We have been getting some nice fruit this summer. Today at the farmers market, there were some late season peaches and first of the season apples (both from Wilcox). Plus, we have been getting good blueberries from Safeway and Trader Joes (big boxes – that cost what the small boxes normally cost). Last week Roy picked up some wonderful white peaches at Trader Joes. Add to that some local melons, and we have certainly been getting our daily requirement of fruit… plus.
And sometimes we get a bit overloaded, especially when you need to buy large boxes. That’s when it’s time to start the oven. There are all sorts of fruit with a crust desserts, starting with pie but also including cobblers, slumps, crisps, crumbles, and buckles. Pie crust is the most simple it terms of ingredients – just flour and butter (or other shortening), crisps and crumbles get sugar added, the cobblers and buckles get milk or cream added. My favorite is the crisps – they are very quick to put together (much easier than pie), you can scale from individual servings to a family size pan, and the topping can be frozen.
Normally for two of us, I make crisps in oval gratin dishes (sized for an individual casserole). One of these is the perfect amount. I make a full recipe of the crisp topping, and use about half. The other half goes in the freezer, to be used at a later time (no need to thaw, just crumble and use). I have also make them in individual size ramekins, and occasionally make a full size one. The same crisp mixture can be used for all different fruit.
Generally, I through these together as I’m cooking dinner, then pop it into the oven as we sit down. They will be done and still warm for desert (although they are good at room temperature too). But warm is best for ice cream.
Use the below recipe as a guide. I did one last week with the above mentioned peaches and a handful of blueberries. It was real pretty as well as tasty. (did I think to take a picture? no) Sometimes I throw some slivered almonds into the crisp topping. Or dry cranberries into an apple crisp. Often I cook them in the toaster oven (just a note – in mine, I need to drop the temperature to 325F or they brown too quickly). Adjust the amount of fruit and thickener for the size pan (and this is not too critical, worst case is it’s a bit runny or thick), use more or less topping. If using a smaller pan, shorten the cooking time. You will get a feel how long to cook, just wait until they are bubbly and browned, and in the case of apples, the fruit is tender. All in all, this is a very tolerant recipe.
¾ cup sugar
½ cup flour
¼ cup butter, cut into chunks
Mix sugar and flour in a small bowl, and work in the butter to make a crumbly mixture.
Summer Fruit Crisp:
Blueberries, Peaches, Apricots, and / or Raspberries
enough fruit to fill 9x9 pan an 1 – 1 ½ inches deep
~ 2 teaspoons corn starch
~ 2 tablespoons Amaretto, Grand Marnier, or orange juice
Preheat oven to 350F.
Peaches or apricots should be pitted and sliced (no need to peel). Berries should be rinsed and reasonably dry. Place into pan. Mix corn starch and liqueur, then pour evenly over the fruit. Sprinkle crisp mixture over top.
Bake at 350F for 35 – 45 minutes. The fruit should be tender, filling bubbly, and crust lightly browned. Serve warm or room temperature, ice cream is a nice extra.
4 large granny smith apples or other baking apples
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)
½ cup water
Preheat oven to 350F.
Core and slice the apples into a 9x9 baking dish (optional – peel the apples, or partially peel the apples). Sprinkle with the spices, and add the lemon juice and water. Sprinkle crisp mixture over the top.
Bake at 350F for 40 – 45 minutes. The fruit should be tender, filling bubbly, and crust is lightly browned. Serve warm, ice cream is a nice extra.
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