When I was at the Farm Stand last week, I was faced with a bargain that I could not pass up- over-ripe nectarines and plums for $1 a basket! I bought a small basket of each and then came home and got busy in the kitchen. First up, the nectarine recipe.
Originally I thought I’d make a pound cake with the nectarines, but I find making cakes from scratch a little daunting, having to get the mixer out and precisely measure the ingredients. This is why I love making fruit crumble desserts- the ingredients are much less exacting, and you can experiment with substitutions. Like, if you don’t have any nuts for the topping and you want to throw in some oats instead, that works great. Or if you’ve got a half a box of dried out raisins in the pantry that you’re looking to use up, you can throw them in the fruit filling. Of course, peaches can easily substitute for the nectarines, and feel free to throw in some fresh blueberries if you have them. So, see, you can just “Switcheroo” any of your ingredients and it will still be tasty. (This is what I often refer to as an “un-recipe.”)
So since crumbles are so perfect for experimenting, I made a few changes to how I usually make it. First of all, I didn’t have lemon juice, so I used lime juice. And then I thought, coconut would go really nicely with the lime, so I added shredded coconut to the topping for kind of a “tropical” thing. Finally, I normally use walnuts or almonds, but since I had the very nice Roasted Hazelnuts that the Oh Nuts! company sent me, I used those. They worked perfectly! If you really want to go with a tropical theme here, macadamia nuts would be fabulous.
The other great thing about this topping is that you can use it as the topping on a single crust pie- just put a standard pie crust in the bottom of your pie plate, add your filling, and sprinkle with the topping. Easy and way better than a plain pie crust. And if you find that you have crumble topping left-over, you can freeze it for later. So here it is…..
For the topping:
- 1 cup roughly chopped hazelnuts
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup (packed) brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspooon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons (4 ounces) butter
For the filling:
- 7-8 cups sliced fruit (about 7-8 large nectarines)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- juice from 1 lime (about 4 tablespoons)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- Dash salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place the hazelnuts in a single layer in a dry non-stick pan and heat over medium heat until golden and fragrant, stirring frequently and being careful not to burn. Remove to bowl to cool.
In a large bowl, stir together all of the dry topping ingredients (everything but the butter.) Add the butter and cut in with 2 knives or a pastry blender (I usually start with a pastry blender, and then finish it with my hands). The pieces of butter should be pea sized or smaller. Place in refrigerator.
In a separate large bowl, combine all of the filling ingredients.
Spray a 9 x 13″ baking casserole (glass or ceramic) with non-stick cooking spray. Place filling in casserole.
Sprinkle evenly with crumble topping mixture.
Bake for about 30 minutes until topping is golden and edges are bubbly.
This is unbelievably delicious when served warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
Do you have a favorite “switcheroo” or “un-recipe” that is well suited to substitutions and experimentation? Let us know in the comments :)