Luscious Summer Fruits
I wanted to make something summery for my next recipe. But what? A cold salad to take to a picnic? Something packable for a road trip? There are a seemingly endless number of choices.
Then I saw it. Flipping through my mother-in-law’s recent issue of Taste of Home magazine, a recipe for a nectarine plum crisp called to me. My husband and I have been enjoying gluten-free peach crisps but I’m not sure that I’ve ever cooked with nectarines. I’ve only enjoyed them raw. I thought nectarines would be delicious with berries so I mixed in strawberries and blueberries.
Our usual crisp recipe doesn’t have any added sugar. That worked before because the peaches we bought were generally sweet enough. Not so this year, perhaps because of an area-wide drought that’s only recently been relieved, so that made me think that a bit of extra sweetness from dates would be good in a crisp. The nuttiness of pecans – the favorite nut here in the South – became a nice accent.
The combination of fruits is delicious. The topping is light and lets the summer fruit’s flavor shine through. And the blueberries give it a pretty purple color.
What worked and what didn’t: I like to bake with coconut oil when I can because of the health benefits, but the topping on that batch seemed a bit oily. It might be fine when cool, but I like my crisp served warm. I also tried mixing cinnamon and nutmeg into the topping – one spice at a time – and didn’t care for the nutmeg with the pecans. The amount of cinnamon in the final version gave it a nice hint of spice but still lets the fruit and pecans speak for themselves. I also made this with peaches, and it was delicious.
Summer Fruit Crisp
3 cups nectarines, sliced (or 4 cups total summer fruit such as peaches)
½ cup strawberries, sliced
½ cup blueberries
¼ cup dates, cut in chunks and packed in measuring cup
½ cup pecan halves or pieces
1 cup almond flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon sea salt
2 Tablespoons grape seed oil
Preheat oven to 350°. Place fruit in an 8 inch square pan. In a food processor, add the dates and pecans then pulse until the pecans are an even, fairly fine grind – no large pieces, but not processed beyond that. Add the almond flour, cinnamon, salt, and oil then pulse just to combine. Spread evenly on the fruit and bake covered until the mixture is bubbly at the edges – 35-40 minutes. Remove cover and bake another 5-7 minutes until the pecans are slightly toasted on top. (Careful. Burned pecans are inedible.) Let cool at least 20 minutes then serve with ice cream or whipped cream – either dairy or non-dairy. I grew up with liquid cream poured on crisp and that’s also delicious.