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FreshTartSteph Recipe: Warm Fruit Crisp


As a typical Minnesotan, with one eye always on winter, I get overly enthusiastic about the bounty of perfect, juicy stone fruits and berries available this time of year. Somehow peaches, plums, raspberries, blueberries, and cherries all make it into my kitchen, all at the same time, without a chance of being devoured before fruit flies start hovering. I'd feel greedy and guilty if not for buttery, cinnamon-laced fruit crisps, better than pie in my book, and twice as easy to assemble. Almost any mix of fruits is perfect in a crisp—the version pictured is plums, peaches, and strawberries, because that's what I had lying around. The version I made this morning is a tumble of peaches, pitted bing cherries, and blueberries.

This is absolutely a recipe to make and eat with children, if you have them, or to toss together on your own. As delightful as a warm bowl of fruit crisp with ice cream tastes after dinner, a bowlful with yogurt and almonds for breakfast is awfully nice too. Take the rest to work for lunch and you too can polish off an entire crisp in one day, the way my son and I did on Saturday.

Then wash the pie plate, poke around for odds and ends of more ripe summer fruit, pull cold butter from the fridge, and toss together another.

Warm Fruit Crisp

Serves 6

Note: The version below is gluten-free. If you'd like to use all-purpose flour, substitute 1 c. flour for the sorghum/tapioca/xantham gum combination. I didn't include herbs in the recipe, but a bit of fresh basil, lavender, or thyme would be lovely with almost any combination of fruit. Consider a tablespoon of booze as well, if you're so inclined. (Add herbs and/or booze to the fruit with granulated sugar.)

3 c. ripe, juicy fresh fruit, sliced into 1-inch pieces (the crisp pictured includes peaches, plums, and strawberries; the next one I made included peaches, cherries, and blueberries; consider also apricots, raspberries, blackberries, pears...no need to peel)
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/2 c. sorghum flour
1/4 c. tapioca or potato starch
1/4 tsp. xantham gum
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg yolk

ice cream for serving (vanilla, strawberry, caramel, toffee or almond would all be delicious)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, toss fruit with granulated sugar. Set aside.

Add butter, sorghum, tapioca, xantham gum, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse on-and-off until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add egg yolk and pulse until dough starts to gather into large clumps.

Transfer fruit and any accumlated juices to a pie plate. Scatter clumps of dough over the top of the fruit. Bake crisp for 45 minutes or until juices are bubbly and thickened and topping is nicely browned.

Cool for 30 minutes and serve warm with ice cream.

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