The man and I are hosting a little holiday potluck this weekend, as if the holidays didn't give me enough of an excuse to bake my brains out. We got our tree, decorated our tiny apartment, and washed the dog - we're super excited about it.
I discovered vegan baking several months ago and every time I experiment with a new vegan recipe I feel amazed at what great things can be made with purely whole, plant-based foods. Seriously, dates, bananas, flax seeds, coconut oil - amazing stuff. So when I found out that not one, not two, but three vegans RSVPed to our potluck the first words that entered my mind were "I'VE GOT THIS!"
I've been working on a vegan hot chocolate that is deadly good, stay tuned. And yesterday, inspired by the 8 persimmons that have been sitting in our fruit basket for weeks (those things last forever), I veganized my favorite crumble bars by smitten kitchen. It was surprisingly easy, and minus the time it takes to peel and dice the fruit, this recipe is a breeze.
The persimmons are subtle and sweet and the crumble is addicting to say the least. These make a great holiday potluck dish, and if you're wondering, your meat-eating, vegan-skeptical friends will never be able to tell!
Vegan Persimmon Pecan Crumble Bars
Adapted from smitten kitchen
Fills a 9x13 inch pan with approximately 30 small bars
For the crust + crumble:
2 sticks vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)
1 flax egg (1 tbsp flax seed meal, 3 tbsp water, 1/4 tsp baking powder)
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup toasted pecans, roughly chopped
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
For the filling:
10 small fuyu persimmons, (about 2.5 cups) peeled & diced
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp cane sugar
1 tbsp corn starch
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Prep work: Chop the vegan butter into small cubes and place in the freezer for 20-30 minutes. Prepare the flax egg by whisking together flax seed meal, water, and baking powder in a small bowl, let sit for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a 9x13 inch baking dish with parchment paper, making sure it covers the edges - this will make it easier to pull the bars out once their baked. Rub the parchment with excess butter or spray with coconut oil (I used Trader Joe's coconut oil spray).
Prepare the filling. In a medium bowl, combine peeled and diced persimmons with lemon juice, sugar, corn starch, and cinnamon. Set aside.
Prepare the crumble: In a large bowl whisk together flour, oats, pecans, sugar, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add in cold butter cubes and flax egg. Using your hands (or a pastry cutter) to gently break up the butter pieces until the mixture looks like sand with large pea-sized butter chunks.
Pour about 2/3 of the crumble into the bottom of the baking dish and press it down until it forms a solid crust. Top with the filling then sprinkle remaining crumble on top. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting into squares. Refrigerate until cold and serve.
- Not vegan and want to use traditional ingredients? Use two sticks of real unsalted butter in place of the vegan butter, and 1 large egg in place of the flax egg.
- I think these taste best served cold, the crumble thickens and I feel like the flavors are brought out more, but you could totally serve these warm or room temperature, they will just be messier.
- I froze these for our party this weekend. I'll post an update, but I'd imagine they freeze great.
- Can't find persimmons? You can make these bars with pretty much any fruit. I've made over 4 flavors of smitten kitchen's bars, all of them varying just slightly. These things are so simple, feel free to experiment.