All my friends and family back home in Ottawa and Toronto have been saying how warm it’s been there lately. I’ll be there in a couple weeks myself and I really hope that the weather holds-up. I’m especially looking forward to those long hot summer evenings. Sydney has amazing weather all year round, but the sun sets so early here – even in the summer. I guess you can’t have it all – but I’m counting down the days until I’m home!
Anyway, all this talk of summer heat inspired me to make a dessert that was one of my favorites growing up. I veganized this a few years ago and made it for a BBQ with friends and it was a big hit at the time. The original recipe calls for “caramel ice cream topping”, but since that stuff isn’t usually vegan, I used the caramel recipe from my Vegan Chocolate Truffle Torte instead. In the past, I’ve substituted the butter in the crumble part with vegan margarine, but I took it one step further this time by using coconut oil and it worked out wonderfully. No matter how you make it, this is a sticky-sweet, yet cool and refreshing treat that you can make ahead and store in the freezer for up to a month. It’s quite possibly the perfect summer dessert!
- The original recipe calls for a 9×13 pan and it makes a lot of dessert if you’re in a small household like mine. My recipe below is the halved version, which calls for a 8×8 dish. Feel free to double it if you have a big family or are making it for a large gathering.
- This will keep in the freezer for up to a month but it has to be very well covered. Using two sheets of foil is one option but it would be even better to use a large Tupperware container with a lid – that way you can easily open and re-seal it as needed. If this is not well covered, the ice cream will crystallize and get all yucky.
- ¾ cups + 2 tbsp whole wheat flour
- ½ cup quick-cooking oats
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- ½ cup coconut oil (or vegan margarine, melted)
- ¾ cup caramel sauce (see below)
- 1 quart vegan vanilla ice cream, softened
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ¼ lb (1/2 cup) vegan margarine
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- To make the caramel sauce: melt the margarine in a small saucepan. Stir in brown sugar and vanilla, stirring constantly until the sugar is smooth and melted. Add cornstarch and stir until it is evenly distributed and the sauce is smooth and shiny. You should end-up with 1 cup of caramel sauce so set aside ¾ cup for this recipe and store the rest in the fridge for another use.
- Preheat oven to 400F/200C.
- Combine flour, oats, pecans and brown sugar in a large bowl. Mix in the coconut oil (or margarine) until evenly distributed.
- Spread the mixture in a thin layer on a baking pan and bake for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Crumble the mixture while it is still warm and let cool.
- Press half of the crumb mixture into an 8×8 dish (or covered plastic container if you plan on eating it over a few weeks) Drizzle half of the caramel sauce on top and spread the ice cream on top. Top with remaining caramel sauce and crumb mixture.
- Cover the dish well (either with a lid or double foil) and freeze until firm (it will keep up to a month if well covered).
- Remove from the freezer 5 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.