One of the biggest problems with making desserts around here during the summer is that people seldom want to eat the same thing. Heck, I can’t even get people to synchronize their meals. So needless to say, a quick-prep, ready-anytime microwaveable dessert that’s not a cookie when people feel like having one has great appeal.
Cobblers, crumbles, and crisps have been on my mind a while, mostly cause I’ve got frozen blueberries left over from my SNAP food challenge. If you don’t know what the difference is between a cobbler and a crumble, a cobbler has a cake-like or biscuit-like doughy topping. Obviously by extension, the crisps and crumbles don’t.
But whichever the one you go with, it’s a great way to use up frozen fruit. The only problem is that many of these recipes use an ungodly amount of sugar… and for that I see no need. Why not let the fruit taste like fruit? The biscuit should taste like biscuit. It shouldn’t taste like a pixie stix.
I’ve been futzing with biscuit dough in general, which has generally been made more interesting by the inability to use butter when dealing with food allergies. I did buy lard, and I’ve been futzing with that a bit too. But though delicious, lard has some significant downsides: worst name ever, not vegan-friendly, and it contributes to coronary heart disease just thinking about it.
Well, coconut oil is something that I use on occasion in the place of butter. And you know, it doesn’t do half bad, although most of the time I don’t think it’s a 1:1 substitute. The downside to coconut oil, of course, is much of it tastes like coconut. Some people actually think ANY coconut taste is a downside. Well, sometimes it is… cause not everything benefits from the taste of coconut.
But I do have a small (read: ungodly expensive) jar of refined coconut oil for those situations where coconutty taste just won’t do. And a big-ol jar of the regular stuff for everything else.
You may wonder why the jar looks half empty. Well, microwave stuff tends to bubble over, so that gap is deliberate. You can make these in mason jars or in sturdy glass beer steins (they’re great cause they have the handles). Whichever you choose, make sure that the berries take up only about a third of any given jar or stein. With the dough on top, you’ll fill up the jar about 2/3 full.
You can use either fresh or frozen berries, but I recommend thawing frozen some first so that you don’t overcook the top. They may still take a few extra seconds regardless, but that’s OK.
So ironically though I started testing this recipe with frozen blueberries, I ended up photographing them with strawberries. They both taste amazing, but the juice tends to bubble up the side while cooking. And strawberries just look prettier doing that.
Also my men like strawberries better, and since I barely eat sweets, it’s easier to go along with their likes I need to foist off sweet food props.
If you worry about your biscuit-making ability? Don’t. It’s simple to cut the coconut oil into the flour with a fork. Nobody can mess this up.
- 3/4 cup strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 1 tsp icing sugar
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tbsp soy or almond milk
- Add the hulled, sliced strawberries to a microwave safe container (jar, glass stein), making sure that it only fills up about 1/3 of the container.
- Top strawberries with 1 tsp icing sugar.
- In a bowl, cut the baking powder, 1 tsp regular sugar, flour, and 1 tbsp coconut oil together with a fork until like bread crumbs. Stir in the 2 tbsp milk to make a sticky dough.
- Top the strawberry and icing sugar with the dough, and microwave for 90 seconds to 2 minutes, until the top of the dough is just set (don't worry, the inside will be fluffy). Frozen berries may take up to another minute.
- This recipe can be made with butter and regular milk. Just substitute for both, 1:1.