Baked Cherries and Peaches with Oat Topping

I was tempted to entitle this recipe “Cherry-Peach Crisp”, but the truth of the matter is this healthier version of the classic dessert differs from the original in many ways.

The filling relies on the natural sweetness of in-season fresh stone fruit, so there is no need for added sugar. In lieu of butter or oil for the oat topping, I used unsweetened apple butter; this ingredient results in a chewy rather than crunchy topping, hence my hesitation to call this a “crisp”.

Equally well-suited for a light breakfast served with Greek yogurt or as a guilt-free dessert, this cup of fruity and oat-y tastiness showcases the healthful ingredients of a traditional fruit crisp with none of the unhealthy components.

Baked Cherries and Peaches with Oat Topping

serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups pitted & halved fresh sweet cherries, preferably organic
  • 2 medium-sized peaches, preferably organic, peeled, pitted and chopped
  • 1 tsp arrowroot powder OR cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp fruit juice (I used POM Wonderful), divided
  • 3/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 Tbsp flour (all-purpose or whole wheat pastry flour will work best)
  • 2 Tbsp Sucanat or brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce OR unsweetened apple butter

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Lightly coat 4 individual oven-safe ramekins with canola oil cooking spray.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the cherries, peaches, arrowroot or cornstach, and 1 Tbsp pomegranate juice. Stir to mix well and spoon into the prepared ramekins.
  4. In a separate small bowl, stir together the oats, flour, Sucanat, and cinnamon. Add the remaining 1 Tbsp pomegranate juice and applesauce or apple butter; stir to moisten the oat mixture.
  5. Evenly divide the oat topping between the fruit-filled ramekins.
  6. Set ramekins onto a baking sheet and bake until the fruit filling is bubbling and the oat topping is golden, about 20-25 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature (or chilled the next morning for breakfast!).

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