Berries, peaches, nectarines, plums — fresh summer fruits are one of the delights of the warm season. Simple fruit crisps or crumbles that let the flavor of the fruit shine through make great desserts when you want something a little more complicated than plain fruit, and one good recipe will take you through from stone fruits to apple harvest.
What's the difference between a crisp and a crumble? While some people say that crisps incorporate nuts or oatmeal, making them, well, crisper than crumbles, which are topped with softer streusel, really the terms are pretty much synonymous. "Crisp" is more commonly used in the U.S., while "crumble" is the British term for these homey baked desserts.
Use any combination of predominantly light and some dark fruits, such as peaches with raspberries or blackberries; nectarines with cherries or blueberries.
There's no need to peel the peaches. Many nutrients — and flavor — lie just below the outer skin.
The filling will set up as the crisp cools, becoming firmer.
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
4 cups sliced peaches, in 1/2-inch wide pieces
2 cups blueberries
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
7 tablespoons (76 grams) date sugar or maple sugar
1/3 cup and 2 tablespoons (68 grams) whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 teaspoon each: sea salt, grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup slivered almonds
3 tablespoons cold, nonhydrogenated margarine
1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the peaches and blueberries in a bowl. Sprinkle the almond extract over the fruit; stir lightly. Add 3 tablespoons date sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and 1/8 teaspoon salt; stir to combine. Pour mixture into an 8-inch square glass baking pan. Smooth the top.
2. Mix together remaining 1/4 cup date sugar, remaining 1/3 cup flour, remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and almonds in a bowl. Cut in the margarine with a pastry blender or 2 knives until the chunks are the size of peas. Sprinkle the mixture over the fruit.
3. Bake until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is golden brown, 30-35 minutes.
Per serving: 164 calories, 6 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 27 g carbohydrates, 2 g protein, 89 mg sodium, 3 g fiber.
Kay Stepkin is a vegetarian cooking instructor and former owner of a vegetarian restaurant/whole-grain bakery. Email her at email@example.com.