Baked Blueberries with Pancetta Pecan Crumble | Chris Cooks

If you look at most desserts, gluten and dairy are part of almost all of them. For your friends and family that may have food restrictions, this can feel a little isolating – I’ve seen it happen to Jules and our daughters countless times. And while they’re always positive and good sports about it, it’s made me double my efforts to ensure that when I cook for them, they won’t miss out on a thing.

Cobbler was always a favorite dessert for Jules, and is the inspiration for this dish. It’s essentially a blueberry cobbler, but a grain/gluten/dairy free crumble instead of a crust. The flavors are dynamite – the tart berries, the fattiness of the pancetta, the sweetness of honey and warming effect of the sage. It really is something special that anyone can eat without feeling like something is missing.

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Paired with a scoop (or two) of dairy free vanilla ice cream, this is a great fall dessert you can bring to any gathering, while the final round of blueberries is still coming off the bushes.

Baked Blueberries with Pancetta Pecan Crumble

Blueberries, cherries, sage, pancetta, pecans. This is a tart, sweet, balanced and bold dessert perfect for any group or gathering.

For the Bake

  • 2 qts blueberries fresh is best
  • 1/4 cup fennel bulb thinly sliced
  • 1 cup dried dark cherries unsweetened
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • cooking fat I use leftover bacon grease, but coconut oil works as well

For the Crumble

  • 1 cup pecans roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup pancetta small diced
  • 5 leaves fresh sage thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Bake the blueberries

  • Preheat oven to 400. In a bowl, toss together all the bake ingredients minus the tapioca and almond flour. Be careful not to break the blueberries apart, but make sure the honey gets dispersed well.

  • Add the tapioca starch and almond flour, 1/2 amounts at a time. Toss to coat evenly.

  • Spread a thin layer of cooking fat around the bottom and sides of a medium-sized baking dish. Add the blueberry mixture and shake to settle it in evenly. Bake at 400, on the convection setting, for 30-40 minutes.

Make the crumble

  • In a pan on medium heat, render the pancetta. When it just starts to brown, add in the sage and fry for 30 seconds, then add the pecans. Toss everything together until the pecans start to brown. Add the honey, toss for 30 seconds, remove from heat and set aside.


  • Remove the blueberry bake from the oven, top with the crumble, and put back in the oven for 5-8 minutes, until the desired color on the pecans is achieved. I like good browning, but definitely nothing to dark.

  • Serve warm with your favorite ice cream (non dairy or otherwise).

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