Now the fruit crisp. I adore pie or anything resembling it, and we already know I look meaningfully at the displays of fresh fruit in the supermarket, though we know how disappointed those bright, heaped riches usually leave me. So sturdy! So cold! So shippable! So sour. Here then, in Katie's kitchen in March of this year, was a recipe combining fresh fruit, lots of redemptive sugar and butter, some crunchy oats, and complete ease of preparation. She credits a Betty Crocker cookbook of the '70s, which is probably the only remotely standard cookbook I don't actually own. This March post only fell under my eye the day before yesterday, but I jumped at it.
"Katie's Passion" Fruit Crisp
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1 stick butter
- handful nuts
- pinch cinnamon
- "pinch of" salt (let's use more -- 1/2 tsp)
- 4 to 5 cups fresh or dried fruit or berries, or any combination (Katie forgets to tell us how much fruit, but I guess at 5 cups based on the quantity specified for Marion Cunningham's apple crisp recipe in The Fannie Farmer Cookbook.)
Mix the dough ingredients with your hands until all feels rich and crumbly. Place the fruit in a 1 and 1/2 quart baking dish. Pile on the topping and press gently. You may want to sprinkle on 1/4 cup water if your fruits are very hard, so that they will soften in cooking; Katie says you may also want to add some flour to thicken any juices, especially if you are using a lot of fresh berries. Bake in a preheated 350 F oven for about 35 to 40 minutes.
Serve with ice cream, a spoonful of heavy cream, whipped cream, or plain yogurt.
Delicious. By the way, I used 4 fresh peaches, 5 fresh nectarines, and about 7 little green-fleshed, sticky Italian plums. Any combination of fruits would answer. Yes, almost all of it started out as hard, dry, and sour as you might be accustomed to, unless you shop at an absolutely local farmer's market every day, or harvest Italian plums right in the ruins of the Forum or peaches right off the trees in Georgia (I'm told they are a-may-zing). In any case we have that redemptive sugar and butter and accompanying cream. And don't forget a little more than a pinch of salt.