Fruit Crisp (with brown rice!)


I love cobblers, crisps and pies!  How can you go wrong with baked fruit, butter, and some oat crunch?  And surpri-ise… this recipe is fairly healthy for you.  I cut out refined sugars and added a “secret” ingredient: brown rice.  It lends a lovely texture to the cobbler.  The downside to using brown rice is that it takes forever to cook.  However, since I always make more rice than I need for a meal, it’s ready to go when it’s baking time. 

You can use almost any combination of fruit that you like.  If you use blueberries, you’ll want to add some starch to soak up the juices.  Otherwise, the crisp will be liquid-y and goopy.  If you don’t use blueberries, I find that starch is unnecessary.  For this recipe, I like to use a combination of blueberries, strawberries and apples.  In total, I use 4-8 cups of fruit and adjust the other ingredients accordingly.  If you use apples, I find that the flavor is more complex and rich if you use at least two different types of apples. 

Serves 6. 

6 Tbsp. unbleached flour
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
5 Tbsp. butter cut into 1/2” pieces 
Honey, optional (I eyeball this… maybe a 1/4 cup?) 

4 cups of fruit
4 Tbsp. quick-cooking tapioca (if you are using blueberries)
2 c. brown rice (or however much you like)
1/2 tsp. grated zest
1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

(1)  Heat oven to 375°.
(2)  Mix together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  Add the butter and, with one or both hands, squeeze the mixture inside your fists.  Rub your thumb along your fingers to sift the mixture back into the bowl.  Eventually, the mixture should look like tiny pebbles.  It’s okay if there are little chunks of butter throughout.  Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes. 
(3)  Prep the fruit – wash, slice, etc. as needed.  Fruit should be bite sized – 1” or smaller.  Zest a lemon and squeeze fresh lemon juice.
(4)  Toss together the fruit, tapioca (if you’re using it), brown rice, zest and lemon juice.  Pour the fruit mixture into an 8” or 9” baking pan. 
(5)  Cover the fruit mixture with the chilled topping and bake for 40 minutes.  Turn the heat up to 400° and bake for 5 minutes more to get a nice golden crust.  

The picture in this post shows a two-layer crisp.  After baking, I simply put half of the crisp onto the other half.