Around where I live, September is usually gorgeous. Lovely warm days with mild evenings, with that feeling of looking forward to fall, but cannot let go of summer. The produce follows suit, with abundance from both seasons, and like the weather, a warm fruit dessert paired with something cold also seems just right.
While eating fruit out of hand is a favorite dessert, every so often one deserves a little something more. With the best fruits of the season and a few ingredients that are always at home, a Fruit Crisp, based on this recipe, can become a sweet antidote for me after a stressful work-week. I have the recipe of the crisp topping posted on the fridge door, and I just mix everything by hand, so it takes only minutes to put it together. The fruit filling does not need a recipe. After trying out various combinations, I have come to the conclusion that one can use almost any fruit, and come up with many winners. You can bake it in a large dish or in individual bowls, but the latter makes it seem more special.
Earlier in summer, when stone fruits were at their prime, I made a crisp with white and yellow peaches and a splash of amaretto, and then once with nectarines and blueberries. Both were outstanding. Recently, I made it with apple and banana, flavored with cardamom instead of vanilla, and nothing else, which was pure comfort in a bowl.
Fruit Crisp: still bubbling, right out of the oven
This makes 2 generous servings, and can be very easily multiplied
For the filling:
About 1-1/2 cups of chopped fruit of choice, alone or in combination
1-2 Tablespoon of raisins or cranberries or other dried fruit (optional)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, or finely powdered cardamom, or a splash of liqueur that goes with the fruit of choice
a dash of lemon zest or orange zest (optional)
1/2 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
For the topping:
2-1/2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2-1/2 Tablespoons rolled oats (regular or unflavored quick cooking)
1-1/2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1-1/2 Tablespoons light brown sugar, lightly packed
small pinch of salt
2 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Prepare the fruit, peeling and chopping as necessary into bite size pieces. Mix the fruit with the rest of the ingredients.
Place the mixture in a baking dish, or distribute it in 2 ramekins of 3/4 cup capacity.
For the topping:
Combine the flour, oats, sugars, salt, and cold butter in a small bowl, and using a fork or fingers, mix everything until the mixture is in large crumbles. For larger quantities, you could use an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed for 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle evenly over the fruit, covering the fruit completely.
Place the baking dish on a sheet pan and bake for 45 minutes, until the top is brown and the fruit is bubbly. Let it sit for a few minutes. Serve warm. Increase baking time slightly for increased quantities.
Warm fruit crisp with a dollop of vanilla bean ice-cream. Near bliss.