Rhubarb Berry Fruit Crisp

What Grows Together Goes Together – in a Fruit Crisp

Rhubarb Berry Fruit Crisp Gluten Free

There’s no better way to enjoy ripe fruit than in a good old-fashioned crisp. In the summer, stone fruit and berries reign supreme, while in the fall, apples and pears take over. This crisp is inspired by late spring’s fresh rhubarb and boysenberries. I spied the berries at our local farmers market this weekend. Boysenberries peak in a relatively short window from late spring to early summer here in California. They resemble a floppy cone-shaped blackberry, and taste like a tart cross between a blackberry and raspberry. Next to the berries was a wicker basket filled with dainty upright new rhubarb stalks awash in green and pink. The colorful message was clear: Come and get us.

The topping for this dessert is gluten-free. It’s crisp, nutty, and sweet, faintly spiced with cinnamon. Whether you are gluten-free or not, it’s delicious. If you don’t have access to boysenberries, feel free to substitute blackberries or raspberries.

Rhubarb Boysenberry Crisp

Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: about 1 hour, plus cooling time
Serves 6

Topping:
3/4 cup almond meal
3/4 cup rolled oats (gluten-free or regular)
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, chilled

Filling:
1 1/2 pounds rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
2 cups boysenberries
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Combine all of the topping ingredients, except the butter, in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to coarsely chop the walnuts. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

2. Place the rhubarb and half of the boysenberries in a bowl. Sprinkle the sugar over and gently mix to combine. Whisk the lemon juice and cornstarch in a small bowl. Pour over the fruit, add the zest, and gently stir to coat. Spread the fruit in an 8 x 8-inch (or similar size) baking dish, or, alternatively, divide the fruit between individual gratin dishes. Arrange the remaining boysenberries over the top of the fruit, and then evenly spread the topping over the fruit.

3. Bake in the oven until the topping is golden brown, the rhubarb is soft, and the juices are bubbling, about 45 minutes. If the topping browns before the filling is fully cooked, then loosely cover with foil to prevent burning. Remove and cool. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Rhubarb Boysenberry Crisp – Gluten Free

berry crisp

It was one-stop shopping at the farmer’s market this weekend. A little rickety table in the far corner of the maze of our Sunday market was lined with pint-sized cartons seeping with blue-violet blotches. They brimmed with wild raspberries, blueberries, and – best of all – boysenberries, a tart flamboyant cone-shaped berry resembling a floppy blackberry. Next to the berries was a wide wicker basket filled with dainty upright rhubarb stalks awash in green and fuschia. The message was clear: Come and get it. And so I did.

Rhubarb Boysenberry Crisp (Gluten-Free)

I made this dessert for our dinner guests that night, one of whom is gluten-free. The topping was crisp, nutty and sweet, faintly spiced with cinnamon – delicious for gluten-free and gluten-lovers alike. Serves 6.

Topping:
3/4 cup almond meal
3/4 cup oats (gluten-free or regular)
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, chilled

Filling:
1 1/2 pounds rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
2 cups boysenberries
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Combine all of the topping ingredients, except the butter, in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to coarsely chop the walnuts. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

Place the rhubarb and half of the boysenberries in an 8 x 8-inch (or similar size) baking dish. Sprinkle the sugar over and gently mix to combine. Whisk the orange juice and cornstarch in a small bowl. Pour over the fruit and gently stir to coat. Arrange the remaining boysenberries over the top of the fruit, then evenly spread the topping over the fruit.

Bake in the oven until the topping is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling, about 45 minutes. If the topping browns before the filling is fully cooked, then loosely cover with foil to prevent burning. Remove and cool. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Apple Cranberry Crisp

Apple Cranberry Crisp

~ Apple and Cranberry Crisp with Calvados Cream ~

If it’s not broken, then don’t fix it. Sage advice in life and the kitchen, and very relevant to this fruit crisp. A good fruit crisp (or crumble – I go both ways) should contain seasonal fruit at it’s peak in flavor, subtley enhanced with a dusting of sugar and spice. The topping should be crisp and crumbly (see why I go both ways?) without being cloyingly over-sweet, allowing the fruit to shine through. I like to serve crisps with whipped cream, ever so lightly sweetened and fortified with a nip of spirits dictated by the fruit of choice. Everything works together, and when you have a recipe that encourages this, don’t mess with it. I love this crisp, and I think you will too.

Apple Cranberry Crisp

I used walnuts for this crisp, but feel free to switch them for hazelnuts, almonds or pecans, depending on the fruit you use. For this crisp I used apples given to me from a friend’s tree – my guess is they are Honeycrisp – and Granny Smith which I like for baking. Serves 8.

For the topping:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled, cut in pieces
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts

For the filling:
8 large baking apples, peeled, quartered, cut in 3/4 inch chunks
1/2 cup dried cranberries or 1 cup fresh cranberries
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375 F. (190 C.) Combine flour, sugars, cinnamon and salt in bowl of a food processor. Briefly pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse until topping resembles coarse meal. Transfer to a bowl and stir in walnuts. (Topping may be made up to one day in advance. Cover and refrigerate until use).

