Fresh, sweet summer berries tucked beneath a crisp, crumbly topping - lightly sweetened with unrefined sugar and made with gluten-free whole-grains - make this recipe an ideal breakfast and healthy, satisfying dessert.
Some recipes exist because the dish itself just couldn’t without precise measurements, procedures, and timing - think cakes and cinnamon rolls. Some recipes, on the other hand, exist as more of a guide in which the measurements are estimates, the procedures are simple, and the timing is just however long it takes for the oven to create a beautiful golden char on an oaty, nutty, sweet crisp topping - think granola and fruit crumbles.
The latter typically calls for a handful of this and a pinch of that, and depending on the cook, this type of recipe can induce heightened anxiety (even more than the structured recipe) or a sense of relief, control, and peace.
Weekdays with a strict line-up of work, class, homework, and maybe a little me-time sprinkled in there, and weekdays spent doing nothing but catching up on studying remind me of browned butter cookies and perfectly fudgey brownies - the final product may be the most delicious treat (like an A on a 25-page research paper), but recipe was a slight pain in the azz to follow. Weekends spent catching up on studying and doing not much else - no matter how much I love coffee shops - remind me of waiting and hoping that cinnamon roll dough will rise (like praying the hours spent reviewing chapters and notes will pay off on the exam).
Almost two months into the post-grad life almost every college student dreams about, I can definitely say I’m living without recipes - weekdays with a relaxed work schedule, and evenings with my choice of reading, blogging, watching TV, etc., and weekends open to just about anything I please. I am so not used to this kind of cooking/baking.
Now, the post-grad life is not all rainbows and daisies, or should I say cupcakes and cookie bars? There are still a few essential recipes with some must-be-followed procedures. Perhaps the most essential: get a job, and get one that pays rent. If it pays hourly, work enough each week to pay rent, car insurance and car payment, gas, groceries, bills, and all the other expenses like random shopping trips and spontaneous happy hours (oops?). Oh, and make sure to start planning your career, saving for a home, think about marriage and starting a family, and where you’ll want to settle down (and if you’ll be able to afford that).
For years and years up until this point, I’ve followed recipes that were put in front of me. Thankfully so, because my teenage self wouldn’t have known how to handle life on her own. Life has been a cup of this and a half cup of that - no more, no less. From here on out, though, life’s going to be much more along the lines of handful and pinch measurements, and mostly up to my own deciding.
I’ll take this simple, beautiful, and sweet fruit crumble as a hopeful sign that I’m off to a strong start.
Makes 5-6 servings
For the berries:
1 cup each:
1/4 cup coconut sugar
juice from 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp. gluten-free flour
For the crumble:
1 1/4 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup chopped nuts
6 tbsp. gluten-free flour
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled, plus more for greasing the dish
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp. sea salt
a pinch of cinnamon
whipped cream and/or Greek yogurt, for serving (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350F and lightly grease an 8x8 baking dish with coconut oil.
In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine the 3 cups of berries with the coconut sugar and lemon juice. Let this sit for 10 minutes to allow the berries to release their juices, then mix in the 2 tbsp. of gluten-free flour. Then, transfer the mixture to the baking dish and spread in an even layer.
In a separate bowl, combine the ingredients for the crumble starting with the dry. Then, mix in the coconut oil and maple syrup and stir until well incorporated. Sprinkle the crumble over the berries in an even layer in the baking dish and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until set. Check this by tilting the baking dish ever so slightly and watching if the crumble slides to one side. If it does, it has not yet set, so continue baking.
Let it cool for at least 30-40 minutes before cutting into it. Serve immediately with whipped cream or yogurt, and store leftovers in an airtight container for up to one week.