Longer Reads

Farm Market Crisp

My dear friend Lorene and I have known each other since we were 15 years old. Back then we used to come home from school and raid each other’s fridges, piling our plates high with chips and cookies, processed foods and junky snacks. Shortly after college, we both began to get more health-conscious. Lorene was always an avid baker, but over time she began swapping out the white sugars and white flours for natural sweeteners and whole grain flours in her baking recipes.

In the past year, Lorene discovered that she’s gluten-intolerant. People who are sensitive to gluten don’t feel well after consuming products with wheat, barley, and rye in them. Often even oats can be contaminated with gluten. For a baker, this could be horrible news, since it means you have to avoid breads, cakes, cookies, cereals, and lots of other treats. But shortly after mourning her new gluten-free lifestyle, Lorene set off to make new healthy, gluten-free baked goods to satisfy her sweet tooth. I have been the lucky recipient of many of her baking experiments, and let me tell you — you’d never suspect her goodies are healthy or gluten-free! Her delicious treats taste like they came out of your favorite bake shop, but without the high-sugar, white-flour guilt.

On Saturday night we went over to Lorene’s house, where she treated us to her latest endeavor: a fresh-baked, gluten-free, farm market berry and peach crisp, topped with dairy-free coconut ice cream. To die for! I begged her to share her recipe with my readers so that we can all reap the benefits of her newest recipe. Bon appetit!

LORENE’S GLUTEN-FREE FARM MARKET CRISP

The beauty of this recipe is its versatility– it works with any type of fruit, so feel free to choose whatever looks freshest at your local farmer’s market. I prefer a mixture of stone fruit and berries, but you could also use apples, pears, or just mixed berries. Amounts will also vary, based on the size of your baking pan. I use a deep-dish pie plate, but any casserole dish or larger baking pan (such as a 9 x 13 brownie pan) would suffice. Recipe amounts are to taste.

Another important note: The below recipe is gluten-free and utilizes cane sugar. Feel free to make more traditional crisp by substituting regular flour if you wish, and use whatever kind of sugar you have available. Cane sugar is a healthier choice than processed white or brown.

Fruit filling:

8 large peaches, peeled and sliced into chunks

1 and 1/2 pints of blueberries (take whatever liberties you like here, and adjust the amount of fruit to the size of your baking pan)

1/2 cup cane sugar– add more to taste

2 tablespoons Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Baking Mix (use regular or whole-wheat flour here, if you like)

squeeze of half a lemon

Streusel Topping:

1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Baking Mix (again, regular flour works fine here)

1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Rolled Oats

3/4 to 1 cup of cane sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 stick unsalted butter (use organic), plus additional for buttering pan

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and butter baking pan generously. Toss together fruit, 1/2 cup sugar, squeeze of one lemon, and 2 tablespoons gluten-free baking mix. Pile into pie plate or baking dish.

For streusel topping, blend gluten-free baking mix, rolled oats, sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl using a spoon or spatula. Cut butter into chunks over the bowl, and mash ingredients together by hand. The goal is to achieve a crumbly mixture.

When the streusel topping is complete, pile it on top of the fruit mixture in the pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until streusel is browned and fruit is bubbling through. Gluten-free ingredients are more delicate, so periodically check on the crisp to ensure that it doesn’t burn. Baking times may vary depending on the amount of fruit and the size of the baking pan.

When done baking, remove from oven and let sit for 20 minutes. Serve warm and topped with dairy-free coconut milk ice cream or organic vanilla ice cream.