Combine apples and cranberries in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients; toss to combine. Transfer fruit to a 9-by-13 inch baking pan, gratin dish or individual ramekins.  Cover evenly with the topping. Bake in oven until topping is golden brown and fruit is bubbling, about 50 minutes. (If using individual ramekins, the baking time will be shortened to about 40 minutes). Remove from oven and cool slightly before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature with Calvados Cream.

Calvados Cream

2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons Calvados Brandy

Beat cream in bowl of electric mixer until whisk traces are visible in the cream. Add sugar and Calvados. Continue to beat until soft peaks form.

Pear and Prune Crumble with Armagnac Cream

Pear and Prune Crumble with Armagnac Cream

I almost didn’t post this recipe for Pear and Prune Crumble, since there are other similar recipes on TasteFood. Then I gave it some more thought: Crumbles are homey and rustic, easy to prepare and flexible with ingredients. They can be dressed up or simplified and are a surefire crowd pleaser. That’s worth sharing as an example – again.

A year round dessert, the crumble is forgiving. It effortlessly absorbs the season’s best fruit, tossed with some sugar and spice, then crowned with a streusel topping. Its nuance rests in the choice of fruit and spice. Summer begs for berries and stone fruit and a wisp of spice. Fall beckons apples, cranberries and bolder mulling spices. In the winter I prefer the prolific pear. Sturdy and gently perfumed, the pear provides a soft spoken backdrop for the filling, which I like to punctuate with intensely flavored prunes. As the crumble bakes, the prunes break down adding a rich and winey flavor, further amplified by a heady trio of spices – cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg.

To this particular recipe I also added frozen wild blueberries, which  I happened to have in my freezer and wanted to use up (as I said, crumbles are forgiving.) I served this dessert topped with Armagnac Spiked Whipped Cream which adds an appropriately warm and fortifiying kick to a winter crumble.

Pear and Prune Crumble with Hazelnut Streusel and Armagnac Cream

Serves 8-10

For the topping:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled
1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped

For the filling:
8 ripe but firm Bartlett pears, cored peeled, cut in 1 inch chunks
20 prunes, pitted and halved
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
Zest of one lemon
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup frozen wild blueberries (optional)

Armagnac Spiked Whipped Cream (recipe below)

Prepare the topping:
Whisk together all the ingredients except the butter and hazelnuts in a large bowl. Add butter and work into the topping, using your fingertips, until the it resembles coarse meal. Stir in hazelnuts. Cover and refrigerate until use.

Prepare the crumble:
Preheat oven to 375 F. (190 C.) Butter a rectangular baking dish.
Place all of the filling ingredients (except the blueberries) in a large bowl. Toss to combine. Pour into the baking dish. Scatter blueberries over the fruit if using. Spoon the topping evenly over the fruit. Bake in the oven until pears are soft and topping is golden brown, about 50 minutes. Remove and cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature with Armagnac Spiked Whipped Cream.

Armagnac Spiked Whipped Cream
Makes 2 cups (recipe may be halved)

2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons Armagnac

Beat cream in bowl of electric mixer with a wire whisk until thickened. Add sugar and armagnac. Continue to beat until soft peaks form. Refrigerate until use. (May be made up to 4 hours in advance.)

Pear Plum and Blueberry Crisp with Hazelnut Streusel

Pear Plum and Blueberry Crisp with Hazelnut Streusel

Pear Crisp tf

When I have a lot of fruit lying about, I make a crisp. It’s an efficient way to use up ripe fruit, and a perfect expression of the season’s ingredients. Not only that, it’s a great way to serve dessert to a crowd. Unfussy to prepare, the assembled crisp may be refrigerated up to 3 hours before baking. For a dinner party I’ll pop it in the oven when we sit down to eat the main course. Then it’s ready and piping hot when it’s time for dessert.

Feel free to combine several fruits in a crisp. I like to mix 2-3 types of fruit, choosing for a variety of colors and textures as well as a balance between sweetness and tartness in flavor.  Pears are prominent at the farmer’s market now as well as late season plums and berries. For this crisp I combined softly sweet bosc pears with spiced plums and tart blueberries.

Pear Plum and Blueberry Crisp with Hazelnut Streusel

Serves 10-12

For the topping:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled, cut in 1/2″ cubes
1/2 cup toasted, skinned and chopped hazelnuts

For the filling:
6 large Bosc pears, about 3 pounds, peeled cored, cut in 1″ chunks
6 plums, halved, each half quartered
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
zest from one lemon
1 pint blueberries

Prepare topping:
Mix flour, sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together in a medium bowl. Add butter and rub in with fingers until topping resembles coarse meal. Mix in hazelnuts. (Topping may be prepared up to one day in advance. Refrigerate until use.)

Prepare filling:
Preheat oven to 375 F. (190 C.)
Combine all of the ingredients except the blueberries in a large bowl. Toss to combine. Spread in a rectangular baking dish. Scatter blueberries over the filling. Cover the filling evenly with the topping.
Bake until bubbly and golden brown on top, about 50 minutes. Remove and serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla or cinnamon ice cream.

