This delicious gluten-free fig crumble recipe is best served cold and eaten with breakfast or as an after dinner dessert.
Some of my earliest childhood memories are roaming the neighborhood at our family lake house at Lake Santee, South Carolina, in search of summertime figs.
For reasons I still don’t understand as an adult, several of our neighbors grew giant fig trees, but never actually ate their figs. Perhaps they just enjoyed feeding area birds. Whatever their reasons, this lapse in judgment meant more figs for me and my brother.
After a morning of swimming and fishing, we’d grab an empty bag or bucket and set out for a fig forage. We’d come back home with our bellies distended and an extra bowl of figs to offer our parents.
To this day, the smell of fig leaves (which can also be made into edible delights) and the taste of fig fruit (which are technically flowers) brings me back to that time and place as a child.
Growing figs in a garden
Needless to say, when The Tyrant and I got our own garden and set out to grow fruit year round, one of the first perennial trees we planted was figs.
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Brown turkey figs are producing like crazy right now. We recently realized that we accomplished our goal of getting fruit harvests every month of the year from plants we grow (although March is tricky). If you want to up your fruit growing game and get ideas about what plants to grow in order to get fruit harvests throughout the year, read the latest article on TyrantFarms.com. #fruitlovers #fruitlover #fruitaddict #foodforest #permaculture
What are the best cold-hardy fig varieties?
Figs are from the Mediterranean region, so they do best in warm/hot climates and are also drought-tolerant once established. That means if you live in Agricultural Zones 8 or higher, there are tons of varieties of figs available to you that will grow well.
We live in Ag Zone 7b, so we have to grow more cold-hardy fig varieties. The most common cold-hardy fig variety in our area is ‘Brown Turkey,’ and we have a large one in our yard that produces loads of fruit each August (the tree we planted when we started our garden). ‘Chicago,’ ‘Violette de Bordeaux,’ and ‘Celeste’ are other good cold-hardy fig varieties.
We were also gifted a purple-fruited fig variety that we think is a ‘Violette de Bordeaux’ (the tag was lost) that produces an extraordinarily delicious purple fig. However, that tree isn’t nearly as prolific or as cold-hardy as our Brown Turkey. It freezes back to the ground every year and most of its fruit doesn’t ripen before we get our first frost.
Figs in the kitchen
The older your perennial fruit trees get, the more food they provide. It’s a wonderful problem to go from fighting your birds over the five total figs on your tree to harvesting bowls full of figs that you can’t possibly eat before they go bad.
What to do? Sure, we use our Excalibur dehydrator to dry lots of figs for later use. We also make fig preserves.
But since berry season is pretty much at an end, we wanted something to replace our summer breakfast bread at the breakfast table. With bowls full of figs at the ready, we decided to go with a versatile recipe that we could use at breakfast or as a post-dinner dessert…
Enter our flourless fig crumble recipe made with oats and almond flour! The taste is somewhat similar to a classic fig newton, but better. Plus, it packs on extra protein and good fats (from the almond flour). If you’re gluten-sensitive or gluten-intolerant, you’ll also love the fact that this recipe has no wheat flour (only oats and almond flour).
Note: we think these fig crumbles are best NOT eaten hot out of the oven. Rather, refrigerate them, let them fully set and come together, then serve them cold.
At breakfast, we’ve been eating squares of flourless fig crumble with added chopped pecans on top plus a side of homemade grassmilk kefir. So good!
Below, you’ll find our recipe, plus some additional cooking/process photos to help you when you’re making this recipe for the first time.
Flourless fig breakfast crumble (with oats and almond flour)
A delicious gluten-free fruit crumble recipe using fresh figs, oats, and almond flour. Perfect for breakfast or dessert!
- 3.5 cups fresh figs (1 pound)
- 1/4 cup organic coconut sugar
- 1/8 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1.5 cups organic old fashioned oats
- 2/3 cups organic almond flour
- 1/8 cup organic flax meal (optional, but adds more fiber and nutrition)
- 1/3 cup organic coconut sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp pink sea salt
- 4 tablespoons melted grass butter
Start by making your fig filling, since it will need to cool down so its only warm to the touch before you use it. Chop figs and add them to sauce pan with sugar and lemon juice. Cook them on medium low heat (3.5 on our stove) for about 20 minutes, stirring often to prevent sticking. We used Brown Turkey figs, which have a lot of moisture in them. If using a dryer fig, you may have to add a bit of water to prevent sticking/burning. Right before removing from stovetop, add vanilla and lemon zest, then remove from heat to allow to cool.
Once the fig filling has cooled to the point you can touch it, preheat your oven to 350°F. Butter an 8x8 baking dish (if you'd like a thicker crumble) OR an 8x10 pan for a thinner crumble.
Put all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir until blended. Then pour melted grass butter over top of dry ingredients and stir together + mash together with the bottom of your spoon. The mix will still be crumbly, not congealed like a dough. Altogether, you'll have about 2 cups of packed down "crumble."
Layering time! Place half of your crumble (about 1 cup) in the bottom of your buttered baking dish and spread evenly over surface. Next pour in your fig mix and spread over the surface using a spatula or the bottom of a large spoon. Then evenly sprinkle the remaining crumble over the top of the fig mixture.
Bake for 25 minutes until slightly browned on the edges. Let cool completely then refrigerate. The taste and texture of this recipe are improved by refrigerating BEFORE serving rather than warm or at room temperature.
Perfect with breakfast or as a healthy dessert. If you're feeling extra nutty, consider adding chopped walnuts or pecans on top.
Process/cooking photos for flourless fig crumble
We hope you love this fig recipe and are able to put your fresh summer figs to good use!