Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Recipes: Summer Fruit Crisps

For the past few weekends, my mom and I have been doing some skill-swapping: she makes me my favorite summer fruit crisp, and I make her hers. Translation: we both get to eat two dishes we love while giving off the appearance of being very considerate and generous. Also, I should probably mention that, for my mom and me, “fruit crisp” is actually code for “Yes, I know this is technically a dessert but it has fruit in it so let’s just pretend it is actually a breakfast food”.

I wanted to share these recipes here since they are both pretty terrific, and I thought it may encourage someone to bake for a family member or friend. It will be the most selfless thing you do all week.

My Favorite: Nectarine Blueberry Crisp

This crisp is a perfect blend of sweetness and tartness, and verges on turning into brown sugar and fruit soup, which is probably why I love it so much.

View photo.JPG in slide show


  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
Fruit Filling:
  • 1 1/2 pounds nectarines
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  2. To prepare topping: Mix the flour, sugars, salt, and cinnamon together in a medium mixing bowl. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. 
  3. To prepare fruit filling: Pit the nectarines and cut into 1/3 - 1/2 inch-thick slices. Toss the nectarines n a bowl with the blueberries, sugar, and flour. Pour the fruit into a 9 or 10-inch square baking dish. 
  4. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the fruit.
  5. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is browned and the juices are bubbling. Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.
My Mom's Favorite: Fresh Peach Pinwheels

This recipe is actually more of a combination of peach crisp and peach cobbler. You get the best of both worlds with a cinnamony-biscuit topping over crisped peaches. It was my mom’s favorite recipe when she was a kid, so her mom would make it for her all the time. And now I make it for her. I’m still trying to figure out exactly how she managed to go from having her mom make this for her, directly to having her daughter make this for her, without any kind of progression in between, but I’ve been working on a Jedi mind-control theory for awhile now.

View photo.JPG in slide show
Peach Mixture:
  • 3 1/2 cups sliced peaches
  • 3 tablespoons minute tapioca
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond, or vanilla, extract
Pinwheel Mixture:
  • 1 cup biscuit mix
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup light cream
  • 2 tablespoons softened butter
Pinwheel Filling:
  • 2 tablespoons softened butter
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Combine peach mixture ingredients and pour into greased 9x13" baking pan, or ungreased casserole dish. 
  3. In a small bowl, combine together pinwheel mixture ingredients. Stir with fork to make a soft dough. 
  4. Turn dough onto floured board and knead 10 times. Roll into 6x9" inch rectangle. 
  5. Spread dough with 2 tablespoons soft butter, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. 
  6. Roll dough, as for jelly roll. Cut roll into ten slices. Lay pinwheel slices on top of peach mixture and bake in oven for 25-30 minutes or until pinwheels are golden brown. 

Get out there and make one (or both) of these for dessert breakfast for someone else…and yourself.

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