There’s something so classically “homey” about a fruit crisp. It’s one of the easiest to desserts to make and certainly one of the most deliciously cosseting to eat. There are hundreds of crisp recipes floating around the internet and after some experimentation I can confidentially say that this Apple and Blueberry Crisp is my favorite and the recipe works like a charm.
Since my conversion to veganism I very often find ways of adding an extra portion of fruit or veg to almost everything I cook. This is no exception, originally it was going to be an apple crisp but finding some wild blueberries in the freezer I couldn’t help but include them.
Crisps are enormously forgiving, most stone fruit and berries work wonderfully. However, I do find that if I use frozen berries they produce a lot more juice, adding a heaping tablespoon of cornstarch helps transform a thin runny juice into a pleasingly smooth glossy sauce.
What about the topping?
I like mine with a little crunch which is achieved by using oatmeal and a coarse brown sugar such as cane, demerara, turbinado or even coconut sugar.
The other point to bear in mind is the topping to fruit ratio. We’ve all had experiences of a heavy, rather dry topping sitting on a thin layer of undercooked fruit – shudder – definitely not what we’re after, remember this is a fruit dessert! If you find you have a little too much topping – freeze it for a rainy day – see below. Try to keep your apples cut to a similar size so they cook evenly.
Don’t skimp on the vegan butter it produces a deep golden hue when baked and helps clump the topping together, it’s almost cookie like. It can be enormously helpful to make a double batch of topping and keep some in the freezer in a zip lock bag for those frantic days when you still need to whip up a dessert.
If you feel the need to get more creative with your toppings you can experiment with adding chopped nuts (almonds, walnuts and pecans are nice) and perhaps even coconut flakes if they take your fancy.Print
Apple and Blueberry Crisp
A quick and easy deliciously satisfying fruit dessert.
For the filling:
5 apples (I used Gala) peeled, cored and cut into large chunks
1 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup coarse sugar (cane, demerara, turbinado)
1 /2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Zest and juice of a lemon
Zest and juice of an orange
1 heaped tablespoon cornstarch
For the topping:
1 cup oats
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup coarse sugar (cane, demerara, turbinado)
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 oz vegan butter, cut into chunks
Pre heat the oven to 350F
Prepare the apples and place in a large bowl, add the frozen berries, sugar, cinnamon, lemon and orange zest and juice and cornstarch. Toss gently together and set aside while making the topping.
To make the topping place the oats, flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Mix to combine. Add the chunks of butter to the bowl and gently “rub in”. Essentially you rub the butter into the flour mixture using your fingertips until you achieve a consistency of very coarse breadcrumbs.
Pour the fruit into a large shallow baking dish (about 12 x 8 inches) or smaller individual dishes if you prefer.
Sprinkle over the topping, don’t press down. Make sure all the fruit is covered.
Transfer the dish (or dishes if using multiple) to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Place in the middle rack of the pre heated oven and bake for approximately 45-55 minutes for a large crisp and about 25-30 for individual depending of the size of the dishes.
The crisp is done when the topping is golden and the fruit filling is bubbling up and around the outside of the dish.
Remove from the oven, allow to sit for 10 minutes and then serve with vegan ice cream if desired.