“...the girls put their wits to work,
and necessity being the mother of invention,
made whatever they needed.”
-Louisa May Alcott, Little Women.
Since we don’t have a working oven at my family’s lake cabin in Minnesota, I had to be a little creative when it came to planning meals & treats. We made use of the stove top, outside grill, microwave & slow cooker for the main dishes & vegetables, but dessert was a little more challenging, especially considering my Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) dietary parameters.
There’s something about being around water all day that makes a person extra hungry. And, of course, the “I’m-on-vacation-and-am-allowed-to-splurge-a-little” thinking. In past years, splurging would have meant driving to the nearby gas station for half a gallon of ice cream & a can of Hershey’s syrup, or making s’mores around a beach fire, or eating packages of cookies. But thankfully, my family has been oh so understanding about what I can and cannot eat & they were on board with some AIP & Paleo splurges instead of our normal treats. We brought along some Coconut Milk Ice Cream , and I also made coconut milk panna cotta (with nectarines instead of berries).
Then one day, when the weather was grey, windy & rainy, I wanted to create a dessert that leaned more towards warmth and comfort than to cold & refreshing. We had some peaches that were nearly over-ripe & a bag of frozen blueberries that were originally slated for making smoothies. Almost immediately, the thought of a crisp/crumble came to mind….
But how do you make a crisp without the oven? Easy. First, toast the topping in a skillet, then, once the topping is done & moved to a bowl, cook the fruit on the stovetop. Spoon the cooked fruit into bowls & top with the previously made crumble. Voila, fruit crisp, sans oven :)
I’ve previously made gluten free crisps & crumbles (like this one and this one), but grain free baking is still a new territory to me. I’m still cautious about working with different ingredients, like liquid sweeteners (i.e honey & maple syrup), arrowroot starch, coconut flour, and even coconut oil, but I am attempting to be more brave in my experimentation. It looks like I’ll probably be following some version of Paleo for the rest of my life, so I might as well get use to it :) Fortunately, crisps and crumbles are a bit more forgiving & don’t require quite as much scientific precision as say a cake or cookie needs.
Since I am in the reintroduction phase of the Autoimmune Protocol & almonds seem to be ok (just in not giant quantities), I used a mixture of coconut flour & almond flour in the topping, but if you’re not yet to reintroducing almonds, using more coconut flour would also work. As I toasted the topping on the stove, several family members could smell its fragrance & came over to see what I was concocting--that’s always a good sign.
When we were ready to eat dessert, I spooned the thickened fruit into bowls & let each person top their own dish with as much crumble as he or she wanted. I’m usually a fan of ice cream on my crisp (or whipped cream), but this time, I splashed a little coconut milk to mimic the creaminess. We were all satisfied by how delicious it was & no one felt deprived by this “healthier” dessert. I’ll be remembering this stovetop method in the future for times when it simply is too hot to turn on the oven :)
Stovetop Peach Blueberry Crisp
42g / 5 Tbl Coconut Flour
56 g / 1/2 c Almond Flour (AIP Modification: omit almond flour & increase coconut flour instead)
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
42 g / 3 Tbl Coconut oil, melted
1.5 oz / 2 Tbl Honey
300 g / 1.5 c Frozen Blueberries (may substitute fresh, but add a little water too)
2 medium-large peaches (around 400g), cut into thin slices, peeling is optional
2.75 oz / 4 Tbl Pure Maple Syrup
1 Tbl Lemon Juice
1 Tbl Arrowroot Starch
Coconut Milk, for serving
- To make the crumble topping: combine the coconut flour, almond flour, sea salt, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Drizzle in the coconut oil & honey. Mix with a fork until crumbly.
- Toast the crumble in a large skillet over medium high heat, stirring constantly, for a couple of minutes, or until the crumble begins to brown slightly & smell toasty. Remove from the skillet & set aside. Give the skillet a quick rinse.
- To make the filling: add the blueberries and peaches to the skillet. Drizzle with maple syrup and lemon juice Cook over medium heat until the juices begin to boil. Cover the skillet, reduce the heat to a simmer & cook until the peaches are tender--approximately 10 minutes. Stir occasionally, as needed. Taste & add additional maple syrup if the filling isn’t sweet enough.
- Remove 1/2 c of liquid from the pan & place into a small bowl. Into the liquid, stir in the arrowroot, making sure there are no lumps. Add the mixture back to the skillet and cook for an additional minute to allow the fruit to thicken & to cook out any starch flavor from the arrowroot. Remove from the heat.
- Just before serving, spoon the fruit into bowls & sprinkle with the crumble topping (note: there may be leftover crumble topping). Top with a splash of coconut milk or a scoop of coconut milk ice cream.
- Store any leftover fruit filling in the refrigerator. Keep any leftover crumble topping tightly covered at room temperature.
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