It was an extraordinary and traditional Korean buffet our gracious hostess had lovingly prepared for the dozen guests. Trepidly, they watched as she began to serve dessert for the culmination of the evening’s culinary experience that blew everyone’s minds and palates. Since I made the dessert, I knew what was coming, but I suspect the guests had no idea if it was going to be a Korean dessert or what it would be. But, like good guests, no one contradicted the hostess when she announced that “everyone would be having dessert.”
As the sweet ending was distributed by the host to the virtually immobilized guests, I felt the buzz (and love) as the commentary began to flow liberally with their adoration for the good + good for you apple-pear crisp I prepared for this pre-holiday celebration of new friends and neighbors, diverse cultures and, of course, exquisite food. Everyone agreed the crisp was amazing. Even the people who proudly claimed to “never eat dessert” were tossing questions my way about this recipe that was seemingly taking a bit of the spotlight from the hostess and her incredible display of traditional Korean family recipes that brought us all together on a cold Saturday night, the week before Christmas.
While the group licked their dessert plates clean, they wanted to know the recipe details and were speechless when I proudly shared that the crisp was gluten-free, vegan and had minimum sweetener. I told them I loved making dishes that were fabulous and broke the myth that desserts that were good for you weren’t good. I also disclosed this was the first time I had made the recipe and what a relief it was to know it was a hit! I made sure to leave the host and hostess plenty of leftover dessert so they could enjoy more of it the next day when they recovered from this epic evening.
And as I drove home, I was sorry David wasn’t with me and didn’t get to have this sensational apple-pear crisp. He is a fruit crisp lover and I have been waiting patiently for months to make this recipe again when stone fruit and berries are at their peak in the summer and there are more than just the two of us to enjoy this recipe that serves 10.
When I recently informed our friend who is having a pre-4th of July party that David was making his favorite and famous family potato salad, she said that was perfect because she wasn’t able to make anything else and she didn’t want to succumb to store bought potato salad. Store bought potato salad averted and problem solved, we chimed. Being the dessert girl that I am, I then asked if she had enough dessert and she mentioned they might be short on desserts. I said I would make a crisp, and she again extolled and said that would be perfect.
With a refrigerator full of ripe peaches, bing cherries and plenty of strawberries and blueberries, this summer fruit crisp again succeeded in getting the party talking and even created a few sparks, which is always the idea. Hoping your Independence Day celebration is overflowing with grills, laughter, fireworks and a dessert that keeps the party alive, like this perfect vegan fruit crisp.
Happy 4th of July and buen provecho!
Vegan Fruit Crisp
This sensational crisp will dazzle the crowds, so get ready to share the recipe with everyone who asks. It's what happened to me at the first dinner party I toted this dessert to (and used pears and apples) in the winter and then an even larger holiday party during the summer (sporting cherries, berries and peaches). It's the topping that really makes this dessert a winner with a combo of flours, chopped nuts, coconut sugar and vegan butter of your choice. The fruit concoction is made exceptional with the addition of arrowroot flour as a thickener, along with lemon juice for acid, coconut sugar for sweetener and a bit of juice or water to get the bubbling party started and thoroughly cook the seasonal fruit. The fact that it's gluten-free and vegan are just the talking points. This dessert captivates the party all by itself.
- 7 cups seasonal fruit sliced and cored apples and pears in the winter, pitted cherries, quartered berries and/or sliced peaches in the summer
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice approximately 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1 1/12 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons arrowroot powder or starch
- 1/4 cup fruit juice or water
- 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 1/2 cup gluten-free flour of choice I used 1:1 Gluten-Free Flour by Bob's Red Mill
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2/3 cup chopped nuts I used a combo, such as walnuts and pecans with apples and pears or almonds, pecans and hazelnuts with the cherries, berries and peaches
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup melted coconut oil, olive oil or vegan butter I used Mykonos Kitchen vegan butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Rinse and prep the fruit--slice apples and pears and remove the core, using a paring knife to then thinly slice the fruit. If it's summer, rinse and prep the berries cutting them into quarters or smaller if they are larger berries, slice the peaches and, if using, pit the cherries. Add the fruit to a large mixing bowl and add the remaining ingredients--lemon juice, coconut sugar, cinnamon, arrowroot, and juice or water. Stir well to combine and you will see the beginnings of a sauce come together right before your eyes.
Now add the topping ingredients to the bowl and stir to combine, using your fingers to break up any clumps. Stir well and place on top of the fruit in the dish. Using a spatula, spread the topping all over the fruit making sure to cover any nooks and crannies.
Bake uncovered for 50-60 minutes or until the filling is bubbly, the fruit is fork tender and the topping is a golden brown.
Let it rest at least 30 minutes before serving. Top with whipped coconut cream, real whipped cream or your favorite vanilla ice cream.
Refrigerate or freeze any leftovers. Reheat in the microwave or a 350 degree oven until warmed through.