Sunday, July 15, 2012
Nectarine and Strawberry Crisp with Rose Sugar
I remember I remember cafeteria lunches in elementary and high school... Unlike Thomas Hood’s memories, however, this one is not too positive. In elementary school, I probably just threw most of the food out. I was a bit of a brat. Now, of course, I can look back and just say I was “discriminating.” Once I got into high school, however, we had many more food choices. You could get limp and tasteless salad, for example, or bland, gelatinous soup, or whatever the main course pretended to be that day. Or, you could get junk food… packaged chocolate chip cookies, gummy bears, chips, pretzels, etc. Naturally, this was where I spent my lunch money. I can feel my mom’s chagrin as she reads this. Seriously, it was a no win situation. But, there were a few exceptions to my forays into junk food nirvana, from which, in just a few short hours, I would come down and be hungry again. Chicken patties would usually lure me into their web of crispy goodness. Spaghetti would occasionally get me. But the real gem, when it was available, was apple crisp. Sure, you had to order it with all the not-so-great “real” food, but it was worth it for the apple crisp. The apple crisp wasn’t spectacular, by any means. But at least it tried. It attempted to bring something delicious to the sparse offerings known as public school cafeterias. And I appreciated its attempts. So in honor of that apple crisp, here is another crisp with strawberries and nectarines (or peaches if you have them on hand). And by the way, I’m really lazy, so I don’t peel the peaches/nectarines. By all means, go for it if that’s what floats your boat, but I don’t think it is worth the time.
2/3 cup oats
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
½ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground almonds
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons dried rose
4 nectarines or peaches, sliced
1 1/2 cups halved strawberries
2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Place the dried rose and the sugar in a spice grinder or food processor and pulse together. Set aside. I like to do this at least a few hours before making the rest of the crisp so that the sugar can mingle with the rose for awhile.
Heat oven to 350. In a medium bowl, mix together the oats, flour, brown sugar, salt, almonds, and flax seeds. Pour in melted butter. Blend the butter with the oat mixture. It may help to use a fork. Once the mixture is coated with the butter, set aside.
Place the nectarine slices and strawberries in a large bowl, and gently mix them with the rose sugar, vinegar, and cornstarch. Place in a greased baking dish (I used a 9-inch round pan). Sprinkle the oat and brown sugar mixture on top of the fruit. Bake for 45 minutes.