Here we are in high summer, and it seems to be going just right. Slow. Lazy. Everyone’s out of town. My hot yoga class is empty (because only crazy people like me want to do hot yoga on a hot day). I’m nursing a sunburn and rocking some uneven tan lines. Finished Lena’s book last week. The locusts outside are screeching in unison every evening. Everything is as is should be.
Blueberries won’t be here much longer, so I had to make a crisp before they go. I found a hefty two-pound container of them at Trader Joe’s and baked them up into a brilliantly purple dessert with a [gluten-free] almond and oat topping. I’m going to enjoy it for breakfast with yogurt and later, as dessert with ice cream. Repeat every day, all week. It’s summertime!
My original concept for the topping included cornmeal, not almond meal, but my medium-grind cornmeal didn’t soften up enough during baking. Hence, the crisp turned out to be a “crunch,” which wasn’t my intention. My runner-up idea was a blueberry and almond crisp, with both almond meal and sliced almonds, and it turned out just right. Tons of blueberries, some maple syrup, bright lemon flavor, oats and almonds—you can’t go wrong there.
My favorite part about making this crisp? Unlike all my other crisp recipes (and I have more than a few!), this one doesn’t require any chopping of the fruit. Just rinse off those blueberries and you’re good to go! This is a simple summer dessert at its finest.
- 2 pounds blueberries (that's 32 ounces, which is about 5 cups or a little less than 3 pints)
- ⅓ cup maple syrup or honey
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch or 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest (less than 1 small lemon, zested—scale back to ¼ teaspoon zest if you don't love lemon)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (from 1 to 2 lemons)
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats (certified gluten-free for a gluten-free crisp)
- ½ cup packed almond meal or almond flour
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- ⅓ cup lightly packed brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons plain yogurt (Greek or regular), or additional melted butter
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Rinse and drain the blueberries and pick through them to remove any stems still attached. In a 9 by 9-inch baking dish, mix together the blueberries, maple syrup or honey, arrowroot or cornstarch, lemon zest, lemon juice and cinnamon.
- In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the oats, almond meal/flour, sliced almonds, brown sugar and salt. Mix in the butter and yogurt. Stir until all of the flour is incorporated and the mixture is moistened throughout.
- Dollop spoonfuls of the oat mixture over the filling and use your fingers to break up the mixture until it is evenly distributed (no need to pack it down).
- Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling around the edges and the top is lightly golden. Let the crisp rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream (I insist!).
To make this recipe nut free: omit the sliced almonds and use ¾ cup whole wheat flour and ¾ cup oats instead of the almond meal and oats specified above. It will no longer be gluten free. If you want to keep it gluten free, I suspect that you could replace the almond meal with oat flour or more oats (haven't tried that, please comment if you do!).
To make this recipe vegan: I believe you could use melted coconut oil in place of the browned butter/yogurt (use 4 tablespoons coconut oil and add up to 3 more, until the topping mixture is moistened throughout) and maple syrup instead of the honey. I haven't tried it, though.
Wait, what's arrowroot starch? Arrowroot starch is a great thickener to use in place of corn starch, which is often genetically modified. It’s gluten free, too. Look for it in the baking section of well-stocked grocery stores or buy it online.