And also my excuse for spending an hour or so making it, rather than writing.
Recipe derived from a '00s edition of the Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook.
- 5 cups of sliced fruit: apples, pears, peaches, apricots, whatever. If using any type of frozen fruit, thaw, but don't drain. I basically always get my "5 cups" by taking my 4 cup pyrex measuring cup, and filling to the brim; I figure there's about one cup above the 4-cup line.
- zest from two small lemons or one medium-to-large one; orange zest would work fine too; this is optional, but tasty
- For a sweet fruit, like strawberries or stone fruits, 2 to 3 tablespoons granulated sugar. If using blueberries, increase to 4 tablespoons. For tart cherries, increase to 1/2 cup. For rhubarb, increase to 3/4 cup.
- Mix 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour, and a very small amount of salt (maybe 1/8 tsp?) with the sugar, prior to tossing it with the fruit. You can substitute ~1.5 tbsp of tapioca powder, if you're trying to stay gluten free, or if you just like the glossy appearance and the texture that tapioca gets you (which I do).
Combine filling ingredients in a shallow two-quart baking dish.
Pre-heat oven to 375°F.
Edited to add, in late October: I've been making this about every couple of weeks since May, with various fruit, and I eventually decided that it's much tastier when you up the amount of topping by 50%, for the stated amount of fruit. You can try it the way it's listed below, but I recommend going with 1.5 times more of everything... Oh, and I think the best crisp I made was the apple-peach-strawberry crisp, with 4x fruit (20 cups) and 6x the original topping amount. Had to spread it out across five different baking dishes. I took that to a big party held for the first presidential debate, along with yogurt for topping (instead of ice cream; it's just as tasty -- I actually like it better, b/c of how the tartness contrasts with the sweetness -- and much better for you).
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup (packed, not loose) brown sugar
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (or gluten-free oat flour, if that's how you roll)
- spices, to taste; the recipe suggested 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, which is way too little spice; I probably used about 1.5 teaspoons of spice total, mixing allspice, cardamom cinnamon, clove, ginger, and nutmeg; for some fruits, tossing the fruit with a bit of vanilla extract before adding the sugar (and flour, if appropiate) might work well
- 1/4 cup butter (half a standard stick) cut into small cubes (I cut it 4x4x4, and that worked well)
- If you buy unsalted butter, add another pinch of salt (1/8 tsp?) into the topping
- 1/4 cup chopped nuts and/or shredded unsweetened fresh coconut
In a large bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, flour, spices. Add butter and mix til you get coarse crumbs. The easiest way to get the right texture for crisp topping is to clean and dry your hands, and then pinch bits of the dry mix around the cubes of butter. Keep doing that as long as you can see identifiable bits of butter, then add the nuts and/or coconut and squish everything around a bit more. It helps if you have a friend who can scrape topping bits off your fingers with the back of a knife, when you're done.
Sprinkle topping evenly over filling.
Place baking dish in oven. I suggest putting the baking dish on top of another dish (say, a cookie sheet), so that if fruit juices bubble over they won't make a mess in the bottom of your oven.
Bake for 30-35 minutes (40 if fruit started out frozen), til topping begins to brown.
What I actually made last night was strawberry-rhubarb -- two pints of strawberries from the farmshare and three stalks of rhubarb from a friend's garden. Tasty for breakfast, topped with yogurt.