Easy Sweet Vegan Crumble Topping Recipe
My Farmers' Market customers may remember me experimenting with crumble topping on some of my fruit rice pudding flavours. If you have ever eaten a fruit crisp that had a crumble topping, you will know what this recipe is about. This crumble recipe can be made ahead, baked off and stored in the freezer, in a freezer grade container, to be used as a topper at any time. It will complement any of my flavours.
Once it is added to the top of the fruit rice puddings it retains a pleasant crunchy texture without getting mushy. You don't have to bake the rice pudding to use this crumble. I bake the crumble on it's own, on a baking pan, in the oven. This makes it golden brown and crunchy. It can then be added to the top of your rice pudding and eaten cold. Or, you can add the cooked crumble to the top of your rice pudding (placed in a heat resistant container) and heat it in the oven, if you plan to serve your rice pudding warm. Both ways work well.
This is a quck and easy recipe. I have used Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Rolled Oats for this in the past, with great success. If you don't require Gluten Free ingredients, any old fashioned style coarse rolled oats can easily be substituted. If you like a nice crunchy and chewy crumble, this one gives you both. The ingredients for this recipe are vegan and gluten free. I use an extra virgin coconut oil as the fat and binder. Butter works just as well, if you prefer. You could easily add chopped nuts or sunflower seeds to the crumb mix before baking for more texture and flavour.
What you will need:
A baking sheet, a mixing bowl, meauring cups, spoons or kitchen scales, a small knife
2 cups Gluten Free Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
3/4 cup brown sugar
5.5 oz extra virgin coconut oil (or regular coconut oil) cut into small pieces
1/2 cup finely chopped dried dates (optional)
1/2 tsp dry ground cinnamon and/or 1/2 tsp of fresh or dry ground ginger (optional)
In a medium sized bowl add the rolled oats and brown sugar, (add the dates and spices, if using) Mix together.
With the knife, cut the solid white coconut oil into dime sized pieces.
Add the coconut oil to the oat mixture. Using your fingers break up the coconut oil by incorporating it into the oat mixture until well blended. A handful of the mixture should stick together well enough to almost form a 'dry' ball of the mixture. You don't want it to be wet. If it loosely holds together into a ball in your hands, it's fine. If it's not holding together, you can add more coconut oil, about a Tbsp worth at a time.
On a flat ungreased cooking sheet, lay the crumbs out so that they form a single loose layer. Don't press it into the pan because you want it to be crumbly, not a 'cookie'.
Bake the oat mixture in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove the baking sheet. Give the oats a stir to even out the baking and turn them over. Return to the oven for an additional 10 minutes.
If you plan to use the crumble cold, then you can continue to cook them for a few minutes longer, monitoring them until they reach the golden color and crunchiness that you like.
If you are planning to reheat the crumble by adding it to the top of a 'baked' rice pudding (that you plan to warm in the oven), don't cook them too dark the first time as they will brown up & crunch up further if you reheat them in the oven a second time.
This crumble mixture, once baked, stores beautifully in the freezer for weeks, in a freezer grade container. So don't worry about having left overs. I have even used left over crumble to top off muffins or scones that I made. Just take it from the freezer, break it up if frozen together and press some of the crumble down slightly onto the top of your muffins or scones, just before you put them in the oven to bake. The added dates give the crumble a nice rich sweetness and help make it all stick together.