"I think it's nice that there are all different kinds of lunches and breakfasts and dinners and snacks. I think eating is nice." – Albert from Bread and Jam for Frances, by Russell C. Hoban
Crisp is my favorite, go-to, dessert. It makes use of aging fruit – just trim carefully as needed – and it’s a good answer, year-round with whatever’s in season. There are those who prefer it served warm with a melting scoop of ice cream or sorbet at the close of a meal eaten outside on the porch or in the Sukkah., and there are those, like myself, who love it cold for breakfast, or for a midday snack. Toppings can be oat or flour based, softly browned or more hard and crispy on top. With nuts or without. A mix of fruits or basic and always delightful apple. Experiment based on what’s in season and what varieties mix well together when cooked. What they don’t need to be is over-sweetened. Let the fruit offer its own natural sweetening, and the topping a lightly sweetened counterpoint.
9×13 baking dish and oven at 375/350. The method is simple. Prepare the fruit with a good amount of citrus juices to keep the flavors crisp and clean. Prebake for a bit before adding the topping so that the fruit cooks to the right tenderness. Eat it fresh, if you can, so you can benefit from the ‘crispness,’ and enjoy the leftovers…at breakfast, or whenever.
2 limes, zested and juiced
2 clementines, juiced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
6-8 apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced in half moons.
10 red plums, stoned and thinly sliced in half moons.
Drizzle honey or agave – to your taste, approximately 1/8-1/4 cup
Finely candied ginger, chopped – 100 grams, or about 1/2 cup.
Combine fruit, juice/zest, ginger and sweetener. Pour into an ungreased baking pan, and cover lightly with foil. Bake for 20-30 until beginning to soften and juice up. Can bake the fruit at higher temp but lower before you put it back in with the topping. Meanwhile make topping.
3 cups ground almonds (almond flour)
1/4 cups ground coconut (coconut flour) – sift for lumps
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom
1 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cloves
Wet – combine and whisk together.
1/4 cup agave
1/4 cup silan, date syrup (make sure it’s without sugar or corn syrup).
Note: You could use all honey or maple syrup
1/3 grapeseed or canola oil
Next steps: Pour wet ingredients on dry. Mix together and fold well, incorporating dry into wet. Will be a moist topping. Spoon on top of partially cooked fruit, making sure to get blobs into the corners. Don’t spread it into a uniform layer, it will do that as it bakes for the most part. Lower the oven to 350, and bake for 20-30 minutes, checking after 20 for fast browning because of the agave/silan combo. You can always cover very lightly as needed if the fruit isn’t juiced up and cooked and the topping not fully browned.
Finally: Best eaten fresh when the topping is not yet sogged up from the fruit and from the crisp’s eventual refrigeration. Delightful with some ice cream or sorbet.