Summer Comfort Food: Nectarine, Blueberry and Raspberry Crisp

Summer Comfort Food: Nectarine, Blueberry and Raspberry Crisp

Nectarine Raspberry Crisp

I confess to being a glutton when it comes to stone fruit. There is a window of time when peaches, apricots, nectarines and plums run rampant at the market. Vibrantly hued and mottled in purples, oranges, fuscias and crimson, their flesh is a perfect balance of sweet, tangy, winey, and tart.  I could eat them all day long, but then my stomach would hurt.  At this time when these gifts are abundant, I tend to overshop. My kitchen counters are lined with bowls and baskets brimming with fruit.  So, it’s no surprise that even in our home, all of this fruit cannot be eaten at their peak of ripeness.  Some start to get a little too ripe, buried at the bottom of the bowl, or even passed over for the newest batch from the market.  As I said, I have indulgence issues.

This is the moment when a crumble or crisp comes in handy.  It’s desserts’ equivalent to a homey vegetable soup.  Gather up all the ripe, somewhat passed fruit (as you might with vegetables for a soup), cut and chop and pile them in a baking dish.  Garnish with berries and pile on the topping.  The tartness of the berries balances the sweetness of the stone fruit, and with little added sugar the result is a rich, murky, sweet – but not cloying, perfumed stew of summer fruit. It’s best served warm, but not piping hot, since that will mask the flavor of the fruit. A dollop of high quality vanilla ice cream or whipped cream adds a cool foil to the warm, more-ish fruit.

Nectarine, Blueberry and Raspberry Crisp
Serves 8

For the topping:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut in small cubes

For the fruit:
2 pounds nectarines (or combination of nectarines, plums, peaches), halved and pitted, cut in 1″ chunks
1 cup raspberries
1 cup blueberries
2 tablespoons sugar

Prepare topping:
Combine dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.  Mix well to combine.  Add butter, and work in with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. (Topping may be prepared one day in advance.  Cover and refrigerate until use.)

Prepare crisp:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Arrange nectarines in rectangular baking dish.  Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar.  Arrange raspberries and blueberries over nectarines.  Cover fruit evenly with topping. Bake in oven until topping is golden brown and fruit is bubbling, 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool briefly.  Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Nectarine, Blueberry and Raspberry Crisp

Nectarine, Blueberry and Raspberry Crisp

Nectarine, Raspberry, Blueberry Crumble tf

I confess to being a glutton when it comes to stone fruit. There is a window of time when peaches, nectarines and plums run rampant at the market. Vibrantly hued and mottled in purples, oranges, fuscias and crimson, their flesh is a perfect balance of sweet, tangy, winey, and tart.  I could eat them all day long, but then my stomach would hurt.  At this time when these gifts are abundant, I tend to overshop.  (It’s no secret that I have indulgence issues at farmers’ markets.)  My kitchen counters are lined with bowls and baskets brimming with fruit.  So, it’s no surprise that even in our home, all of this fruit cannot be eaten at the peak of ripeness.  Some start to get a little too ripe, buried at the bottom of the bowl, or even passed over for the newest batch from the market.  As I said, I have indulgence issues.

This is the moment when a crumble or crisp comes in handy.  It’s desserts’ equivalent to a homey vegetable soup.  Gather up all the ripe, somewhat passed fruit (as you might with vegetables for a soup), cut and chop and pile them in a baking dish.  Garnish with berries and pile on the topping.  The tartness of the berries balances the sweetness of the stone fruit, and with little added sugar the result is a rich, murky, sweet – but not cloying – perfumed stew of summer fruit. It’s best served warm, but not piping hot, since that will mask the flavor of the fruit. A dollop of high quality vanilla ice cream or whipped cream adds a cool foil to the warm, more-ish fruit.

Nectarine, Blueberry and Raspberry Crisp

You can use any stone fruit for the crisp. Try any combination of plums, peaches and nectarines. The addition of raspberries and blueberries adds tartness and color.

Serves 8

For the topping:
1 1/2 cups (170 g.) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (100 g.) brown sugar
1/4 cup (55 g.) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (170 g.) unsalted butter, cut in small cubes

For the fruit:
2 lbs.(1 kg.) nectarines (or use a combination of nectarines, plums, peaches), halved and pitted, cut in 1″ chunks
1 cup (150 g.) raspberries
1 cup (150 g.) blueberries
2 tablespoons sugar

Prepare topping:
Combine dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.  Mix well to combine.  Add butter, and work in with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. (Topping can be prepared one day in advance.  Cover and refrigerate until use.)

Prepare crisp:
Preheat oven to 350 F. (180 C.)
Arrange nectarines in rectangular baking dish.  Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar.  Arrange raspberries and blueberries over nectarines.  Cover fruit evenly with topping. Bake in oven until topping is golden brown and fruit is bubbling, 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool briefly.  Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.