Thursday, June 30, 2016

Cherry Mulberry Crumble Recipe- Paleo, Vegan, Refined Sugar Free Options, Versatile Recipe

I know I'm a great cook. But I also know that what I make sometimes can be somewhat unusual, and acknowledge that some less adventurous eaters may be too intimidated to eat something that I made, and that is ok with me too. There's this relative that I have that falls into that category. He has his specific tastes, and isn't so interested in venturing outside his usual foods, and consequently, he doesn't usually want to eat anything I made. But he's now on a Primal diet (basically paleo plus dairy) and we got together as a family and I knew he'd been missing desserts, so I suggested that he try out this dessert that I made, a cherry mulberry crumble, that was with foraged mulberries and was grain free, refined sugar free, and absolutely delicious. Being the skeptic of my food that he is, he didn't want to taste it, even though I reassured him that it was delicious and that I was sure he'd enjoy it, but finally, doing me a favor, he agreed to have a little taste.
And then wanted more. And more. And more.

Yes, it's that good.
Why this introduction?
Well, obviously to show you how tasty this recipe is, but also to explain that I know what it's like to be a forager and a healthy cook, and have people who are intimidated to eat the healthy foods I make with foraged foods. And I know that I'm not the only one out there (I've heard stories from other foragers of making delicious meals for a group and no one being willing to even taste it), and maybe this story, and this recipe can give you hope. Yes, as a forager, some of the foods I make are interesting and different, but using a recipe like this, you can make foraged foods into something delectable and "normal" enough that even non adventurous eaters can and probably will enjoy.
Everyone else at the get together also really enjoyed this dish, it goes without saying.

While I made my crumble with foraged ingredients (ok, partially- the cherries weren't foraged), this is a really versatile recipe and you can make it with any fruit that cooks well, foraged or store bought or homegrown. I make crumbles with peaches, nectarines, apples, pears, strawberries, num nums, plums, blueberries, etc... Any fruit that can go into a pie can go into this crumble, such as blackberries, raspberries, or even rhubarb or knotweed! Just adjust it to taste- if you use fruit that are less naturally sweet, you'll want to add more sweetener or it will end up too tart. This is actually the perfect thing to do with past prime fruit that need to be used up quickly before they go off.

Additionally, while I made mine grain free, from a mixture of almonds and tapioca starch, feel free to use 3 cups of whatever flour you enjoy most, from wheat flour to rolled oats- only use 1 cup of oats and 2 cups other flours if using oats- to gluten free flours of choice, depending on your budget, dietary needs, and what is available in your house.

I used jaggery syrup as the sweetener in mine- feel free to use whatever liquid or dry sweetener you prefer to use, adjusting to taste as needed.

Cherry Mulberry Crumble Recipe- Paleo, Refined Sugar Free Options, Versatile Recipe

4 cups pitted cherries AND 2 cups mulberries, stems removed OR 6 cups chopped/pitted fruit of choice
6 tablespoons starch- tapioca, potato, or corn starch
2 tablespoons lemon juice (leave out if using tart fruit)
1/4 cup jaggery syrup or other sweetener of choice (adjusted to taste- use more if using tarter fruit)
1 pinch salt
Crumb Topping:
1 1/2 cups ground almonds AND 1 1/2 cup starch- tapioca, potato, or corn OR 3 cups flour of choice
1/4 cup jaggery syrup or other sweetener
1/4 cup coconut oil or other oil

1. Chop up and/or prepare your fruit for the filling.

2. Mix the fruit with the starch, lemon juice (if using), sweetener, and salt.

3. Put on the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Alternatively, you can fill a few ramekins with the filling. Keep in mind that as you cook it, it will sink down, so fill your ramekins with more filling than you'd think would be necessary. I used 2 ramekins and one larger ceramic baking dish. If using just ramekins, I'd suggest between 4 and 6 for this recipe.

4. Mix your crumb topping ingredients together, and spread the mixture evenly over the filling.

5. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the cover and bake for approximately another 15 minutes, or until the topping starts to brown a little bit.

6. Enjoy hot or let cool down first- it is terrific both ways.

Dig in!

Are you a fan of crumbles? How do you make yours? What filling do you put in them? Ever make crumbles or pies with foraged fruit? Which fruit? 
Are you an adventurous cook and therefore have experience with other people being afraid to taste what you made? How do you handle that? Just generally go with the "more for myself" attitude or try to convince them to eat it? What foraged recipe that you make do you find goes over best with non adventurous eaters?


  1. Thank you for posting a recipe with seasonal fruits! Mulberries are just dripping off the trees here in Rhode Island right now, and cherries are on deep discount for Independence Day :-) I'm never quite sure what to do with either besides eating them raw!

  2. I know what it is to have to persuade a sceptic to try anything new. Sometimes I find it just simpler to avoid the 'f' word as it does put people off. Never mind that in most of human history that is how people ate - that doesn't seem to mean a thing. Your crumble looks really delicious.


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