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Saturday, July 23, 2005

All Purpose Crisp Topping

I'm still looking for a no-fail-for-me pie crust (must try the Kitchen Aid method again ... maybe next time with Plugra to reduce the water content), but in the meantime, there is summer fruit to be consumed.

Occasionally our Feeding the Multitudes exercise at the church gets fruit (I have to ask if it's from the food bank or it gets bought at Costco like the milk, butter, and salad greens), which is usually handed out at the door for the guests to have for "later". Sometimes there is some really battered produce that isn't good enough to hand out, but it's still good for cooking, and I take it home and do something with it.

This month it was nectarines. I washed them and put them in the fridge. I told the high school volunteers that I was going to make me some PIE. I cut up butter for pastry. Then I got the idea of peach chutney and I asked on the LJ Food Porn community for recipes, and went around getting jars and supplies.

But after a wacky week at work that tired me out, I realized on Thursday night, as I started up the hot water bath and started chunking the peaches, that I didn't want to deal with chopping and simmering. I needed to simplify.

So I heated the oven to 400, got out my "single serving" French White casseroles, and pulled out the extra streusel that I had made during July 4 week for fruit buckle (cherry on July 4, blueberry after) to top the fruit with.

The streusel was too sugary. I had one for a (lateish) dessert last night and couldn't get to sleep because of the sugar buzz. So with the remainder, I'm going to make up some all purpose crisp topping, which I modified slightly from a master recipe in Fine Cooking. It has more flour in it, which would have helped. And it's a nice homey dessert (good with fruits of all seasons ...) that goes together really, really fast.

Fruit Crisp

Topping:

1 stick (4 oz) butter
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed (I think it was 1/4 in original)
1/2 cup white sugar
Pinch salt


Variations: add some oatmeal, nuts, or spices to your preference and depending on what kind of fruit you have ... two "extras" maximum keeps it simple.

Cut softened butter into 8 pieces and mix in with dry ingredients till it is well-integrated. Fridge till you are ready to put it on the fruit.

Crisp:

6-8 cups prepared fruit
Sugar (amount depends on specific fruit ...)
1-4 TBS cornstarch, dissolved in juice of one lemon (amount depends on specific fruits)

Preheat oven to 400 F. When ready to bake, toss the fruit lightly with the sugar, put in an 8 by 8 pan and then drizzle cornstarch over it.

Top with half the topping (there will be gaps) and bake 20 minutes. Put remainder of topping on (it will be crisper this way) and bake till fruit is done (again, this depends on the fruit ... watch it).

Edited to add photo of individual-sized crisp:

fruity goodness

Comments:
Try this pie crust. It has very complete instructions and yet is very simple ... and it is designed to make more than you'll need so there is no "rolling out" anxiety.

http://hcrecipes.blogspot.com/2004/07/its-simple-things-in-life-that-matter.html
 
Looks delicious
 
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