Can you feel summer plowing its way over spring?
There are momentary teases. A few brief days of 90-degree weather that dwindles down to breezy 70s. The light that stays out more and more each evening. Moving my car under the shade at work. Memorial Day weekend. The abundance of stone fruit at fruit stands, farmers markets and grocery stores.
In the past, I haven't been the biggest fan of summer. Take last year for instance. How many times did I mention that I was done with the 100+ days? This year, I think I'm looking forward to it despite those 100+ days when I know I'll regret these words. There will be lazy summer evenings, cool and refreshing drinks, ice cream and sorbets that will melt too fast, summer movies, book reading, 4th of July plans, a week and some days in Hawaii and let's not forget the produce of summer. It's the stone fruit, man, that calls me to accept the heat and enjoy summer.
This crumble is a bit premature but it doesn't matter that the fruit isn't at its peak yet. As it cooks down, the flavors meld and sweeten together.
I avoid turning on my oven when it's about as hot outside as it is inside unless something especially peaks my interest so I felt like I had to make this now, while it's still decently cool out.
Crumbles are one of those desserts that require little precise measuring and utensils. You could guesstimate what goes into it and it'll still turn out fine. For this one, I used a variety of stone fruit and raspberries. You could go all berry or all peaches, too, but I like the flavor of all of the fruit mashed together. I made something similar last year—a peach crisp to be exact but the topping for this one is a little bit different. It stays crisp longer and is buttery without being overwhelmingly rich.
And if you were uber lazy, you could mix the fruit in your baking dish so there's one less bowl to wash.
Generously top with the crumble and bake until golden brown and crisp.
P.S. I will turn on my oven for more of these over the summer as long as there is vanilla ice cream around.
Stone Fruit and Raspberry Crumble
Adapted from The Blueberry Crumble in Maida Heatter's Book of Great American Desserts
Yields: 8 servings
I used a 10-inch cast iron skillet but this recipe can be baked in any other ovenproof dish or divided into individual ramekins.
Flour or cornstarch can be subbed for tapioca starch if you don't have it on hand. I like the consistency of tapioca starch as a thickener the best.
5 cups stone fruit, cut into large wedges
1 cup fresh raspberries
⅓ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
3 tablespoons tapioca starch
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 teaspoons lemon juice
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
½ cup cold butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
½ cup old fashioned oats
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Combine the fruit, brown sugar, tapioca starch, cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon juice in a large bowl or your chosen baking dish. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, use your fingertips or a pastry cutter to combine the flour, nutmeg, brown sugar, butter and oats until a course crumble has formed. Evenly top the fruit with the crumble.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and crispy and the fruit is hot and bubbly.
Let cool for 5-10 minutes before digging in. Top with vanilla ice cream if desired but highly recommended!