Saturday, September 6, 2014

La Rentrée: Baked Blueberry & Peach Crisp

As long as the greengrocers on rue d'Abbesses are constructing pyramids of nectarines and plums, I will cling to summer's stone fruits and berries. I am not quite ready to transition to apples and caramel and pumpkin spice everything.

In France, September heralds "la rentrée" (literally, "the return"): kids go back to school, restaurants and shops reopen after the August holidays, and Paris' storefronts sparkle with signs wishing passersby a "bonne rentrée!"

I picked up some peaches and blueberries from the market during the week, and today I made a simple crisp. Dessert for breakfast? Yes, please. For me, the inclusion of oats and butter means that it's inherently a morning indulgence, anyway. The crème fraîche I added was intended to soften the blow of a 7 am wake up call. No one complained. I think it worked.

Baked Blueberry and Peach Crisp
(barely adapted from recipe found on CHOW)


150 g brown sugar
65 g oats (not instant)
50 g flour
5 g cinnamon
pinch of sea salt
85 g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes


70 g brown sugar
juice of ½ a lemon
10 g cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt
5 medium peaches (pitted, halved, and cut into crescents)
1 punnet blueberries

To make the topping:

1. Place all ingredients in a large bowl, and work butter through fingers until large clumps form and everything is mixed together.
2. Separate into bean-sized pieces, cover the bowl with cling film, and refrigerate. (If you're making the crisp for breakfast, you can do this the night before and save time in the morning.)

For the filling:

1. Preheat oven to 220 degrees C.
2. Put brown sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add the peaches and blueberries - stir genty until the fruit is evenly coated.
3. Pour the mixture into a glass or ceramic baking dish and smooth the fruit into a layer, covering the base of the dish.
4. Remove the topping from the fridge, and break up any large pieces that have formed. Sprinkle topping evenly over fruit mixture.
5. Bake for approx 25 minutes, until topping is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
6. Set aside for 30 minutes before serving - this will allow the topping to become crispy!
7. Serve with whipped cream, yogurt, crème fraîche, or, if feeling particularly decadent, vanilla ice cream. And coffee. Always coffee.

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