Blackberry Vanilla Crisp (Gluten Free)

I am really excited to share this recipe with you today for a blackberry vanilla crisp.  I am loving having fresh berries at my disposal, and this is probably one of my favorite desserts right now.  I’ll admit, I definitely ate this for breakfast – it’s that good.  With a dollop of Chobani, it’s perfect – and no, it’s totally not optional.  So good!
Blackberry Vanilla Crisp (Gluten Free) | cooking ala mel

 

This crisp was inspired by the Black Raspberry Vanilla candle from Diamond Candles, who generously sent me a candle to try out (and you have a chance to win your own, too).  I love that this is an all-natural, soy-based candle, so I don’t have to worry about breathing in any funky chemicals.  It smells so good, too!  As I was burning it for the first time, you should’ve seen the kitties trying to figure out what the smell was; they were going nuts!  The black raspberry vanilla candle is a perfect subtle scent to make your home smell nice without giving it that artificial candle smell.  Most candles give me headaches, but this one I was really able to enjoy.

 

Another thing that’s pretty awesome about Diamond Candles is that every candle comes with a ring – INSIDE the candle!  After burning it for about 10 hours or so (or sooner if you’re like me – I stuck some metal skewers down in there to pull mine out), you find a foil wrapped little package that contains your ring.  The ring can be worth anywhere from $10-5,000, such a neat little surprise!  My ring is nice and simple, just the way I like it, with a yellow gemstone.  Considering I would’ve been fine with just the candle, the ring is such a cool added bonus.  After I finish burning this one, I’ve got my eye on the Chocolate Truffle one next!  Be sure to like Diamond Candles via Facebook to hear about new scents and see other people’s rings they found – so fun.

 

About this crisp, now.  I know I didn’t use black raspberries; we don’t really have those in our area.  We used to have a black raspberry bush at my parents’ house, and I always loved going in for berries, even if it did usually mean getting caught on my sleeves (or bare arms) by the jaggers.  If you have black raspberries, use them, but blackberries are just as good.
Blackberry Vanilla Crisp (Gluten Free) | cooking ala mel

 

I really wanted to make the vanilla a star flavor here, so I used a vanilla bean in the berries, which I definitely recommend if you have access to vanilla beans!  It’s totally fine to use extract, but I really think the vanilla bean gives it that rich vanilla flavor that really shines.  The only other flavoring used was a touch of cinnamon in the crisp part, which is just to give it more depth – you can’t really identify cinnamon as you actually eat it.
Blackberry Vanilla Crisp (Gluten Free) | cooking ala mel

 

This is perfect for dessert (or breakfast), and I definitely recommend serving it up with some vanilla Chobani.  A great big dollop of it.  It gives it just the right amount of creaminess to compliment the berries, and the bit of protein doesn’t hurt, either!

 

What is your favorite scent of candle?  If it’s food related, is it because it reminds you of one of your favorite treats?

The giveaway has CLOSED.  Thanks for entering!

 

Blackberry Vanilla Crisp (Gluten Free) & Giveaway

serves 4-6

Blackberry Vanilla Crisp (Gluten Free) & Giveaway

    For the berries:
  • 3 cups blackberries, rinsed
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1/8 tsp liquid stevia (or 2 more Tbsp honey)
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped (or 1 Tbsp vanilla extract)
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • For the crisp topping:
  • 3/4 cup almond meal
  • 3/4 cup oats*
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp liquid stevia (or 1/2 cup more coconut sugar)
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (4 Tbsp) butter, cold and cut into pieces
  • vanilla greek yogurt (Chobani is my favorite), for topping

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

In a large bowl, stir the blackberries together with the honey, stevia, vanilla bean seeds, and cornstarch, until the berries are evenly coated. Pour the berries into a pie plate 8×8 inch pan.

In a medium bowl, stir the almond meal, oats, salt, and coconut sugar together. Add the liquid stevia and vanilla extract, stirring until well dispersed. Add the pieces of butter and cut with a pastry blender, fork, or your fingers (I go with my fingers for this), until the butter is in very small pieces, and it resembles coarse sand.

Sprinkle the crisp topping evenly over top the berries. Bake at 350ºF for 25-30 minutes, until it is golden brown on top and the berry juices are bubbling. Allow to cool slightly before serving. Dollop with vanilla greek yogurt, and serve.

*If you are gluten intolerant, make sure the oats you are using are certified gluten free to avoid cross-contamination.

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