. I sifted my hands through the blueberries to find any greenish, sour berries or any with stems that I needed to pull. I chopped the apples into a medium dice, and poured all of the fruit into a large mixing bowl. Then I cut a lemon in half and squeezed one half over the bowl.
I sprinkled some coconut sugar and coconut flour into the bowl and gently stirred so that each piece of fruit was lightly coated. I sprayed a large baking dish with coconut oil and spread the berries across the dish.
In another large mixing bowl, I combined rolled oats, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, a little baking powder and vegan butter. I rubbed the small cubes of butter and dry ingredients between my fingers until they came together into a crumbly dough. I spread the topping over the baking sheet and set it in the oven at 350° for 40 minutes.
After 15 minutes in the oven, the smell of the baking crisp was spreading through my apartment, so sweet and warm.
After another long 25 minutes, I pulled the apple berry crisp from the oven and stood back to admire it. It was a gorgeous array of fruit before I topped it, but now, it was lightly golden, with the soft, warm fruit pooling underneath the layer of crispy oats. I actually called for Bronson to come into the kitchen and pat me on the back because of how perfect this delicious crisp looked and smelled.
I’m a little suspicious of a recipe the first time I make it. I assume that there’s going to be something to tweak, or that there wasn’t enough of something, but this crisp was absolutely perfect. It made such a satisfying crunch when I dug into it. I’ve found that vegan butter doesn’t bake the same way that “normal” butter does, but in this crisp, it made the topping so crispy and light.
All the fruits cooked down into a delicious blend of mellow sweetness, but you could still taste every fruit in each bite. The blackberries and blueberries became almost buttery, and the strawberries and apples were an awesome burst of sweetness. Some of the blackberries burst in the oven and became a thick, gravy-like sauce that tasted ridiculously good with the crumbly topping. The layer of crispy oats on top baked into a sweet cookie, which I’m going to try to expand on for a vegan oat cookie recipe….
After vegan hot dogs and potato salad for dinner, this apple berry crisp was a perfect dessert for my impromptu fourth of July feast. I have no shame when I admit that I licked my plate clean. Literally…Come on, I couldn’t let that fruit gravy goodness go to waste!
Recipe for Apple Berry Crisp – Vegan and gluten-free
– Adapted from this recipe
2 Honeycrisp apples, medium diced
1 Granny Smith apple, medium diced
1 1/2 lb. strawberries, tops trimmed, large berries cut in half
6 oz. blackberries
6 oz. blueberries
2 tblsp. coconut sugar
3 tblsp. coconut flour
1/2 lemon, seeds removed
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour blend
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 3/4 sticks vegan butter, in small cubes
Spray a large baking dish with oil and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the fruit in a large mixing bowl. Squeeze 1/2 lemon over the bowl. Add the coconut flour and sugar and gently stir fruit so that each piece is lightly coated. Transfer the fruit to the baking dish.
Sift the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Add the cubed butter and incorporate it into the dry ingredients with your hands. Continue until the two have formed into a soft crumbly, dough. Distribute the dough evenly over the fruit in the baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes.
NOTE: My oven is old as shit, so baking times may vary. Could someone please let me know if my oven temps/times are off?