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It's All About the Baking came about because I want to share my Gluten-free baking. I've developed recipes and tricks over the past ten years so I could enjoy old favorites that tasted, well, just like the old favorites! Hundreds of experiments and tastings (including and especially friends who can eat gluten) later, I'm ready to share!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Fruit Crunch

Ready to serve
When I was little my mother had a friend who was about the right age to be her mother. Her name was Alice and we called her Auntie Alice, or more specifically, "Annie" Alice. I didn't realize it then but she was an unusual and amazing woman. She was vegetarian though we didn't know that word. We just knew she didn't eat any animals. In the winter she would ignore the mice in her dining room claiming that they had to eat, too. Deer grazed in front of her little cabin where she let the apples fall from the tree for them. She invited me to spend the night once when I was about six and we foraged for dinner; we found mushrooms, watercress, berries, and something that I always thought was milkweed pod, which was floured and fried in butter. I don't remember if it was the right time of year to pick milkweed pods but don't know what else they could have been. It was an unforgettable evening, from walking in the woods behind her little house, picking watercress by the stream, to smelling the mushrooms frying up in butter. We had the berries with cream and sugar, then watched the deer family quietly graze in front of the house.
For the topping

This recipe came from her. I've never shared it with anyone before. I'm sure it's something old fashioned and common yet I've never seen it served other than in our family. It's not a fruit "crisp." There are no oats or nuts in it. While baking, it forms a lumpy, hard, top crust with a soft, cakey layer underneath. It's heaven in a baking dish. And there was no time for a nice photo of it plated; another time!

 I used frozen peaches which were delicious but don't don't hold up well as far as texture is concerned. My mom always made it with apple slices and I will say that it's my favorite. But fresh peaches blanketed by this buttery goodness are wonderful, too. Or fresh, Michigan, sour cherries!

This version is specifically for gluten-free flour. If you need the gluten-full version, leave a comment. You may be the first person I share that version with!

Fruit Ingredients: About
3 pounds of apples or peaches, 7 or 8 of either, sliced into approximate quarters. If you use cherries or berries, I'd use about 1 1/2 times the amount you'd need for a pie. Combine fruit with
1/2 to 1 cup of sugar and about
1 1/2 Tb corn starch.
These are not precise amounts but should be a good starting point. (And I always say that if you have good ingredients you'll have a delicious, if imperfect, dessert. If it's soupy, vanilla ice cream saves the day.)

Grease or butter a 9x13 pan or one of equivalent size. The oval baker pictured just fits inside my 9x13 pan. You can always add a few more slices or pluck them out. You want the pan full since the fruit will cook down.

Stirring dry ingredients
3/4 cup of your favorite GF flour. I use sorghum for this. It's a healthy flour and only adds to the flavor.
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp xanthan gum or guar gum
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
6 TB melted butter
The "crumble"

Put the fruit that has been tossed with the sugar and cornstarch in the baking dish. (I usually bake this naked fruit mixture half an hour or so until hot through out and then pull it out of the oven and finish.)

Stir together the dry ingredients.
Break the egg into the dry ingredients and stir with a fork to combine. It will be crumbly. Use your hands if you don't mind getting messy.

Sprinkle the dry ingredient/egg mixture over the fruit. Drizzle the melted butter over the top. If using a slightly smaller baking dish, reduce the butter a bit. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the topping.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 35-40 minutes, longer if you haven't pre-baked the fruit. This is best eaten the same day. Let it cool, at least a bit, before serving. Oh, I also made home made vanilla ice cream. Enough said.
Grandma's recipe
Almost ready for the oven


  1. YUM!! that sounds so great... I'm going to make it tonight with some fresh peaches I have... thank you. ~b