5 Spice Berry Crisp Recipe, Gluten-Free if not Asian from Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen

After Salad Rolls with Crab and Spicy Mango Sauce , a sweet and sensible start to the week with this second recipe by Laura B. Russell from The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen (Celestial Arts/ Ten Speed Press, August 23, 2011), gluten-free if not Asian.

Five-Spice Berry Crisp Admittedly, I have never seen a recipe for berry crisp on any Asian menu, but I was messing around during the bountiful Oregon berry season and came up with something tasty. Five-spice powder cooked into a batch of blackberries lends an exotic note to the fruit. I especially like the spice with the jammier blackberries and blueberries, but I included raspberries in the mix for added sweetness. Use whatever combination of berries you like as long it measures 6 cups. If you are averse to seeds definitely increase the amount of blueberries. Look for coconut oil alongside the other oils in natural food markets or upscale groceries. The oil comes in a jar or a small tub; it is solid at room temperature.

3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (GF)

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons white rice flour

4 tablespoons cornstarch, divided

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder, divided

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided

6 tablespoons coconut oil

3/4 cup sliced almonds

3 cups blackberries

2 cups blueberries

1 cup raspberries

1/3 cup granulated sugar

Five-Spice_Berry_Crisp_image_p_189 (2)

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Oil an 11 by 7-inch glass baking dish. In a medium bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, rice flour, 2 tablespoons of the cornstarch, the salt, 1/4 teaspoon of the five-spice powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon. Add the coconut oil and rub the mixture together with your fingertips until coarse crumbs form. Stir in the almonds. Refrigerate until ready to use. (The topping can be refrigerated, covered, for 2 days or frozen for 1 month.)

Put the berries in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the granulated sugar and the remaining 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 1/4 teaspoon five-spice powder, and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon evenly over the berries. Toss gently to combine. Sprinkle the oat mixture evenly over the berries. Bake until the topping is crisp and brown and the fruit is bubbling, 45 to 50 minutes. If the topping browns too quickly, lower the heat to 375°F. Cool slightly before serving.
Variations If dairy is part of your diet, you can use butter instead of the coconut oil. If you have trouble finding five-spice powder, substitute 1and 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon instead (3/4 teaspoon in the topping and 1/2 teaspoon with the berries). You will lose the exotic note, but it will still taste great.

Cook the crisp in individual gratin dishes or ramekins, set on a baking sheet. Start checking for doneness after about 35 minutes.

Follow Laura's adventures in a wheat free world at Notes from a Gluten-Free Kitchen

(* Reprinted with permission from The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen: Recipes for Noodles, Dumplings, Sauces, and More. Copyright © 2011 by Laura B. Russell, Celestial Arts, an imprint of Ten Speed Press and the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA. Photo Credit: Leo Gong)

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