Have you tried Raincoast Crisps? Well, I have, and I love them. They’re delicious, and quality, but too expensive for my budget to enjoy on the regular. In general, I have been spending too much money on crackers because for some reason, the fewer nasty ingredients in a packaged food, the pricier it is, when I could have been making them myself–and rather easily, too. This recipe is from Aimée Wimbush-Bourque, and it will amaze you. I don’t like to throw around adjectives like “game-changing” too often, but these fruit and nut crisps are “game-changing!”
Aimée Wimbush-Bourque, author of Brown Eggs and Jam Jars and The Simple Bites Kitchen, and the creator of the always inspiring blog, Simple Bites, dazzles me every day with her recipes, photos, and commitment to honest, real, seasonal food. She is one of the most dedicated Canadian cookbook authors out there, taking readers along on her family’s food-filled adventures at home and away.
In The Simple Bites Kitchen cookbook, Aimée introduces us to ‘Fig, Rosemary, and Pistachio Crisps.’ You might miss it if you don’t know to look for it, or flip past it because the suggestion of making crackers at home may seem unreasonable (it’s not). It’s no more challenging than making banana bread, and I know you can do that.
I did my very best Googling for you all and found that these crisps go by many names: harvest crackers, fruit and nut crisps, copycat raincoast crisps, DIY raincoast crisps, fruit and nut crackers, etc. You can call them whatever you want, but please, please start making them at home, okay? I promise you will not regret it.
For entertaining, serve the crisps as part of a cheese platter alongside crudités, fresh fruit, and a few creamy dips (beet hummus, white bean dip, whipped feta, etc). For the everyday, pair with cheese and fruit for a classy weekday desk snack or spread with peanut butter. And if you can part with a dozen, package them up to gift to a lucky host, family member, neighbour or friend.
In Aimée’s words, “…they are my standard cracker for entertaining, and they beat out all the other nibbles on the table every time.”
I actually can’t believe I made these. In fact, the entire Simple Bites Kitchen cookbook turns cooking and baking into approachable, achievable projects that I would never dream possible.
Homemade Fruit and Nut Crisps Recipe
Gourmet fruit and nut crisps cost a fortune at specialty food stores, but they’re so easy–and incredibly satisfying–to make at home. This recipe, adapted from Aimée Wimbush-Bourque’s brilliant second cookbook, The Simple Bites Kitchen, makes gourmet homemade fruit and nut crackers a reality. Aimée’s original recipe imbues the batter with finely chopped fresh rosemary and orange zest, making them feel entertaining-appropriate and homey all at once. Imagine the add-in possibilities with this recipe; dried fruit, nuts, herbs, and spices can all be swapped, just stick to the measurements called for.
Note: The original recipe calls for whole wheat bread flour in place of the spelt flour, skips the poppy seeds, and adds 1/4 cup sesame seeds, 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh rosemary, and the zest of 1 orange. The original recipe yields approximately 8 dozen, but I sliced mine a little bit thinner than called for and got 9 to 10 dozen.
Makes 8 dozen
1 cup spelt flour
1 cup all-purpose flour or additional spelt flour
2 tsp baking soda
½ tsp fine-grain salt
1 cup finely chopped dried figs or dried fruit of choice (raisins, cranberries, finely chopped apricots, etc.)
½ cup pistachios raw or unsalted sunflower seeds
½ cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
¼ cup ground flaxseed
2 Tbsp poppy seeds
2 cups buttermilk
¼ cup demerara sugar
¼ cup liquid honey, warmed
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease 2 standard loaf tins or 4 mini loaf pans with oil and line with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, stir together the spelt flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the the figs, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, flaxseed, and poppy seeds. Stir until everything is coated in the flour mixture.
- In a medium bowl, whisk to combine the buttermilk, sugar, and honey. Add buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and mix until fully incorporated. Divide batter among the loaf pans.
- For the standard loaf pans, bake for 35 to 45 minutes, rotating pans once if, until springy to the touch and golden brown on top. Or for the mini loaf pans, bake for 20 to 22 minutes, until springy to the touch and golden brown on top. Cool in pan for 5 minutes and then transfer loaves to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, wrap tightly in plastic wrap or in a large airtight container and chill completely in the refrigerator or partially freeze (I chilled them overnight in the refrigerator).
- Set the oven racks to accommodate 2 baking sheets. Preheat oven to 300ºF (150ºC).
- Remove loaves from wrap or container. Using a serrated knife or very sharp chef’s knife, slice into approximately 1/8-inch-thick slices and arrange in a single layer on ungreased baking sheets (I used 4 baking sheets altogether, baking in batches).
- Bake 2 trays for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and gently flip over each crisp. Rotate pans and bake for another 15 to 25 minutes, until deep golden brown. They will crisp as they cool. Repeat baking steps with the remaining batch. Cool crisps completely on wire rack or baking sheets.
- Once cool, store airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 6
Excerpted from The Simple Bites Kitchen: Nourishing Whole Food Recipes for Every Day by Aimée Wimbush-Bourque. Copyright © 2017 by Aimée Wimbush-Bourque. Photos copyright © Tim and Angela Chin. Published by Penguin, an imprint of Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.
Photos in the post my own.