Tomorrow, we're off to Vermont; so that means that I have been cleaning out the fridge this week. We've eaten a sandwich for at least one meal a day for the last 10 days, and we're getting pretty creative now. Nolan's favorite is still straight-up MEAT with some balsamic.
The fun part of times like this are that you can be creative with desserts. Necessity is really the mother of invention when you have fruit that needs used up and want something homemade and sweet in the morning. For me, it's all about the ease of baking. I've gotten away from the complications of design and pomp--"fiddly" as they say on The Great British Bake-Off. Most nights, I wait until Nolan comes home at 9:00 from a 14 hour day at work and we sit at the kitchen counter and eat from the pan. Most nights, this is exactly the kind of dinner I want. Most nights, we're tired and we joke and take a shower and on those nights, maybe 4 times a week, we'll eat a bit of dessert before bed and fall asleep with the windows open and the lights off and the dogs snoring.
The crumble is a "most nights" kind of dessert. One that is comforting after a long day, when it's warm and hot from the oven; but also great to nibble at with coffee before work. It's the last of the small and bloody strawberries that we picked a couple weeks ago, and a couple old peaches milling about in a drawer. It's a tactile dessert and, to me, that makes me appreciate it more. I'm not so disconnected from it had I used a stand mixer and threw it all together.
I can't give Nolan the world, even though I would like to, but I can make him food and most nights, I hope that's enough.
Summer Peach and Strawberry Crumble
You can really substitute any fruit here, but please adjust the cornstarch, sugar, and lemon to taste accordingly.
- 2 cup strawberry, hulled and sliced
- 2 peaches, sliced
- 1 TB cornstarch (or a little more if fruit is very juicy)
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 TB Grand Marnier
- 1/2 lemon juice (or a little more if fruit is very sweet)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds
- 6 TB unsalted butter, slightly softened
- In a large bowl, mix together strawberries, peaches, cornstarch, white sugar, Grand Marnier, lemon juice, and salt
- Allow to sit and macerate for 30 minutes
- Prepare a baking dish (either a pie pan or a small casserole) with butter or oil. Preheat oven to 375*F
- Pour fruit mixture into your dish and distribute fruit evenly
- Now, dump all remaining ingredients into another bowl and, using clean hands, mix together
- Continue mixing until all ingredients are fully incorporated and a crumbly dough forms
- Pour directly on top of fruit and pat with down
- Bake for 30 minutes or until top is browned and golden