Apple and rhubarb crisps (or crumbles) that are gluten free, dairy free and are made without butter or oil.
If you’ve seen more than one post on this blog, you’re probably aware that I’m a big fan of dessert for breakfast. Most of the time I’ll try and turn a dessert into something nutritious enough to label as breakfast – such as mocha brownie pancakes, banana upside-down cake baked oatmeal, apple pie crepes and carrot cake everything.
But every so often a breakfast-that-tastes-like-dessert won’t do. Some days call for eating an actual dessert for breakfast.
So what the hey, let’s eat dessert first.
As far as desserts go, this one’s definitely on the healthy side. There’s no butter or oil, it’s sweetened with maple syrup (and not that much of it), and it contains some healthy oats and nuts.
Plus, there’s fruit! Which means it’s healthy, right?* There’s also lots of rhubarb, which may or may not be a vegetable. To be completely honest, I’m not sure whether rhubarb qualifies as a fruit or a vegetable, so I’m calling it a fregetable.
*I do know at least one person who believes apple pie is healthy because it contains apples.
Since this is a dessert (masquerading as a breakfast), a light dusting of powdered sugar seemed appropriate. Unfortunately there was a bit of a sugar situation, meaning that I dropped the bag of sugar onto my sifter and it went absolutely everywhere.
Instead of a light dusting of winter snow, this turned into more of a sugar blizzard. Given my general clumsiness, something tells me this won’t be the last time my living room becomes covered in powdered sugar.
This recipe makes four individual crisps rather than one big one. There are two reasons for this: laziness and impatience.
As someone who hates dishing out crisps and cobblers (it’s so hard to make them look neat!), baking these in individual ramekins seemed like the obvious thing to do. Plus, they cook faster in four small dishes than one big one.
Side note: Who would’ve thought? Those lessons in high school about surface area actually came in handy.
Depending on the size of your ramekins, you may end up with a little more topping than you need (or can physically fit on top of the crisps). I’d rather you have too much topping than too little, because fruit crisps with too little topping are just sad.
Of course, for the full dessert experience, these really should be served à la mode (or with ice cream made from frozen bananas).
While I wouldn’t blame you for thinking ice cream is a step too far for breakfast-time, keep in mind that the first Saturday of February is Ice Cream for Breakfast Day. Clearly it’s not just my imagination – some days really do call for dessert for breakfast.
- For the topping
- 1 egg white
- 3 tablespoons (45mL) maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon blackstrap molasses
- 1 cup (100g) rolled oats
- 3 tablespoons (15g) almond meal
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup (30g) sliced almonds
- ¼ cup (30g) chopped pecans
For the filling
- 1 tablespoon (10g) cornstarch (cornflour)
- 1 tablespoon (15mL) maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon (15mL) water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 large apples, diced
- 1 ¼ cups (160g) frozen chopped rhubarb
- Preheat the oven to 340°F (170°C).
- For the topping: In a large bowl, lightly whisk the egg white with a fork. Whisk in the maple syrup, vanilla extract and blackstrap molasses.
- Add the rolled oats, almond meal, cinnamon, cloves and salt, and mix until well combined. Stir in the sliced almonds and pecans. Set aside.
- For the filling: In a saucepan off the heat, whisk together the cornstarch, maple syrup, water and vanilla extract. Add the diced apples and frozen rhubarb, and place the saucepan over medium heat.
- Cook the filling for 5 - 10 minutes, stirring often, or until the fruit has softened slightly and there’s no excess liquid in the saucepan.
- Divide the filling between four ramekins. Next, divide the topping between the ramekins.
- Bake the crisps for 20 - 25 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and the filling is hot. Enjoy!
If you’d like exact quantities, I used 1.3lbs/600g of apples (weighed before chopping/coring)
Blackstrap molasses give things a brown sugar taste. If you don't have any, either add a spoonful of brown sugar, or just omit them.