This time of year, when the air is cold and the wind is harsh, nothing hits the spot more than a bowl of hot apple crisp with blackberries and coconut whipped cream.
What I love almost as much as the taste of this recipe is the memories I have associated with it.
Growing up vegan, I had many opportunities to help my mom cook, as there were very few pre-packaged vegan food items back 20 years ago–especially on the island of Guam, where we lived. We made almost everything from scratch–vegan mayo, vegan cheese, vegan lasagna, vegan granola, vegan cookies, etc.
There was one thing, however, that we rarely, if ever ventured to attempt in our vegan kitchen–at least at the beginning. Vegan cakes. One vegan cake recipe that we tried looked SO good in the cookbook, but alas, when we baked it, it was D to the DISGUSTING. (A word to the wise: Prunes do NOT belong in cakes. End of discussion.)
So, because cake was usually out of the question, if we wanted to have something sweet to bring to potluck on Sabbath or eat on a special occasion, we baked fruit crisps. We used mangoes most often, but any fruit could have made the cut. They were all delicious. Many a Friday afternoon I spent carefully following a crisp topping recipe scribbled on a piece of greasy, food-stained scrap paper.
Fruit crisp memories such as these (and some bruised apples sitting on my counter) drove me to attempt to recreate that crisp from my tween years.
No, it isn’t the same recipe, but it is just as tasty, if not more so.
I know you’re going to love it just as much as I do.
Here are just a few hints for making a fabulous crisp.
- Make your topping first. Make it ahead, if you want. Topping stays good in the freezer for a month, or in the fridge for several days. Once your apples are chopped, you don’t want them sitting around turning brown and other strange colors while you make your topping, so go ahead and prep your topping first.
- Watch your crisp closely in the oven. It isn’t going to fall like a cake if you check it too much, so don’t be afraid to peek. Crisps can burn quickly, and you’d hate to have to scrape off that delicious topping, or worse–waste your filling too.
- Be creative! Use whatever fruit you like for this crisp. The topping goes on anything. Well, almost anything. ;)
Vegan Apple Blackberry Crisp
- 8.5 inch x 8.5 inch glass baking dish
- medium mixing bowl
For the Topping:
- 1 1/2 cup quick oats
- 1/4 cup flour whole wheat or all-purpose
- 1/2 cup evaporated cane juice crystals or granulated sugar of your choice
- 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder or 1/4 teaspoon regular baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup vegan butter
For the Filling:
- 6 Medium apples peeled, cored, quartered, and sliced
- 2/3 cups fresh or frozen blackberries or berry of your choice
- 1/3 cup evaporated cane juice crystals or granulated sugar of your choice
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon optional
- pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
For the Topping:
- In a clean mixing bowl, combine oats, flour, cane juice crystals, baking powder, and salt.
- Add cold vegan butter, and mix with a fork or with your fingers until mixture is crumbly.
For the Filling:
- Peel, core, and slice apples, if not already done. Wash and drain berries.
- Combine sliced apples, berries, cane juice crystals, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt in a mixing bowl, and place in a 8.5 inch X 8.5 inch square baking dish.
- Sprinkle topping mixture evenly over your apple/blackberry filling in a 8.5 inch X 8.5 inch baking dish, using all of your topping mixture.
- Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes, or until crumble topping becomes golden brown, and apples are cooked through.