This week I faced the challenge of doing justice to some ridiculously perfect summer fruit: four big, sweet and juicy peaches and a pint of perfectly plump, sweet-tart Chester blackberries. Organic, Oregon-grown, some of mother nature’s finest work– my job was not to screw them up.
So, I dusted off a super simple crumble recipe (more of a formula, really) that I’ve been fine-tuning since last summer. It was originally inspired by this elegant crumble from the always amazing La Tartine Gourmande.
The honey flavor of the peaches and the juicy tang from the blackberries shone through. The crumble top had the perfect amount of heft and texture to complement the oozy fruit. I’m not sure I had ever combined blackberries and peaches before, but I certainly will from now on, they make a great pair.
The timing and little effort required for this crumble make it work really well for summer entertaining. I like to cut up the fruit and mix it with the sugar and starch when I start making dinner and then top it and toss it in the oven when we sit down to eat. About 45 minutes later (allowing baking and cooling time), I feel like the Barefoot Contessa whisking still-warm dishes of summer goodness out to the back patio.
Fruit filling ingredients:
4 medium to large ripe but still firm peaches, sliced
1 pint blackberries
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar (or cane sugar)
1 tablespoon arrowroot starch (or corn starch)
3/4 coconut palm sugar (or cane sugar)
1 cup almond meal/flour
3/4 cup millet flour (brown rice flour or all purpose flour would also work well)
1/2 cup of rolled oats
1/2 cup of refined expeller-pressed coconut oil (or butter)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Combine fruit, 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar and arrowroot starch in a large bowl. Mix well and let stand for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine all topping ingredients in a medium bowl. Mash together with a fork to from crumbles.
Pour fruit into a greased baking dish. Top with crumble mixture. Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees until top is golden and fruit is bubbly.
Allow to cool slightly and serve. Top with a scoop of ice cream, whipped cream, or a splash of coconut milk or half and half if you wish.
Note: This recipe formula works with all kinds of fruit. I’ve used it to make crumble using one or more types of berries, just nectarines/peaches, or plums. I haven’t tried apple yet, but I bet that would work too. Just use amounts of fruit that are roughly equal to what’s called for here. Basically, you want to be able to thickly cover the bottom of your baking dish with fruit.