Did you all have a good Easter? I know I certainly did. After a great church service, we had brunch with some friends and family. I made little macaroon nests with chocolate eggs for dessert, a cute recipe I got from The Fearless Homemaker. They were tasty and adorable, but that is not what I am sharing today.
Instead, I am sharing a dessert that sounded rather odd to me at first, but once I had the idea in my mind, I could not let it go. It’s a berry crisp with a gluten-free topping that includes chunks of dark chocolate. This may sound awesome to you or may have you scratching your head. Honestly, I had both reactions when I first saw this recipe for Chocolate Oat Crumble on Smitten Kitchen. Chocolate with the fruit? Would that be good?
Let me also saw that I have mixed feelings about fruit desserts in general and crumbles or crisps in particular. They are, generally, not my favorite. I prefer a cobbler with a more cake-like batter on top of or under the fruit. That said, something about this recipe stuck out and I was intrigued with the idea.
I am also always on the lookout nowadays for gluten-free treats that are not too cumbersome. I am part of a group at church and the leader of the group has been gluten-free for about a year now for health reasons. Since I enjoy making treats to bring to our gatherings and I don’t want to exclude him, I often look for gluten-free treats. I also think many people view any type of dietary restriction as somewhat bewildering or scary, without really stopping to think about the things they eat that fall into this category already. It is like this when I tell people we cook vegetarian at home. I think they often picture us sitting around nibbling carrot sticks. They forget that many things they enjoy are already or are easily transformed into vegetarian fare – spaghetti, pizza, burritos. Heck, most junk food is technically vegetarian! So I approach the gluten-free thing in much the same way: What can I make from the ingredients I already have on hand and that many folks would not even think of as gluten-free?
So, now I am back to this idea of chocolate in a fruit crisp. I liked the idea, but did not love the exact recipe on Smitten Kitchen. I wanted more topping, and I had some blackberries and blueberries left in the freezer from last summer’s CSA that were just waiting for a recipe like this. So I poked around the internet, combined several crisp recipes to suite my tastes, threw in the chocolate called for on Smitten Kitchen, and hoped for the best.
What I got was AMAZING. It may have changed my mind about crisps. I may never make another one, gluten-free or otherwise, without chocolate! It was truly delicious and those pockets of melted chocolate were amazing. Plus, it uses frozen berries so there is no reason not to make this now!
- 3 cups frozen berries (I used about 1/2 blueberries and 1/2 blackberries, but this is flexible)
- 2 tbs. sugar
- 1 tbs. cornstarch
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 tbs. lemon juice
- 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/3 cup almond meal
- 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease an 8x8 in baking dish and set aside.
- For the filling: mix the berries, sugar, and cornstarch in a large bowl. Stir in lemon juice and water. Pour into the prepared baking dish.
- For the topping: combine the melted butter, oats, sugar, and almond meal in a large bowl. Mix until well-combined. Stir in dark chocolate. Spread this mixture evenly over the berries.
- Bake for 45 minutes until fruit is bubbly and topping is lightly browned.
- Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.