My husband and I finally got away this last weekend, for a little r & r. It’s amazing how a couple days away can completely rejuvenate you. It was also our first chance to really get away in our new vintage trailer.
We had an incredible time, and I now believe that that’s the only way to camp and travel. Seriously folks, you pull up to your campsite and you are ready to go. A good bottle of wine, some delicious little nibbles, a book and it’s an instant vacation. I told Jay that next year I’ll also have a vintage-inspired camping wardrobe too, just saying…
So, while we were away, I was thinking about what fun stuff I would like to blog about during Vegan MOFO (vegan month of food). It came to me pretty quickly, since I was already thinking about the casserole book that I’m working on, my gluten-free Bundt cake
obsession love, and my constant cravings for mac and cheese. Comfort Food! But not just any ol’ comfort food. Vegan and gluten-free comfort food, with a huge focus on desserts! Come on folks, it’s Fall now, which is comfort food season. We’ll just have a few more veggies along with that slice of pie.
Oh, and talking of pie, or sour cherry crisps (see I told you I had pie on my mind), the picture above is a dessert that I threw together recently. You don’t really need a recipe per se, but here’s what I usually do: I simply cook up some frozen sour cherries (yes my freezer is still jam-packed with at least 30 pounds of cherries, but you can use any frozen berry too), in a large saucepan with maybe a 1/4 to 1/2 cup or so of water. Then I add sugar to taste and bring it all to a simmer. While the cherries are heating, in a small dish I stir together some cornstarch and water to make a slurry.
Once the cherries are at a simmer, I stir in just enough of the cornstarch slurry to thicken the fruit. Stir quickly and very well, because the cornstarch thickens fast. If it needs to be a little thicker, I’ll stir in a little more as needed. I carefully pour the hot cherry mixture into a ceramic loaf pan or pie or casserole dish.
I then mix up a little topping in a bowl, usually about 3/4 cup flour (I use a gluten-free flour blend), 1/2 cup oats (again, GF for me), 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) melted Earth Balance or you could use canola oil. I mix everything really well and squeeze it in my hands over the bowl to form big “clumps” (the technical term). I then sprinkle the topping over the hot, thickened fruit, and bake it in a preheated 350 or 400°F oven until the topping is lightly browned. It doesn’t take very long, depending on your oven and the temperature, maybe 20 minutes or so. You can refrigerate or freeze any unused crumble topping.
If you need a real “recipe” with exact measurements, I have a bunch of pie recipes in my pie book (The Complete Book of Pies), and there’s also a fantastic skillet pie recipe in Vegan Diner too. I am always crazy for pies! I’ll also be posting another take on pie soon, with is a fun way to serve pie in an unsuspecting way.