Sunday, June 22, 2014

Summer fruit crisp

Someone pinch me. Is it really June already? Where has the first six months of the year gone?  I'm actually happy that it's almost summer because this is actually one of my favorite times of the year. Allergy season is finally over (hooray!), and the weather is just about perfect. We rarely have to run the air conditioner, and I can choose to wear shorts or jeans during the weekends.

Another thing I look forward to in June is resuming our CSA deliveries. We had the option of participating in the winter CSA session but we chose not to do that this year. Our winter/spring was pretty chaotic and I knew that I wouldn't be able to take advantage of the winter produce this season. Thankfully, the regular CSA deliveries started up again in mid-May, so we're back to trying new recipes.

One item I always enjoy receiving in our delivery box is fresh fruit. We are lucky to receive lots of strawberries and blueberries week after week, so naturally I wanted to bake something with them.  Coincidentally, my friend Yudith of Blissfully Delicious chose "Baking with Summer Fruits/Produce" as the What's Baking theme for June. And what better way to feature fresh summer fruits than by baking a fruit crisp?

The advantages of baking a fruit crisp such as this one is that the fruits are the highlight of the dish. They aren't hiding in a cake, frosting or play second fiddle to another ingredient (although, I guess you could argue that the streusel-like topping is the best part of the dessert, but I digress...). This dish is perfect for highlighting your favorite fruits, and you can top it with whipped cream or ice cream to take it over the top.

Be sure to check out Yudith's blog to see what other What's Baking participants baked up this month!

Summer fruit crisp
  • 8 cups sliced stone fruit, pitted cherries or berries (I used peaches, cherries and blueberries)
  • 1 cup sugar (you can cut this down if your fruit is extremely ripe)
  • 2 TBSP cornstarch
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon or lime (or 2 TBSP of orange juice and zest of half an orange)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats, divided
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (cold)
Directions
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.

Generously grease a 1.5 quart high-sided baking dish and set aside.

In a large bowl, toss the sliced fruit with the 1 cup of sugar. Then add the cornstarch, citrus zest and juice and salt and toss to coat. Set aside.

In a high-speed blender or food processor, pulse together 3/4 cups of the oats, the flour, light brown sugar and salt. Add in the cold butter and pulse until the mixture resembles wet sand and you get pea-sized clumps. Do not over-pulse! Transfer the mixture into a large bowl and add in the remaining 1/4 cup of oats by hand.

Transfer the fruit into your prepared baking pan. Sprinkle the top with the oat mixture. Place the baking pan on top of a baking sheet and bake in your preheated oven for 60-70 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the fruit and juices are bubbling.

Allow the fruit crisp to cool for at least an hour before serving.

Fruit crisp should be covered and stored in the refrigerator and will keep for several days.

Yield: About 10-12 servings

Source: Bon Appetit, June 2014 issue; page 71

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