Photos by Tina Rupp

It's finally autumn—the perfect time for sure-to-please crumbles and cobblers. Sweet treats made with fruit and a crisp topping are the most familiar type, but try a savory main-dish cobbler for a delightful twist. These comforting recipes can be prepared for dinner or dessert with a minimum of fuss—or you can assemble one earlier in the day to pop into a warm oven when you're ready to eat.

Mango-Raspberry-Coconut Crumble
Serves 8 / Frozen organic fruit makes this incredibly easy, but you can also use fresh fruit when available. Ingredient tips: Look for almond meal in the baking aisle of your natural grocery. Organic coconut oil is sold in jars in the oil or baking section.

Filling
1 16-ounce package frozen organic mangoes
4 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons almond meal
3 cups frozen organic raspberries, thawed and drained
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Zest and juice from 2 limes

Topping
2/3 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
4 tablespoons almond meal
5 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons almond oil
1 tablespoon coconut oil

1. Preheat oven to 400°. Gently toss all filling ingredients in a large bowl. Transfer to an 8x8-inch glass baking dish lightly coated with cooking spray.

2. Combine all topping ingredients in a medium bowl. Sprinkle over fruit. Bake for 40–45 minutes, until hot and bubbly. After 10–15 minutes, cover loosely with foil to prevent overbrowning. Cool slightly before serving.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:
Calories: 260 calories
% fat calories: 50
Fat: 16g
Saturated Fat: 4g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Protein: 4g
Carbohydrate: 31g
Fiber: 6g
Sodium: 6mg

Eggplant and Tomato Crisp
Serves 8 / A fresh-tasting and nutritious side dish with a light but delicious crust. Cooking tip: If you like more crumble on your crisps, simply double the topping recipe.

Filling
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
6 cloves garlic, cut into slivers
4 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 medium eggplants, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch strips
4 large ripe tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch slices

Topping
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
6 cups whole-wheat breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Basil leaves, for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 425°. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, garlic, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper; brush on both sides of eggplant, bell pepper, and tomato slices. Place vegetables on a large baking sheet. Cover with foil and bake for 10 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes or until eggplant is tender.

2. Lightly coat a shallow casserole or gratin dish with cooking spray. Place a layer of eggplant on bottom; top with a layer of bell pepper, then a layer of sliced tomatoes. Repeat layers, using all remaining vegetables and ending with a layer of tomatoes.

3. Mix together all topping ingredients except fresh basil leaves. Sprinkle over vegetables. Bake for 30 minutes. Garnish with fresh basil leaves.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:
Calories: 233 calories
% fat calories: 37
Fat: 10g
Saturated Fat: 2g
Cholesterol: 4mg
Protein: 7g
Carbohydrate: 31g
Fiber: 9g
Sodium: 319mg

Pear-Ginger Cobbler with Almond Biscuit Topping
Serves 6–12 / This dessert is so rich and yummy that one ramekin can feed two people—unless you can't bear to share. Serve with Lavender-Lemon Cream.

Filling
2 1/2 pounds firm but ripe pears (Anjou, Bosc, or Comice), peeled, cored, quartered, and sliced crosswise
3/4 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup date sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Biscuit Topping
1/3 cup date sugar
4 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces
3/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup slivered almonds, coarsely chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly coat six 2/3-cup custard cups or ramekins with cooking spray and place on a baking sheet. In a large bowl, combine all filling ingredients and toss gently. Divide filling among prepared ramekins. Bake 20 minutes or until hot and bubbling. Remove from oven.

2. While filling is baking, prepare topping. Mix date sugar and crystallized ginger in a food processor and pulse 3–4 times. In a small bowl, set aside 2 tablespoons of sugar-ginger mixture. Place the flours, baking powder, and salt in food processor and pulse 3–4 times until combined. Add butter and pulse until mixture has the consistency of coarse meal. Add yogurt and vanilla extract; mix until smooth. Stir in almonds. Do not overmix (dough will be sticky). Place in refrigerator while filling bakes.

