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low sugar fruit crispI goofed again and forgot to take a finished picture but you can figure out what it looks like from these.  I find I really like fruit crisps.  My normal recipe is to start with fruit (canned or fresh), add some sugar and then make a topping of oatmeal, butter and sugar.  This time, I just wasn’t feeling my normal recipe.

It all started with a recipe I saw online.  I can’t remember what the recipe was exactly but it had a cherry and apricot topping.  I just happen to have cherries and apricots in my house that I was in the middle of prepping for storage.  I didn’t keep the recipe – just the idea.  So I pulled out my little pot (I think it’s 3 quarts), filled it, about 3/4, with fresh halved apricots then threw on some pitted cherries.  I didn’t measure and I know the ratio to apricots to cherries was something like 2 cherries per apricot because it was late in the day and I wasn’t in the mood to pit many cherries.  If I had to guess, I would say there was about 7-8 apricots and about 1 1/2 cups of whole cherries.  I added about 3/4 cup of sugar and cooked it.

I didn’t have a plan so when I offered to bring a dessert to dinner, I thought I’d do something with this.  I started with brushing a 8 inch square pan with coconut oil.  The oil is really soft so there was a little more than I had planned.  You can see it pulling in the corners of the picture above.  It made me not want to make my usual topping.  There was already sugar in the fruit so it didn’t need more sugar and I didn’t want to add more oil.  So I cheated and just threw a handful of oatmeal on top.

low sugar fruit crispThen I let it sit so the oatmeal would absorb the coconut oil and some of the fruit juice.  It didn’t quite absorb it all so I sprinkled the top with some water (just a tiny bit).  I didn’t want dry oatmeal but the goal was still to make it crusty.

I baked it at 350 for about 30 minutes.  I wanted a good crust and to heat it through.

Because I normally add something like cinnamon to my crust, I wanted some to accompany the crisp without altering the taste of the fruit.  So I got some whipping cream.  1 cup cream, 1/2 cup sugar and extract.  A pint makes 2 cups (and a little bit over) so I made two types of whipped cream – a vanilla for those who like traditional and a spiced for those who like a little something extra.  Both were homemade extracts.

The end result was amazing.  I do think I could have cut more sugar from the mix.  So if you are looking to make a version with even less, feel free.  I think the fruit could have survived with even less than 1/2 cup of sugar.  The fruit was fairly sweet.  The sweeter the fruit, the less sugar needed.  I do think precooking the fruit helped with the crisp.

For the whipped cream, drop the sugar to 1/3 cup and it should be fine.  This is still a dessert so there is sugar but you can cut the sugar without ruining the recipe.  I was really surprised to find just using oatmeal on the fruit worked.