Nectarine-Blueberry Crisp with Oatmeal & Brown Sugar
|May 31, 2011||Posted by Cheeks under Dessert, Recipe, Vegetarian|
It’s a little blurry, but that’s because I was drooling.
Despite the cold, rainy weekend we Chicagoans faced this memorial day weekend, the brief, sunny, and hot glimpse of summer we got on Monday has me in the mood for these coming warm months!
During the summer, I turn into a fruit monster, because (almost) everything is ripe and (almost) everything is good – especially if you are in the habit of going to farmer’s markets. Sometimes the fruit isn’t as pretty – because it’s not genetically modified and grown to be pretty, not taste pretty. Like a beauty pageant contestant, grocery store fruit is often lovely on the outside, but tasteless and empty within. Miss South Carolina, anyone?
So when summer rolls around, I try to eat as much fruit as possible, cause it’ll never be this good again. Or at least not for another 8 months.
Besides just plain eating it, I like to put fruit into salads, make fruit salsas, blend it into sauces for meat, and all sorts of jazz. Of course, who can forget about lovely fruit desserts? Pies, cakes, crumbles, buckles, shortcakes – it all speaks to me, or my inner glutton. The easiest one of all – certainly easier than rolling out a pie crust and keeping pastry dough cold on a hot summer day – is the crisp.
The crisp is really a one-size-fits-all fruit dessert. You mix a bunch of chopped fruit of your choice with sugar, a pinch of salt, vanilla, and whatever flavoring your heart desires in a pie plate. Then you mix up flour, brown sugar, and any assortment of nuts, grains, oats, and the like with a healthy dose of butter, dump this mixture on the fruit, and bake until its hot, bubbly, and browned. Just like me after a summer barbecue….
I went with nectarines and blueberries, but you can try lots of combinations – mixed berries, plain peach, pear-cranberry, caramel apple and maybe even strawberry-basil sound good right about now. Depending on the sweetness of your fruit, you can play with the amount of sugar you use, or try honey instead of fruit. And I’m really into the whole herb-fruit combination right now – like Rosemary-Cherry-Pear, or Peach-Thyme, maybe. Just use the recipe below as a guide, and experiment away.
No matter what you try, you’ll end up with a deliciously easy and light fruity summer dessert…one that is undeniably best when served warm topped with a scoop of soon-to-be-melted vanilla ice cream….
- 1/2 pint blueberries, washed
- 4-6 nectarines, washed and cut into 1/2″ chunks
- 1/4 cup sugar (more if fruit is less ripe, less if more ripe)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup oats
- handful of chopped pecans (optional)
- 6 Tbsp butter, cut into pieces
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a pie plate or 9″ square baking dish, toss the fruit with white sugar, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and lemon juice, mixing well.
In a small bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, oats, and pecans (if using) until blended. Add butter and use your fingers to pinch butter into oat mixture, looking for coarse crumbly texture and relatively even distribution. Spread over fruit mixture, looking for a fairly even coat and letting it go into the nooks and crannies.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, then check on it. If not browned enough, dot some butter on sandy parts and bake another 10-15 minutes. It will be done when the fruit is soft and bubbling and the crumbs are deep golden brown and crunchy in spots.
Cool at least 10 minutes before daring to serve. Best topped with ice cream or whipped cream!