Shelby has an amazing talent for combining fruit, a bit of sugar, flour and spices into a dish I want to eat for breakfast, lunch or dessert. Remember this Blueberry Bread Pudding? This Crisp is no different and uses my favorite fruit – ripe nectarines. Blueberries aren’t bad either. And when you add oats, oh, yum. You can tell Shelby how much you love this recipe in person at the Eat Boutique Fall Market on September 22. – Maggie
Late summer weekends call for get-togethers with friends, spending as much time outside as possible, and simple, seasonal desserts. If you are like me, sometime after August 1, the little nagging voice in your head starts to tell you that summer is almost over (and really, didn’t it JUST begin?), and that it’s time to start getting serious about being laid back. (Yes, I know how crazy that sounds.) This is not the time for meals planned weeks in advance, or desserts that require several days to make. Nope, this is the time to enjoy the perfect ingredients that are flooding the markets, our CSA boxes, and crowding our kitchen counters. This is the season of the fruit crisp!
With that in mind, I did do a little bit of planning ahead earlier this month. I love to cook and bake while away, but it can be tough to find all the ingredients one needs in seldom-used and not fully stocked kitchens. Who wants to buy jars of cinnamon and fresh nutmeg that will only be used a few times a year? So just before we left to join friends at the beach, I threw some oats, flour, brown sugar, pecans and a few spices together into a large mason jar, and then packed it away alongside our books, magazines and swimsuits. I knew that we were heading to an area filled with beautiful farms and markets, and I was itching to whip up a local fruit crisp that Saturday night.
Alas, the Olympics, several glasses of wine, and salted caramel ice cream may have distracted us a bit from baking that evening. No matter, I returned home with my jar o’ crisp ingredients, my freshly procured South Coast fruit, and a plan to make the dessert for a special mid-week treat.
Sure enough, a few days later, I found myself making quick work of a pile of nectarines. I added a pint of blueberries, and then, at the last minute, decided to toss in a bit of bourbon– oh August, you are so wild! I popped open that jar of the dry crisp ingredients, emptied them into a bowl, and cut in chunks of butter. Using my hands, I combined everything together, and the crisp was ready to go into the oven. The whole thing took just minutes, leaving me plenty of time to do my required relaxing out back, and leading me to believe that we should all have jars of crisp ingredients at the ready each August, just in case the moment strikes!
Blueberry and Nectarine Crisp
This crisp recipe can really work with most fruit. Try it with peaches, plums, and, in a few weeks, apples (add some cranberries later this fall, and you will be in heaven!). You can also experiment with the nuts used here–walnuts would also be a great choice.
Makes 6-8 hearty servings
- 3 pounds of nectarines (about 7-8 medium sized nectarines)
- 1 pint of blueberries
- 2 tablespoons of bourbon (optional)
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated, if possible)
- 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Cut up the nectarines, pitting and slicing into eighths or tenths. In a large bowl, toss the nectarines, the blueberries and the bourbon (if using), and set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl, add the flour, oats, sugar, pecans, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg; mix together well. Cut the stick of butter into smaller pieces, then add to the dry mixture. Using your hands, combine the butter and the dry ingredients, until it becomes the texture of crumbly wet sand.
- Lightly butter a pie dish and add the fruit mixture. Gently pour the topping onto the fruit, making an even layer on top. If the crisp is towering high above the sides of the dish, you might want to put it on top of a baking sheet before you put it in the oven, to catch any spills.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes, until you see the fruit juices bubbling along the sides and the topping looks lightly golden brown. Let the crisp cool for at least ten minutes before serving. Top with a spoonful of vanilla ice cream and enjoy!
All photos styled and taken by Shelby Larsson.
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