Autumn may be here, officially speaking. But I couldn't resist the gorgeous nectarines at a local market. I bought a dozen. Large.
I let them ripen for two days on my counter and they had that end-of-summer ripe, sweet perfume. I couldn't wait to polish one off, anticipating the juicy flesh on my tongue, savoring the last essences of summer.
They were mealy. Dry. Huge disappointment.
But I hate to throw food out.
Ed wanted me to poach them. It seemed like a good idea because poaching not-so-good fruit can enhance their flavor.
They were so big that before poaching I decided to cut them in half, remove the pits and poach the halves. But when I cut them they were full of brown spots. Beyond poaching.
Huge disappointment. But I hate to throw food out.
So I cut around the brown spots and from 12 large nectarines had enough flesh to make a crisp for 6 people.
Now, that was not at all disappointing. In fact it was just perfect. I added just a bit of honey and enough lemon juice to bring out the best of what was left of these nectarines.
Here's the recipe, for when you have not-so-good peaches or nectarines (you could make this crisp with pears too), and I bet it would be especially delicious if your fruit started out wonderful too.
Peach/Nectarine Crisp with Oat Crust
3/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter (or substitute)
6 large peaches or nectarines
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Add the butter and work it into the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly. Set aside. Peel the peaches and discard the pits. Slice the peaches into a bowl. Add the flour, honey and lemon juice and toss the ingredients. Place the mixture in the baking dish. Scatter the oat mixture on top of the fruit. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
Makes 6 servings