Summer fruit crisp: sweet, tart, easy and fabulous
|August 19, 2010||Posted by ameliaps under dessert, easy, fruit, summer|
While I was on the sailboat in Italy we would stop daily on the islands to pick fresh fruit, vegetables and fish. One of the days my mother brought in a box of summer fruits, just picked from the tree: apricots, nectarines, plums, figs, and peaches. I did not have cup measures nor a scale to measure ingredients for a dessert so I immediately thought of the easiest sweet thing I could bake… summer crisp!!! I used roughly one glass of flour, one glass of sugar, some grated nutmeg (there was no cinnamon on board), the grated zest of a Sicilian lemon, and butter, of course, to make the crisp topping, then roughly chopped up all the fruit I had on hand and baked on high. So easy. Everyone loved it. It was gone as soon as it was served. The texture was a mix of crispy and soft, as the fruit had baked and all the juices had oozed out making a caramely thick sauce. The taste was sweet and tart at the same time. The perfect dessert, with a mixture of contrasting sensation on the taste buds. I had no ice-cream on hand but I imagine a scoop of cinnamon, vanilla, caramel or almond ice-cream would make my mouth go u-haaa!!!
BTW, the background you see in the photo above IS the Mediterranean sea. These are pictures from the crips I made on board, sailing along the Italian pontine islands.
Tips: I like the crisp to be rustic, so I do not peel my fruit. The figs give it an extra creaminess. Use a tray under the pan when baking in case juices run over the pan. I like to use Demerara or Turbinado sugar…but feel free to use white or light brown sugar. Some recipes call for rolled oats or sliced almonds in the topping…go ahead, if you have them on hand, but they are not necessary.
Summer fruit crisp
Serves 6 to 8
6 cups summer fruit*, washed and de-seeded but un-peeled, and cut into 2″ pieces
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup Demerara or Turbinado sugar
2 teaspoons fresh ground nutmeg (or cinnamon)
Grated zest of one organic lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into pieces
* Apricots, nectarines, plums, figs, peaches… but you can also try this with cherries (I would use them solo)
Pre-heat oven to 400° F.
Lightly grease with butter a 9-inch cake pan, Pyrex or ceramic baking dish.
Fill the dish with the fruit, arranged in one big layer, up to the top.
In a bowl, mix the flour, sugar, nutmeg (or cinnamon) and lemon zest with your hands. Now start “massaging” in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
Sprinkle the topping mixture evenly over the baking dish filled with the fruit, making sure all of the surface is covered, including the edges.
Bake about 30-35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the fruit is tender and bubbling.
Serve warm with – or without – ice cream.