strawberry poppy seed crisp

this is a great recipe, especially if you have strawberries that need a flavour boost – i was unsure how i’d like them once they were roasted but it’s similar to a strawberry jam that hasn’t lost its freshness through being overcooked. i loved the hint of vanilla and citrus flavours; the crispy oat topping is also delicious and i much prefer it to the traditional crumble topping of flour, sugar and butter.

the recipe is from anna jones’ a modern way to eat, which is packed full of good ideas but also recipes that need tweaking. sometimes this is a matter of proportions or personal ingredient preferences but in this case the recipe hadn’t been proofread properly and various items were missing from the methodology (i have an early edition of the book and i know some of these issues have now been corrected) so the version below reflects the approach i took.

as well as filling in the gaps i also altered a few aspects of the recipe – i didn’t have any orange zest so added orange flower water to the strawberries and used the lemon zest in the crisp topping. i also used less butter in the topping – start by adding two thirds and then decide if any extra it is needed to bring things together as fine breadcrumbs. if your strawberries are sweet i think you could reduce the sugar in the topping as well.

anna jones’ strawberry poppy seed crisp (serves 4)

800g hulled strawberries, cut into halves and quarters

100g unrefined light brown sugar, plus 3 tablespoons

grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon

seeds from 1 vanilla pod

100g ground almonds

100g porridge oats

2 tablespoons of poppy seeds

grated zest of 1 unwaxed orange

100g cold unsalted butter or coconut oil

put the strawberries into an ovenproof dish with the 3 tablespoons of sugar, the lemon zest and the vanilla seeds. 

mix the almonds, oats and poppy seeds in a bowl and add the orange zest. break the butter into little chunks and add it to the bowl or pour in the coconut oil, then use your fingers to rub the mixture together, lifting them out of the bowl to get some air into the crisp topping. once the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs and there are no big lumps of butter, you’re ready to go. stir in the remaining sugar. pile the mixture on top of the strawberries and bake in the hot oven for 25 minutes, until the top is golden and the strawberries have shrunk and started to caramelise around the edges. 

serve this with a big spoonful of coconut yoghurt, cream, ice cream or