Sweets, mmm…. I have a big sweet tooth. Before my dietary transition, I would indulge in pastries (French, preferably), cookies, cakes, ice cream, you name it! One of the biggest misconception about a plant-based diet is that you have to deprive yourself of anything and everything tasty and delicious, especially in the desserts compartment. That is absolutely false. Although I consider baking as more of a science – cooking is an art – requiring more precision and less intuitiion, I am more and more drawn to learning its secrets (that’s probably my sweet tooth talking!). So for my birthday last week, I wanted to treat myself to something sweet and seasonal. A crumble seemed like the ideal solution.
This dessert is actually very easy to convert into a healthy, gluten/dairy/refined sugar free version, without loosing any of a traditional crumble’s flavors. So for all of you skeptics out there, please try this before giving your final verdict on vegan desserts. The grapes add juiciness and sweetness to this recipe, while staying in the “healthy” category. Honestly it’s the perfect fall recipe and I can assure you that everyone will love it – my family sure did! Top it off with a scoop of dairy-free ice cream or coconut whip cream (I have yet to master that one) and voilà, you’ve got yourself a winner!
Pear, Apple & Grape Crumble – serves: 9 | prep time: 15 min | baking time: 30-40 min
for the fruit base
- 3 apples (Fuji or Gala)
- 2 pears
- 1 cup red grapes
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp grated ginger (fresh or ground)
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 4 tbsp filtered water
for the crumble
- 1 cup rolles oats (I used gluten-free ones)
- 1 cup pecans, whole
- 1 cup almond meal
- 4 tbsp virgin coconut oil, melted
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 heaping tbsp pure maple syrup
- pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Start by coring the apples and pears and cutting them into small cubes (I left the skin on as it contains a lot of vitamins and nutrients). Slice the grapes in two, making sure the stems are removed.
In a medium pot, add all the fruit base ingredient (fruits, cinnamon, ginger, maple syrup, lemon juice, vanilla and water) and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While the fruits and spices are simmering, prepare the crumble ingredients. Start by placing the pecans in a food processor and blend for a few seconds only, until they are coarsely chopped (I personnally prefer small pecan pieces instead of a fine flour). In a large bowl, add the oats, almond meal and pecans. Then add the nutmeg, cinnamon and salt. Mix well with a wooden spoon. Finally, add the melted coconut oil and maple syrup. Stir everything together until all the oat, almond and pecan mixture is evenly coated.
Once the fruits have simmered for about 10 minutes, transfer them into an 8″ square baking dish. Make sure they cover the entire bottom of the dish evenly. Then spread the crumble mixture on top of the fruits. Once again, you want the mixture to evenly cover the entirety of the dish. Lightly press down the crumble with a wooden spoon.
Your crumble is now ready to bake in the oven for about 30 to 40 minutes, depending on your oven. The crumble will be ready once it reaches a golden, brown color.