Nourishing Nectarine Crisp

by Meg Cotner on September 13, 2011

nectarine crisp

I love fruit crisps. They are a perfect alternative to the more complicated fruit pie – there’s still warm sweet fruit and spices involved, just with a delicious sweet topping instead of a more neutral pastry underneath.

I’ve been making fruit crisps for a long time. Usually I rely on the fruit crisp recipe from my favorite cookbook, Fields of Greens, by Annie Somerville. Somerville opened one of my favorite restaurants in San Francisco, Greens. I first ate there when I was a practicing vegetarian – the food is amazing and the views are spectacular, looking out the big windows toward the Golden Gate Bridge.

Even meat-eating friends at that time loved Greens. No one felt like anything was missing.

These days, even though I’m a committed omnivore, I find the recipes from Fields of Greens are satisfying. I still use the recipes regularly – the yeasted tart dough for special occasions, the pizza dough from time to time, and pancakes most weekends. Paging through the cookbook again as I write this, I landed on the lasagne with mushroom-port sauce recipe – making it is an all day affair, but the result is spectacular. I think I’ll have to make it soon.

nectarine crisp

Anyway, back to the crisp. I love this recipe because it’s not too sweet to begin with and it always turns out great. This year, I made the crisp topping with a few changes, and I’m happy to say… it turned out great!

In the recipe, I replaced the cup of white flour with sprouted wheat flour. I also switched the 1/4 cup of brown sugar and 1/4 cup of white sugar with a half cup of sucanat; I also used a couple of tablespoons of sucanat on the fruit. I used pasture butter, too, which is much better for you than conventional butter. Finally, I left out the nutmeg because even though I like it, our resident picky eater does not.

The texture of this crisp topping is a little… heartier. Crunchier. But perfectly appropriate for a crisp. I also found it took 40 minutes to cook enough and brown a bit on the top.

One thing about the sprouted flour vs. white flour – it really seemed at first like everything wasn’t going to bind together enough, that it would stay too dry. I think it takes a little more massaging of the butter into the flour to moisten everything up. I used frozen butter cut into chunks, but perhaps grating frozen butter into the flour would be a help.

In the end, everything was fine, texture-wise, with topping.

This crisp is delicious hot, delicious at room temperature, and delicious right out of the refrigerator. Of course, vanilla ice cream  would go well with the crisp, but I wonder how crème anglaise might do well with it (probably delicious).

I love the adjustments worked out in this recipe, and am very happy to have a terrific dessert with unrefined sweetener, not to mention properly prepared grains (sprouted flour).

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Muffin Tin September 15, 2011 at 6:23 pm

Did you make your own sprouted flour? Just curious how to acquire it.

Meg September 16, 2011 at 11:38 am

I wish I could make my own sprouted flour! At some point I will. For now, I buy the Essential Eating sprouted wheat flour packaged and distributed by Shiloh Farms. I buy it at my favorite natural foods store, Fresh Start, in Astoria. I’ve seen it lots of places, though – check your local natural/health foods store. Whole Foods/Wild by Nature will likely carry it, too

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