3. Spoon topping over the hot fruit until fruit is covered. Sprinkle reserved sugar-ginger mixture evenly over all. Return to oven and bake another 20–25 minutes, or until filling is bubbly and topping is light brown. Cool for about 15 minutes; serve warm.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving (based on 6 servings):
Calories: 479 calories
% fat calories: 24
Fat: 13g
Saturated Fat: 5g
Cholesterol: 21mg
Protein: 7g
Carbohydrate: 87g
Fiber: 10g
Sodium: 188mg

Roasted Yams, Squash, and Chestnuts with Hazelnut Topping
Serves 8 / This satisfying and fiber-rich mixture is a true celebration of autumn. Ingredient tip: Save time by using bottled chestnuts and frozen sweet potatoes, if you like.

Filling
5 leeks, well rinsed and sliced into 3/4-inch chunks (white and light green parts)
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 large garnet yams, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (or two 10-ounce bags frozen chopped sweet potato)
1 1-pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup roasted chestnuts (or one 7-ounce jar roasted chestnuts, drained)
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup low-sodium, fat-free vegetable broth

Topping
1 cup freshly grated pecorino cheese
3/4 cup hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dry whole-wheat panko or regular breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds
3 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400°. Combine all vegetables, chestnuts, sage, marjoram, salt, and pepper in a large roasting pan; drizzle with olive oil and toss gently to coat. Roast for 45 minutes, stirring once or twice, or until vegetables are tender and browned. Remove from oven.

2. Stir in broth. Transfer mixture to a 9x13-inch baking dish lightly coated with cooking spray.

3. In a medium bowl, combine all topping ingredients. Sprinkle over filling. Bake for 30 minutes or until filling is hot and bubbly.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:
Calories: 422 calories
% fat calories: 41
Fat: 20g
Saturated Fat: 4g
Cholesterol: 10mg
Protein: 10g
Carbohydrate: 54g
Fiber: 8g
Sodium: 352mg

Vegetable Cobbler with Fresh Herb Biscuits
Serves 6 / Cooking tip: To make this vegan, substitute soy milk for the nonfat milk.

Filling
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
3 green onions, sliced (white and green parts)
2 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
2 parsnips, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 pound cauliflower, cored and cut into small florets
1 cup small broccoli florets
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1/2 cup nonfat milk
2 tablespoons whole-wheat pastry flour
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Biscuit Topping
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
1 teaspoon baking powder
6 tablespoons walnut oil
3/4 cup nonfat milk
1/3 cup minced fresh chives
1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
1-2 teaspoons sea salt

Lavender-Lemon Cream

  • Beat 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream and 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese together.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon sugar in a small pan until melted.
  • Add 2 teaspoons organic lavender buds and stir until coated.
  • Remove from heat and let cool.
  • Press the buds with the back of a spoon until finely ground.
  • Fold the lavender into the cream mixture with the grated zest of one lemon. Makes 1 cup.

—K.L.

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add onion; cook until golden brown. Add garlic, green onions, carrots, and parsnips; cook another 10 minutes.

2. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add cauliflower and broccoli; cook for 2 minutes, then add broth. Cover; cook 20 minutes. Uncover and boil until liquid is reduced to a glaze, 2–5 minutes.

3. In a small bowl, mix 1/2 cup milk with 2 tablespoons whole-wheat pastry flour and pour into skillet. Add nutmeg, parsley, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Stir until heated through. Do not boil.

4. Pour into six 2-cup casseroles or ramekins, or a deep 6–8 cup casserole dish.

5. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, flaxseed meal, and baking powder. Drizzle oil over flour mixture and blend with a fork until crumbly. Add milk, chives, dill, and salt; stir to combine. Do not overmix. Dough will be very moist.

6. Drop batter over vegetables. Bake until biscuits are golden brown (15 minutes for ramekins, 20–25 minutes for casserole). Remove from oven; cool 5 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:
Calories: 399 calories
% fat calories: 48
Fat: 22g
Saturated Fat: 2g
Cholesterol: 1mg
Protein: 9g
Carbohydrate: 45g
Fiber: 9g
Sodium: 622mg


Freelance recipe developer Karin Lazarus is a frequent contributor to Delicious Living.