We’re getting towards the end of Lent. And maybe you’re trying to think of a dessert to take to the Palm Sunday pot luck this weekend. You can’t use eggs. You can’t use dairy. What are you going to do?

If you’re me, you might pout. Because I’m not supposed to use sweeteners, either, except an occasional smidge of honey. And no wheat flour, rice flour, tapioca flour, or other highly refined flours. That makes desserts really hard to come up with.

But I like berries. I like berries a lot. I could make a dessert with berries, if berries were in season.

Unfortunately, they’re not in season. But I have berries in the freezer. Last summer, the berries were fabulous. So I used the frozen berries and made a fruit crisp. I decided to see how little sugar I could get by with. I used no sugar at all in the berries, and only a third of a cup of sugar in the topping. It was plenty sweet. I took it to church for the pot luck on Annunciation. There were no leftovers.

So I decided to try again, to see if I could cut the sugar back even more. This time I used honey instead of sugar. And not much of it.

And it was amazing.

Honey-sweetened Frozen Berry Crisp

Ingredients

4 cups of frozen berries
3 Tbsp flour – I use oat flour, but you can use a 1:1 gluten-free flour, or just regular all purpose flour
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup almond meal
Dash of salt
1 Tbsp vanilla powder – you can use vanilla extract if you like
2 Tbsp coconut oil
2 Tbsp honey

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 350F.

Toss the berries and flour together in a baking dish. You can use an 8×8 pan, or a 2 quart casserole.

Mix the oats, almond meal, salt, and vanilla powder in a medium bowl. If you’re using vanilla extract, don’t add it here.

Melt the coconut oil and honey together in a small dish. If you’re using vanilla extract, add it to the melted oil and honey.

Stir the oil and honey mixture into the oat and almond meal mixture until they’re blended. Crumble it over the berries.

Bake an hour, until the berries are bubbly and the topping is lightly brown.

Enjoy your honey-sweetened frozen berry crisp.

Read More

Blessings of Bees and Flowers and Fruit: In the Orthodox Church, we bless honey and bees.

Berry Trifle for a Summer Day: If you need a fancy dessert, and it’s too hot to bake, try this.

Cookies and desserts for special diets and special occasions: Special days call for special treats. Here are some of my favorites, including recipes that work if you’re on a gluten-free, dairy-free, or anti-inflammatory diet.

Charlotte Riggle, author of Catherine's Pascha and The Saint Nicholas Day Snow
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