Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mixed Berry Hibiscus Crisp with Coconut Streusel

I don't know about you, but I am ready for berry season.  Yeah I know, keep dreaming right..it is months away!  Except for frozen berries.  I have been making berry crisps lately to get my berry fix while I am feeling berry deprived during the winter.  Afterall, a warm crisp fresh from the oven a la mode is sort of a winter dessert!  Recently, I was drinking some berry hibiscus tea when I had a great idea.  Berry crisp with hibiscus!  I have used it in dessert before and I love the slightly floral quality it gives to whatever it has been added to.  So I got to work creating one with the berries and ingredients I had on hand. 

I had raspberries, blackberries and cranberries.  Perfect!  I combined them with a bit of orange for a touch of citrus, along with the hibiscus for a floral note, as well as some vanilla and agave nectar for sweetness.  I placed it in the oven and baked it until all jammy and delicious, because I never top my crisp until the last 15 minutes with the streusel for fear of it getting soggy or overy brown. 

I topped it with a coconut oat topping that became wonderfully fragrant and crispy in the last 15 minutes of baking.  As always, my kitchen smelled wonderful, and the beauty of a crisp is you don't have to wait long to dive in, just until not to hot to burn your mouth! 

I served it with some coconut vanilla bean ice cream and it was heavenly.  The warm crisp with the creamy ice cream slowly melting on it!  The filling was wonderful, tart, sweet and slightly floral from the hibiscus, wonderfully jammy and even better with a bite of the crispy toasty coconut topping!  I love a warm dessert like this in the winter when I don't have to worry about getting all hot while eating it!  As far as I am concerned though, I will never tire of crisp a la mode no matter the time of year!  I have included the recipe for this one if you would like to enjoy some as well! 
Mixed Berry Hibiscus Crisp with Coconut Streusel Topping
Serves 4

1 12 oz bag frozen blackberries
1 12 oz bag frozen raspberries
1 12 oz bag frozen cranberries
2 Tbsp agave nectar
2 Tbsp dried hibiscus flowers
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp organic orange zest
2 Tbsp orange juice
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract

6 Tbsp whole wheat pastry flour
3 Tbsp maple or brown sugar
4 Tbsp cold Earth Balance vegan butter
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup large flake coconut

Two 5 or 6 inch wide ovenproof bowls or pie plates

Preheat oven to 400 degrees with the rack at the center position. Place a baking sheet lined with foil on the rack. Spray two 5 or 6 inch wide pie plates or bowls with cooking spray. In a large bowl, toss together the berries, agave nectar, orange juice and zest, vanilla, hibiscus flowers and flour. Spoon into prepared bowls or pie plates, and cover with foil. Place plates on baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes until fruit is cooked through and bubbling. Meanwhile, to make the topping, combine the flour, sugar, butter and salt in a medium bowl. Using a pastry blender, or 2 knives, cut butter into the flour until it is in pea sized chunks and clumping together. Add oats coconut, and with hands, squeeze the mixture together forming larger chunks as well as incorporating the oats and coconut until it is evenly distributed as you go. Place in the fridge until the crisps are ready to top. When the fruit has baked for 45 minutes, and is bubbling, remove from the oven and top with the crisp mixture. Place back in the oven and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until lightly brown and toasted (keep a close eye on it as coconut burns very quickly). Remove from oven and let cool until warm...enjoy!


  1. That sounds like the most incredible combination of flavors! And I too look forward to berry season with such anticipation!!

  2. Wow, this looks fantastic! I've never cooked or baked with hibiscus, it sounds quite intriguing. The coconut streusel topping sounds fantastic :)

  3. This is an amazing creation. I have never baked with flowers, but this recipe does intrigue. Besides the special flavor of the flowers, you made some awesome choices in the fruits you used. The topping is extra special too with the coconut. Impressive post-keep them coming!

  4. I'm in love with your coconut topping...so, so good!!! And I'm eagerly awaiting berry season, too :)

  5. I am glad someone else loves hibiscus. I drink blueberry hibiscus tea. The other day at work I made coconut cupcakes with hibiscus liquor & strawberry extract. I topped them with a strawberry cream frosting. SO GOOD!

  6. Strawberry season has just started here in southern CA. I bet they would work in well to the berry combo here. I'm intrigued by the addition of hibiscus flower - sounds lovely!