Whether you like your crisp with apples or blueberries, or a mix of berries and peaches (my personal favorite) this recipe is so versatile you will use it all summer long, then into the fall, and over and over again. It's both simple and a "wow" crowd pleaser and I always make a double batch of the topping because then it's thicker and tastes almost like a coffee cake topping over a layer of cooked, tangy (from the lemon juice) and soothing cooked fruit.

My mom wrote a cookbook called Lemons Lemons Lemons, and while she used butter and eggs and dried condense milk, I have adapted her oh-so-Southern traditional crisp recipe for vegans or plant-based eaters who still want all the flavor and texture without the dairy inside.

The Difference Between Crisp Versus Crumble

A crisp uses oats or nuts to add some crunch to the topping whereas a crumble is softer and more like a streusel topping, which uses just butter, sugar and flour (or in our case it would be vegan butter). I love the steel cut oats in this recipe and I don't add nuts but if you want to just chop up walnuts and mix those in, since the more you play with this recipe, the better it gets.

One note about substituting the non-fat milk powder (Mom used Carnation Instant Milk which I am sure she grew up with as a pantry staple), now you can buy any number of non-dairy or dairy-free milk powders made of oats, cashews, soy and other non-dairy milks. Here are a few to choose from:

JOI (stands for Just One Ingredient) makes an organic Oat Milk Powder, Edward & Sons makes a dairy-free Cashew Milk Powder, and Now makes a dairy-free Soy-Milk Power. They all work well for this recipe but if I were pressed I would go with JOI's Oat Milk Powder since we use oats in the topping!

Vegan Apple or Blueberry and Peach Crisp

Serves: 4 but double this recipe to serve 8. (Note I always double this. Use enough to cover the bottom of a large pyrex dish (or metal if you don't have it) and have the leftovers cold the next day for breakfast!

Time: 5 to 10 minutes to mix up the topping, add lemon and cinnamon to the fruit mixture. Then the whole thing take about 45 minutes to bake

Before You Start: Preheat Oven to 325


For the crisp topping:

  • 2/3 cup of sifted flour (you can use gluten-free or whole wheat or sorghum)
  • 2/3 cup of dairy-free dry milk powder (JOI's organic Oat Milk Powder is optimal)
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar (use brown if you like)
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 stick of vegan butter or margarine (non-dairy butter of any kind will work) softened
  • 1 cup of steel cut oats, uncooked

For the fruit filling:

  • 2 cups of blueberries and 5 ripe peaches or nectarines, peeled and pared
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice (the juice of 1 whole lemon, squeezed)
  • 1 grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon


For the topping:

Mix the first 4 ingredients together in a mixing bowl, using a fork. Once the flour, non-dairy milk powder, sugar and cinnamon are combined, add the stick of butter and mix until crumbly. It's best if the butter is room temperature so that it is soft, but not melted, and you can cut the stick of butter into pats to make combining it easier and quicker. Combine this crumbly mixture with the steel cut oats and mix to complete the topping.

For the fruit:

Mix together the blueberries, cut peaches or nectarines in a bowl with the sugar,  lemon juice, the grated lemon rind and cinnamon. If you are trying to avoid too much added sugar you can use less sugar in the fruit mixture and it still will taste great, just use ripe fruit!

Once the fruit is coated with lemon juice, sugar and cinnamon and mixed nicely, line the bottom of a pyrex dish or metal oven-safe tin (if you make the single recipe it will be 8x8 inches large and if you make the double recipe (which I recommend) it will cover a 8 x 16 inch pan.

Be sure to have several layers of fruit, and if it looks too thin simply add more berries or peaches. You can also use raspberries, blackberries, strawberries or cooked rhubarb (but be sure to have pre-cooked the rhubarb since it needs to be soft to join these other ingredients). But generally you can add any fruit you like, and mix and match! (This was originally an apple recipe so use apples if that is what you love.)

Top fruit with crisp topping so that it covers the mixture evenly but leave lumps since that is what gives the crisp its signature look (don't flatten it down). Leave some air!

Place the pan into the preheated oven and bake on middle rack for 45 minutes. Check that the top is getting hard but not burning, since you don't want a charred crisp topping.

Serve warm with dairy-free vanilla ice cream and watch the crowd get very, very quiet. Most importantly – do double this recipe since everyone is going to want seconds.



Calories 576 | Total Fat 25.8g | Saturated Fat 4g | Cholesterol 0mg | Sodium 275mg | Total Carbohydrate 84.2g | Dietary Fiber 7.4g | Total Sugars 50.1g | Protein 7.7g.| Vitamin D 10mcg | Calcium 40mg | Iron 3mg | Potassium 554mg |

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