Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Maple, Peach & Cashew Crisp (no added oil/butter)

Yes, my friends, you read that right.  This crisp has zero.nada added butter/oil/margarine.  This here is a plant-strong crisp and it tastes downright amazing!

I was blessed with a bounty of peaches.  Tree-ripened fruit really takes the cake.  I mean it!  It's better than cake.

I've been searching my whole life for a vegan, no-added-fat crisp recipe.  When I couldn't find one, I decided I had to take matters into my own hands and create one myself.  Cashews are the star of the show in this crisp topping.  They are nutty, creamy and add a lovely richness to the crisp topping.  Some oats, maple syrup and brown sugar are the backup singers.

The cashews are pulverized until they almost become cashew butter. We want some nice coarse crumbs and for those cashews to stick together.

Our peaches are sliced and combined with some reduced apple juice and flour.  Let's top these luscious peaches with our topping!

Done and done!  Now we bake this beauty until the topping is crispy and the peach juice is bubbly.  Sigh.  Is there anything better than the scent of a crisp baking in the oven?  Might I venture that the answer is no?

I played around with coconut whipped cream.  It is just a can of full-fat coconut milk and wowzas! it can become whipped cream.  Easy as pie.  Err, crisp.  Obviously full-fat coconut milk is not exactly a health food per se but it's a wonderful alternative to a dairy option.

Maple Peach & Cashew Crisp with Coconut Whipped Cream
Serves: 8
Prep time: 20 minutes
Bake time: 35-45 min
Kitchen gear required: Paring knife, food processor/blender, saucepan, measuring cups/spoons, hand-held mixer

Crisp filling:
6 cups peeled and sliced peaches
1 cup apple juice
2 Tbsp. all-purpose, unbleached flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Crisp topping:
1 cup raw, unsalted cashews
3/4 cup oats
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Coconut whipped cream
1 can full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated upside-down overnight
2 Tbsp. maple syrup (more or less to taste)
1 tsp. vanilla or vanilla bean extract

Ready, set, go!
1.  Bring apple juice to a boil in saucepan on stove and let simmer until it is reduced by half and syrupy. Remove from heat.
2.  While the apple juice is simmering, prep your peaches.  Peel and slice them into a large bowl and sprinkle with 2 Tbsp. all-purpose unbleached flour and cinnamon.  Add slightly cooled apple juice to peach concoction and gently stir to combine.  Pour into a casserole dish or 9x13 pan.
3.  Put cashews in food processor and pulverize until they become crumbs.  You want the mixture to stick together when you press a bit between your fingers but not to the point where it becomes cashew butter.
4.  Add oats, salt, brown sugar, cinnamon and maple syrup to cashews in food processor and pulse until combined.
5.  Top peach mixture with maple/cashew/oat topping and bake for 35-45 minutes or until the topping is crispy and the peaches are bubbling.
6.  Pour the cold coconut cream into a cold bowl (just put a bowl in the freezer for 15 minutes or so) and whip with a handheld mixer until thick.  Add the maple syrup and vanilla to taste.  This works best if you put it back in the fridge for two hours after whipping but I couldn't wait that long to try it on top of the crisp!


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