a crisp of stone fruits
apricots, cherries, plums
sublime in their ecstasy dancing,
sweating sweet sunny juices of summer
What is it about stone fruits that makes them so amiable and easy-going? Such contented things. Never any squabbling. Never an ego out of control. No matter which of them is in the bunch, it’s in all ways pure sweet harmony.
I’ve made this crisp in many combinations and it always tastes … well, sort of perfect. This time it was with a crowd of them all – some just slightly under-ripe, holding their shape while adding a bit of tartness, other dripping their ripe sweet juices over the cutting board onto the counter. The addition of bing cherries (though no more than a good fragrant handful) colored the entire dish with the blush of magenta. Here is a dessert, baked but simple, without secrets or special formulas, and full of summer’s freshness and freedoms.
- 3 T. unsalted butter, broken into several pieces (see NOTE)
- 3 T. walnut oil
- ½ to ¾ cup brown sugar
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
NOTE: instead of using a combination of butter and walnut oil, you could simply use 6 T. butter. Or all walnut oil. Or 3 T. butter & 3 T. coconut oil. Such freedom.
Either using your fingers and kneading together the ingredients or using the paddle attachment of your mixer, work the ingredients together until you have a mixture resembling coarse crumbs. Set aside.
The following recipe will fill a 2½-quart gratin dish. On this occasion, I separated the recipe into 3 separate baking dishes, baking them all together, but only serving one. The others will be gently reheated for serving later – perhaps even for some special breakfast, served alongside cold Greek yogurt drizzled in honey.
A Crisp of Assorted Stone Fruits
- 3 pounds (about 1.5 kg) assorted stone fruits
- ¼ cup sugar (nice with vanilla bean scented sugar if you have it)
- ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon allspice
- ½ teaspoon coriander
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
When selecting fruits, a combination of ripe and slightly under-ripe fruits work to produce the most balanced flavors.
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
Wash fruit, remove stones and pits. Cut cherries in halves, all other fruits in approximately ½-inch slices. Mix the sugar with all the spices and then sprinkle over the fruit. Toss together and tumble into buttered baking dish (or dishes) of your choice. ( See below for baking times.)
Sprinkle crisp topping over all and pop into a pre-heated oven.
Baking times: For the 2½ quart gratin dish, about 45 minutes. When splitting it into smaller dishes, look for fruit juices to be bubbling up through the crisp topping and for the topping to be nicely browned. Usually 30 to 35 minutes will do the job.
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Yes, such freedom in this the most wonderful season of all! Spree, the language used here is painting me a picture almost as gorgeous a your photos – this looks so comforting. A masterpiece!
Shira, m’deara! You’re so kind! Thank you! I think you’re right about this dessert being comforting – with roots stretching back who-knows-how-far, and all these fruits straight from the earth, it’s sort of bound to be, right? xxoo!
Totally Spree! There are so many wonderful versions – and each chef brings his (or her) own touch – yours looks out of this world yummy!
I hadn’t noticed how remarkably cooperative stone fruits tend to be, until you wrote about them! of course they are! I have been having the same reaction as Shira…whatever you don’t show with your luscious pics, you image with your evocative words! I feel like I’m finding out who these fruits are for the first time! I must make a summer crisp & really meet them. 🙂
Oh Carolyn, I think you might just have made my day! In this context, I don’t think there’re words that could please me more! Thank you so very much! Truly…!
Thanks for sharing (more like making me hungry) – ha! Love crisps and so, so easy to make:)
Stone fruit are, for me, a high point of Summer. I just cannot get my fill of them and really enjoy searching and selecting them at the farmers market. This crisp is just too good to be true. All of my favorites in one bowl, with a crispy topping, to boot! YAY!!!!
I’ve pinned it so that I won’t lose it. Thanks, Spree!
I just read an article this morning John touting the amazing health benefits of stone fruits. Who knew what we love so much could be so good for us? (I just finished my lunch, and had another – er, generous – spoonful. For my health mind you. I promise, you’ll like this one, a lot!)
I have to make this!!! Gorgeous!
You won’t be sorry Anna! Thank you!
What a beautiful recipe!
Oh, so beautiful and so tempting! The apple crisp of fall and winter pales in comparison to the jewel-like tones of this dish, and the taste … so vivid even in my imagination. Truly a beautiful fruit crisp. I must say, I do like your idea of having this for breakfast!
Apricots, cherries and plums. Oh my.
I cannot think of a better summer dessert made with my favorite fruits – thank you! I hadn’t heard of walnut oil until spree introduced me 🙂
I love the beauty of these no-ego, contented fruits. Haha. These photos are amazing — I wanna bite of your crisp now!
Beautiful post. The pictures really sing. Nice one.
Looks delicious, and I’m loving the deep rick colours. Beautifully photographed, as always.
Anyone or anything wouldn’t squabble under your gentle amiable hands, spree! What a bounty of lovely summer served up in such pretty individual dishes. The addition of cardamom must have been heavenly! Lucky are those that sat down to dip a spoon into these crisps!!
I love your first photo, it’s almost like a still-life painting.. perfect with your poem. xx Smidge
Beautiful photos such lush autumn colours. We call crisp ‘crumble’ here in Blighty!
My goodness, your pictures are beautiful! This looks like a great transition from summer into fall.
I adore fruit crisps and usually make mine with a combo of berries and stone fruits, but after reading your recipe, my next one will be all stone fruits for sure! I usually just use cinnamon, but I can just taste how good all of these warming spices would be with the stone fruits.
Hello, I log on to your blogs like every week. Your story-telling style is witty, keep up the good work!