These peach crumble squares are the perfect end-of-summer dessert. Filled with delicious fresh peaches, I made this recipe gluten-free, dairy-free and low in granulated sugar.
For the base and topping, I used a combination of fine almond, oat and brown rice flours, as well as plant-based butter. The result is a tender crust and topping crumble that taste just like shortbread.
The plant-based butter that I use in this recipe is made with natural ingredients and without synthetic colouring or preservatives. Made in France, it is advertised as “margarine”, but it tastes just like a light, soft butter. You can view the brand here and here.
Plant-based or vegan butters are often lower in saturated fat and higher in heart-healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats than regular dairy butter or lard. Be sure to select a good quality product. There are many types of vegan butter; they tend to vary depending on where you live. You can read more about some of the best North American vegan butters here.
The step-by-step recipe is below.
The recipe is simple, but the teacher in me likes to explain things. 🙂
Gluten-Free Peach Crumble Squares
Makes 9 to 12 squares
BASE AND TOPPING
- 1 1/2 cups (165 gr) almond flour, finely ground
- 1 cup (105 gr) oat flour, finely ground *see notes
- 1/2 cup (70 gr) brown rice flour, finely ground
- 1 teaspoon (tsp) psyllium husk fine powder
- 1/3 cup (65 gr) granulated cane sugar (e.g. Mascobado)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (tbsp) (135 gr.) plant-based butter, cold, soft and cut into cubes
- 1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
- 2 tbsps desiccated coconut or coarsely ground nuts of choice (option)
- Ice water, on stand-by if needed
- 1000 gr. (4 full cups) peeled & cubed peaches (about 8-10 medium-size peaches) *see notes
- 1 tablespoon (tbsp) granulated sugar cane (more if peaches are not very ripe)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
For the oat flour: Pre-ground store-bought oat flour goes rancid quickly, so I make my own with rolled oats. It’s really simple. For one cup of oat flour, measure 1 cup of rolled oats and put them into the bowl of a small blender or NutriBullet. Make sure beforehand that the bowl is clean and dry. Blend for a few seconds until you get fine oat flour. Add to your recipe.
For the peaches: For better overall taste and texture, I recommend peeling the peaches. You can do this manually or blanch them. I prefer blanching. Blanching tenderises and sweetens the peaches, which is helpful if they are not very ripe. Removing the skin is also better if your peaches are not organic —fuzzy peach skin can hold a lot of pesticides. To blanch, bring to the boil a large pot of water. With the point of small knife, carve an X at the bottom of each peach and place them into the boiling water, cover and boil for one to several minutes —longer if your peaches are not ripe. Remove with a slotted spoon and place into a bowl with very cold water (can add a few ice cubes, but I don’t find it necessary). Add more cold tap water if it warms up. Peel the skins by hand or with a peeler. Repeat with more peaches. If you’ve blanched and cubed more than needed, store them in a sealed container in the fridge for later. Blanched peaches are a delicious treat!
1 square pan 23X23 cm (9X9 inches) lined with parchment
Oven: 180°C°F / 350°F
- First peel and cube the peaches. An easy way to peel is to blanch them (see image below). Blanching also tenderises and sweetens the peaches (see notes above). Alternatively, you can peel them manually with a peeler, if your peaches are ripe, but blanching works better for me. You can prepare the peaches the day before and store them in a sealed container in fridge until you’re ready to make the squares.
2. Transfer cubed peaches to a big bowl. Add the sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch and cinnamon. Toss to coat. Set peach mixture aside on counter to marinate for at least 20 minutes, tossing occasionally.
3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, add the almond flour, oat flour, brown rice flour, psyllium husk, granulated cane sugar and salt. Hand mix to combine.
4. Add the cold, soft cubed butter and vanilla to the flour mixture. Use the bottom of a whisk or a pastry cutter or a fork and gently press down, moving everywhere into the mixture, to cut into the butter and vanilla. Do not stir, beat or over mix. Just gently press downwards all over. The mixture should resemble moist crumbs. Squeeze a small handful of mixture with one hand to see if it holds together. If it is too dry, add 1-2 tablespoons of ice water. I find that it always holds perfectly.
5. Remove half of the crumb mixture—2 cups, and place it into the square pan lined with parchment. Press down with your fingers to make a firm, even base, making sure to get into the corners.
6. Pre-cook the base in the oven on middle rack pre-heated at 180°C/ 350°F for 5-6 minutes.
7. After 5 minutes, remove from oven. With a slotted spoon, leave excess peach liquid behind and spread the marinated peach mixture evenly on top of the pre-cooked base.
8. To the remaining 2 cups of crumb mixture, add 2 tablespoons of coconut or ground nuts. Mix together with fork then sprinkle all over on top of the peaches to create a crumble.
9. Bake in oven at 180°C / 350°F on middle rack for 40-45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Start checking at 30 minutes.
10. Let cool at room temperature on a wired rack. Then cover pan with a tea towel and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours so that you can slice nice squares. It needs to chill to come together. Keep stored in the fridge.