My favorite part of the summertime season is when the farmers market finally opens in our neighborhood. With beautiful flowers, massive pallets of vegetables and fresh fruit galore, it’s my favorite place to spend a Saturday morning. Even though it’s always crowded, it’s worth a visit every week to walk through the rows in search of ingredients for dinner and the ripest berries for baking. The people watching doesn’t hurt, either.
The first berry I always see on stands are bright red strawberries, as their peak season begins in April and lasts through mid-summer. Strawberries are an excellent source of Vitamin C, potassium and antioxidants, which work against inflammation in the body. As with most fruit, these beautiful berries are begging to be made into a dessert!
Naturally low in sugar, these delicious berries become sweeter and jammier when they are baked underneath a crisp almond-scented topping. With a few simple ingredients it comes together quickly before heading into the oven and makes the perfect end to an al fresco meal. Sounds delicious, doesn’t it? Let’s bake!
Makes 8 Servings
- 2, 16oz pints of fresh strawberries (organic when possible)
- 1 T. maple syrup
- 2 tsp. grated lemon zest, divided (about one whole lemon)
- 3/4 C. gluten free flour (I used King Arthur Flour Measure for Measure)
- 1/4 C. plus 1 T. coconut sugar*
- 1/2 C. old fashioned rolled oats
- 1/4 C. raw almonds, finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/4 C. plus 1 T coconut oil, solid not melted
- 1/2 tsp. almond extract**
Notes: *You are welcome to substitute granulated sugar or brown sugar as a substitute for coconut sugar, however the dessert will not be refined sugar-free.
**Be sure to use almond extract that is either alcohol-free, or that is certified gluten-free is you are gluten sensitive.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and place the rack in the center of the oven.
- Wash and sort the strawberries, discarding any badly bruised or mushy berries. Be sure to pat them dry to rid them of excess moisture before slicing. Slice the berries into 1/4 inch dice and place into a large bowl. (You should have about 5 cups of strawberries once sliced.)
- To the bowl of sliced strawberries, add the maple syrup and 1 tsp. of the grated lemon zest. Toss to combine and set aside.
- In another bowl, add the gluten-free flour, coconut sugar, oats, chopped almonds, salt and remaining 1 tsp. of lemon zest. Stir to combine.
- Add the coconut oil and almond extract to the bowl of dry ingredients. Using a fork, mix them into the dry mix until the coconut oil is the size of small peas. (This will create the chunks of crisp everyone loves to bite into!)
- Pour the strawberries into the base of an un-greased pie pan, and then sprinkle the crisp mixture evenly over the top. (Don’t worry about any small clumps of crisp, they will cook in the oven and become delicious.)
- Place the crisp in the oven to bake for 40-45 minutes, until the filling is bubbling on the sides and the crisp looks toasted and browned. (Due to the use of the gluten-free flour, the topping will not look completely “golden” brown like most crisps. The almonds, however, will be darkened and look toasted.)
If you’re feeling a little more indulgent, it can’t hurt to serve your crisp with a scoop (or two!) of your favorite non-dairy ice cream. The warm, crunchy-crisp topping mixed with creamy ice cream is one of the best dessert combos there is!! If you make this recipe, be sure to tag me @danimarielinds on Instagram and please don’t hesitate to leave questions below. I hope you love it and make this crisp with your farmers market berries this weekend.