Shauna’s Mom’s Blueberry Crisp

Confession: I’m writing and posting this from my phone. I’ll either be impressed with the WP iPhone app or not. We’ll see how it goes… 

This summer I’ve been nannying two little boys (Kiddo #1 is 6 and Kiddo #2 is 4). They eat fruit like monkeys at the zoo. I can say that because we have been to the zoo a lot over the last 6 weeks – perk to living outside San Diego!

 When I saw a bunch of blackberries not being eaten, I knew I needed to find a creative use for them before they molded. Enter: Shauna Niequist and her book, “Bread and Wine”. It was just sitting on the kitchen counter and one morning, while I was doing the “Eat your breakfast” song and dance with Kiddo #1, I cracked it open to find good stories paired with what looked to be good recipes.   


4 cups fruit (There were 3 cups of blackberries, so I supplemented them with 1 cup frozen blueberries.)

Crisp Topping:

1 cup old-fashioned oats (We only had plain instant oatmeal packets; 3 packets is 1 cup and they sufficed well enough.)

1/2 cup raw, unsalted pecans, chopped

1/2 cup almond meal

1/4 cup maple syrup (I’m not Ina Garten, so I don’t care if you use the “good” stuff or Aunt Jemima. We used Auntie J and it was just fine.)

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Mix crisp topping ingredients together. I had a 4-cup measuring cup and measured and mixed everything in there. Hey, fewer dishes and its topping, not science. 
  2. Pour fruit in 8×8 baking dish. Spoon the topping over it. 
  3. Bake at 350 degrees 35 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and delicious.    

 I added a pinch of cinnamon to the topping because I love cinnamon. This crisp is not terribly sweet, so it would be good with vanilla ice cream or maybe a good sprinkling of brown sugar on the top. It also goes well with a cup of coffee in the morning, kind of like a dressed up oatmeal.   Sorry, I was halfway through my fancy oatmeal crisp breakfast snack before I thought to take a picture. 


Easter, Springtime, and Cobbler – oh my!

Sorry for the sporadic posts last week. As a general rule, I avoid the internet at all costs on April Fools Day and Good Friday is a dearly-held, technology-free time for me to spend reflecting on the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ.

But I come today bearing strawberry-flavored gifts! ‘Tis the season for potlucks, cookouts, and general gatherings. Yesterday I made both a roasted vegetable and kale salad, as well as a gluten-free strawberry cobbler. The strawberries at the market were beautiful, but you can make this recipe with just about any cobbler-type fruit: peaches, blueberries, cherries, apples, pears. It’s gluten-free and delicious, even for the most gluten-loving among us.


Gluten-Free Fruit Cobbler

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 box gluten-free cornbread mix
  • 1 pint strawberries, rinsed, de-stemmed, and quartered
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup milk (substitute water for dairy-free)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 disposable 8×8 baking dish
  • Butter (or bacon grease if dairy-free) for pan greasing

IMG_7748Preheat the oven to 375. Set aside 15-20 strawberry quarters. In a tupperware, put the rest of the strawberries and the white sugar, then seal the lid and shake it around to get the sugar evenly distributed. Place in the refrigerator overnight or let it set on the counter for at least an hour if you can. If not, it won’t be the end of the world, I promise.

In a large bowl, combine the box of cornbread mix, egg, milk (or water), cinnamon, and brown sugar. You’ll only really need half of the batter, so put the rest in a zip-top bag and freeze it for later use. Chop the 15-20 strawberry quarters you set aside earlier, as fine as you’d like, then add them to the batter. Stir to combine, and no lumps, people!

IMG_7750Grease the baking dish. Need I remind you how much I love using bacon grease for this kind of task? Coconut oil would also be good. Pour the strawberries into the greased dish. Spoon the strawberry-infused batter onto the fruit. Put the cobbler into the oven and check it at 28 minutes; it should take between 28 and 32 minutes. You’ll know it’s finished when you insert a toothpick in the middle of the batter and it comes out clean. I like to turn the broiler on to get a little bit of color on the top; you can sprinkle sugar on top to brûlée it if you’d like, but it isn’t necessary. Ice cream isn’t necessary either, but it’s good!

And there you have it: a relatively guilt-free dessert. No gluten, no dairy, not that much sugar. I like to keep these easy recipes on hand because it’s so easy for the gluten-free crowd to be overlooked when it comes to potlucks. While some people avoid gluten by choice, others (like my brother and one of my best friends) have a serious allergy that can make their lives miserable for days. There are some allergies worth suffering for and I’d say dessert would be one of them, but why suffer if you don’t need to? Friends don’t let celiac friends eat gluten.




Looking for a gluten-free chocolate dessert? Try these no-bake chocolate-peanut butter cookies!