Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Nectarine and Raspberry Crumble. It's Not a Cobbler or a Crisp.

nectarine and raspberry crumble

It's that time of year again when people everywhere find themselves completely confused about crisps, crumbles, and cobblers, not to mention brown bettys, slumps, and grunts. I talked about this last year, and many of you bravely fessed up to your own inability to remember which is which. I think I'm finally starting to remember. How 'bout you? Think you know the difference yet? Let's find out.

(Click here to cue Jeopardy music.)

And no cheating, Dad.

1. This dessert has a dough-like crust, which can be enclosed or made as a biscuit topping.
What is a ___________.

2. This dessert is made by mixing fruit with sugar and spices and topping it with a streusel, which is a mixture of butter, sugar, flour, and nuts.
What is a ___________.

3. This dessert is made by mixing fruit of your choice with sugar and spices then topping it with a crisp mix made of butter and sugar and a binding agent such as flour or oatmeal.
What is a _____________.

OK, hands off the keyboard, folks. Let's see how you did. #1 is a cobbler. #2 is a crumble. #3 is a crisp. If you missed any, don't worry. The best way to learn something is by doing it -- so make all three desserts and eat them!

Start with the simplest of all, my Triple Berry Rhubarb Crisp.

rhubarb berry crumble half bowl

Then try the bit more complicated but still very doable Fresh Apricot and Cherry Cobbler with Buttermilk Biscuit Crust:

apricot cherry cobbler full plate

Finally make this Nectarine and Raspberry Crumble. Nectarines are coming into season right now, and their sweetness and aroma blend beautifully with tart fresh raspberries. The fruit is perfumed with fresh ginger and vanilla extract then coated with an irresistible streusel topping made with brown sugar, pecans, and a medley of spices. It's delicious as is, but I won't discourage you from topping it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of silky creme fraiche.

nectarine and raspberry crumble

Nectarine and Raspberry Crumble

Serves 6
Print recipe only here.

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

4 cups sliced fresh nectarines, about 7-8 medium sized fruits
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups fresh (or unthawed frozen) raspberries
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 3 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9-inch round pie dish with cooking spray.

To make the crumble, place the butter in a bowl. Using your hands, break it into small pieces, then work in the sugar, flour, and pecans. Gently mix it, breaking up any large clumps. Using a rubber spatula stir in the cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Set aside.

To make the fruit filling, in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the nectarines and sugars. Cook until slightly tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add the raspberries, ginger, and dissolved cornstarch. Stir until the mixture begins to thicken and bubble up, about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat, and stir in the vanilla extract.

Pour the fruit filling into the prepared pie dish, and sprinkle the streusel evenly over the top. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until the topping is golden and fruit filling is bubbling up around the edges. Allow to cool before serving. It's best served at room temperature or just slightly warm.

You might also like:

Peach and Blueberry Galette

Mini Custards with Limoncello-Spiked Raspberry Sauce

Summertime Strawberry Pie

Here are more delicious summertime crumbles:
Aran's Almond and Cherry Crumble
Chris's Blueberry Crumble
Christine's Peach and Blackberry Crumble
Joey's Nectarine Crumble
Julie's Apricot Berry Crumble

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