This make-ahead crisp topping will make your fruits crisp preparation easier and faster without sacrificing the taste. Make it, pack it, freeze and and use it whenever your recipe calls for a crisp topping. This is a very handy recipe to have for use in any fruit crisp recipe that you may have.
My obsession with fruit crisp and crumble lead me to this make-ahead crisp and crumble toppings. Fruit crisp and crumble are one of my favorite dessert to make, they are simple and easy, requires only few ingredients and the best way to make use of fresh fruits in season. During Summer, I like using assorted berries and fruit stone when making crisp and crumble, and during fall I used Apple which are almost available all year round. However simple it is to make fruit crisp and crumble, there is still a way to make it even easier. That is by making the crisp or crumble topping ahead of time. This topping can be used as topping for crisp, crumble, muffin, quick bread like banana bread and breakfast cake.
Crisp, Crumble and Cobbler – What’s the Difference?
Crisp, cobbler, crumble are sometimes mixed up together. While these 3 have similarities (they all use fruits as base) they differ on the toppings. Cobbler is far apart from crisp and crumble as it uses a dough that is turned into almost like a biscuit as toppings, although some recipe use something like a thicker cake batter on top. Crisp and Crumble are more similar as they both uses flour, butter, and sugar as base ingredients for the toppings. On top of the base topping ingredients, Crisp uses a combination of oats along with the flour. Crumble do not normally use oats, just flour. They are easy to get mixed up together just because of that single ingredients (oats) that makes them difference. I am actually guilty of that in so many times, I have a lot of banana bread or muffin recipes where I used a crumble topping with rolled oats, which basically makes it a crisp topping.
What makes this crisp gluten free is the use of gluten free rolled oats and almond flour. These two were substitute from the original regular rolled oats and all-purpose flour which is what is commonly used when making crisp toppings. The crisp topping is as good or even better than the traditional version. The almond flour gave a lot of nutty flavor to the toppings, and nice creamy taste and a nice texture.
For Non-Gluten Free Version
If you do not care about gluten free eating, you can still make this dessert. Simply use regular rolled oats and all-purpose flour instead of almond flour for the crisp topping. But if you have almond flour on hand, I suggest give it a try not because it is gluten free, but because it really taste good and even better than using all-purpose flour.
This is what makes this crisp topping interesting. The crisp topping was made without any butter, not even vegan butter. It is 100% no butter added. So here is how I made it. I already told you that I used Almond flour to make it gluten free, instead of using butter to bind the ingredients together I used coconut oil and honey. These two wet ingredients served as a binder to make the almond flour and rolled oats clump. The best part of it, the coconut oil gave a nice tropical flavor to the crisp, it was absolutely delicious and it is easier to make. No need to crumble the butter, without the butter all you have to do it to mix all the crisp topping on top using a spoon or spatula and it will come and clump together without any effort. So easy, so delicious and a better healthier option to make crisp topping.
No Sugar Added, Honey or Maple Syrup instead
When I say no sugar added, I mean to say no processed sugar added, like granulated white sugar or brown. Instead of granulated sugar to sweeten the base fruit mix, I used honey. Honey is even sweeter than sugar, so I do not even have to use a lot to keep the mixture sweet, plus the fruits are sweet already because it is in season. You can also use maple syrup for a Vegan version.
Where else can you use this topping?
There is more to fruit crisp to use this crisp topping for. You can use it for toppings on
- quick bread like banana bread
- breakfast cake
- crumb bars
- for banana foster topping
For use in oatmeal and yogurt: Transfer crisp topping in a baking sheet and bake at pre-heated 350F oven and bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until the crisp are golden brown.
Summer Favorite Desserts
- 1 cup Almond Flour ( for non-gluten free option: can be substituted with all-purpose flour)
- 1 cup Gluten free Rolled Oats (for non-gluten free option: use regular rolled oats)
- 3 tablespoon Honey or Maple Syrup (for vegan option)
- 5 tablespoon Coconut Oil (or butter for non vegan option)
- 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 1/3 cup chopped Pecans or Sliced Almonds or combination of both
- Make the Crisp Topping: In a large mixing bowl, mix together the Almond flour, rolled oats, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla extract, salt and chopped nuts. Mix until combined.
- Transfer in a container: Fill jars or airtight containers 3/4 full and top with a lid, label and freeze. Do not packed it, this will make it easier to shake to loosen it up when you are ready to use. I like to fill the container only 3/4 full so allow some space for shaking.
- Storage: Keep for 3 days in the refrigerator or in the freezer for 2 -3 months. No need to thaw when ready to use. For longer than 3 days, it is best to keep it in the freezer so that it wouldn’t accumulated moisture which can make the crisp or crumble topping soggy and wet.
Makes about 2 1/2 cup ( For 8 ramekin serving)
How to Use This Make-Ahead Crisp Topping
Prepare the base fruit mixture as per your recipe instruction. Take the crisp topping out from the refrigerator or freezer and shake to loosen up a bit. If you did not pack it to tight, you should be able to shake the container without any problem. You can also use your fingers to loosen up the crisp topping. Sprinkle on top and bake as per your recipe instruction. Great for topping bars, cakes, muffin and breakfast oats.
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