Gluten Free Vegan Peach Raspberry Crisp
Monday, July 21, 2014
Sometimes procrastination pays off my friends.
I’ve been making this peach raspberry crisp for years, never getting around to blogging about it. I’m not really sure why. No matter because I was so excited to pull this one from my bag of healthy cooking tricks when the team over at the Recipe Redux issued their latest challenge: cooking with booze! (Ok, not sure they worded it quite like that….).
Go ahead, twist my arm….
Making dessert always makes me ponder this journey to healthier eating and living. There are those among us who strive to be fitter, healthier, thinner versions of our selves by being super-disciplined in everything they do. Eating is a deliberative, well-planned out event and exercise sometimes borders on torture. They live on little more than lean protein, heaps of fresh produce and maybe sometimes allow themselves a “treat” of Greek yogurt with fruit or butter on a piece of toast. They sweat it out by spending hours at the gym every day, miles covered in regular runs and bike rides or by twisting themselves into every manner of yogi pose they can muster.
Then there’s the rest of us.
We’re totally psyched when 80% of the food we eat every day is actually good for us. Walking the dog is sometimes the most exercise we get…maybe for days on end–and we accept that this is good enough for the time being. We totally forget that we promised ourselves that we wouldn’t eat any sweets until the weekend as we enthusiastically dig into a co-workers birthday cake. We obsess over the candy that is still lying around from Easter (ummmm…throw that stuff away already!) and are lucky if every dinner during the work week includes more than one vegetable. Yea, that’s about right.
Don’t get me wrong, I think we all need to be working toward making every meal delicious, healthy and satisfying and that we should break a sweat every day. These are things I am proud to say I am pretty good at doing, day in and day out.
But sometimes you just need dessert!
I’m pretty sure one of the main reasons I was a chubby girl can be directly correlated to my love all things sweet. Ok, maybe not ALL things. I mean, circus peanuts candy? Jaw breakers? Pixy sticks? Bleah…even at my chubbiest I could say no to those little numbers.
But if I were a superhero, homemade fudge brownies would be my kryptonite. Seriously, I am powerless against them. And chocolate chip cookies…and cupcakes, and….
Despite this serious weakness, my commitment to the Recipe Redux and to you, my fearless readers, means I must sacrifice myself in the name of fulfilling this month’s challenge. I know, so noble, right?!
Of course, this version of fruit crisp is healthier than most. While many recipes call for as much as 2 cups of sugar and 1/2 a pound of butter, this one uses half the sugar and just over 1/4 cup coconut oil. It’s also gluten free for those of us who cannot have or are avoiding it. I made sure to use the ripest peaches I could find to ensure they’d be super-sweet (compensating for the reduced amount of sugar). Oh, and the boozy part? A couple of tablespoons of amaretto, which adds a nutty sweetness that compliments the almond flour used in the topping pretty darn nicely. I’ve used peach schnapps, Chambord® black raspberry, and Grand Marnier® in the past, all with great results. I imagine that Limoncello® would be fantastic too.
I did make this particular batch vegan by not using butter (mainly because I didn’t have any on hand and I was too lazy to go back out to the store). It does lend a subtle tropical flavor to the dessert, which I really liked. If you want to keep it old school, just replace it with butter (yes, real butter!). As I’ve mentioned in other recipes where I use it, coconut sugar is my go-to sweetener. While the debate about whether it’s ‘better’ for you than granulated sugar continues among those who determine such things, I prefer it because, while it’s still sugar and we should all work toward eating less of the stuff, it’s less processed than white sugar. If you don’t have coconut sugar on hand, go ahead and use granulated or brown sugar.
You’ll notice that I layered the raspberries atop the peach mixture; this is to avoid the raspberries getting abused as you toss the peaches with the other ingredients. You could also swap out different fruit….cherries, blueberries, apples….
Baking a crisp is definitely one of the best ways I can think of to celebrate the fresh, sweet fruit harvest (and adding booze to your baking :)). Let me know what you think!
Gluten Free Vegan Peach Raspberry Crisp
servings: 6-8 | time: about 1.5 hours
For the fruit filling:
8 large ripe peaches, peeled pitted and cubed
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
big pinch of salt (about 1/2 a teaspoon)
2 TBSP. amaretto
3 TBSP. cornstarch
2 pints raspberries
For the topping:
1/4 cup gluten free flour blend of choice (I prefer Pamela’s Artisan Baking Blend)
1/4 cup almond flour
1 cup gluten free oats
1/2 cup coconut sugar
pinch of salt
1/4 cup + 2 TBSP. unrefined virgin coconut oil or butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a large baking dish (9 x 6 x 3) or deep dish pie plate with a little coconut oil. Set aside.
1. Place the cubed peaches, coconut sugar, cardamom, salt, amaretto and cornstarch in a very large bowl and toss gently to combine. Set aside while you make the topping
2. Place the gluten free flour blend, almond flour, oats, coconut sugar and pinch of salt in a large bowl. Toss to combine
3. Add the coconut oil or butter and, using a fork or your fingers, incorporate into the flour and oat mixture. You want it to be well blended, but don’t over mix, you want the oil/butter to get too soft
4. Give the peach mixture one more good toss before you pour it into the prepared dish. Layer the raspberries on top, then the oat mixture. Don’t press down on the topping
5. Place a baking sheet in the oven (this will catch any juices that bubble over). Place the crisp on the baking sheet and bake for 60 minutes until cooked through and bubbling.
Serve warm with a little whipped cream…or just as is!
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