My name is H.A. Larson and I am a Woman of a Particular Age. I occasionally write ghostly and horror novellas, as well as some editorials for different publications, from my desk in the Midwest. I'm a hiker, adventurer, and traveler. I'm an ex-pat in-training that likes wine and Renaissance Faires. I'm a music fanatic and I much prefer a book over television.
There's nothing more summery or delicious than a fruity dessert. Some of my favorite ones from childhood were apple crisp and rhubarb crumble. Just the smell of my grandma's apple crisp would bring me running from wherever I was. While the crisp would cool, she would whip up some heavy cream and sugar until it was fluffy and filled with high peaks. I would practically drool while she would retrieve a dessert place, top it with a generous scoop of warm, cinnamon-y apples & crunchy oats, and dollop it with fresh whipped cream. A flavor explosion would occur in my mouth with all the flavors of the fruit, spices, and crisp oatmeal topping combined with the cool, sweetness of the cream. It was heavenly.
Since those days, long ago, I can't tell you how many times I've looked at some old, soft apples and thought, "These would make a perfect apple crisp!" However, I'm sad to say I've only actually made apple crisp a couple of times, and it wasn't actually a crisp. I've always been a fan of crumbles and of crisps, so I typically combine the two by making a crumble topping and a crisp topping then mixing them together. Recently, I had some old apples and a few bags of frozen mixed berries with a combined total of one cup of berries in them. I thought, "Hmm, I don't have enough apples to do one thing with, nor do I have enough berries to do much with...I should combine them into a crumblecrisp!" and that's exactly what I did. I have to say: it was divine!
Apple-berry Crumblecrisp with homemade coconut whipped cream.
3 ripe apples peeled, cored, and cut into small, bite-sized pieces
1.5 c. frozen, mixed berries
2 T. lemon juice
1 c. sugar, divided
1/2 c. unbleached flour
1/2 c. oats
2 t. cinnamon, divided*
1/4 t. each ginger, allspice, cloves, and nutmeg*
1 T. soft coconut oil
1 T. soft margarine
1. Combine the apples, berries, lemon juice, 1 t. of the cinnamon, and 2/3 c. of the sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat on the stove. Mix well.
2. When fruit mixture comes to a light boil, turn down to medium heat and stir. Stir occasionally until the fruit is soft and the mixture has thickened, about 15-20 minutes.
3. Remove fruit from heat.
4. While fruit is resting, combine the rest of the sugar, the rest of the cinnamon, and the remaining dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Stir gently until combined.
5. Add the coconut oil and margarine to the dry ingredients and, using your fingers, a pastry cutter, or a fork, cut them into the dry ingredients until you have a small pea consistently. This step is akin to making pie crust or biscuits.
6. Take 1/3 of the mixture and stir it into the fruit. This will help the fruit thicken up during the baking process.
7. Put the fruit mixture into a greased baking dish.
8. Sprinkle the rest of the crumblecrisp topping over the fruit, and put into a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes. The topping should be a nice golden brown, and the filling bubbling up on the sides.
9. Let cool for 15 minutes, and enjoy!**
*In lieu of using these spices, you can use 3 t. of pumpkin pie or apple pie spice.
**I served this with some homemade coconut whipped cream. You can serve with that, store-bought cocowhip, or some delicious vegan ice cream!