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Strawberry & Nectarine Crisp

Strawberry & Nectarine Crisp
When your kitchen is bursting with fresh fruit during the summer, fruit cobblers and crisps are a natural choice for the dessert menu. They’re easy to make and put that fruit to good use before it starts to wilt in the summer heat. Best of all is that, while they do require a short trip into the oven, they’re ready to eat almost immediately and can be cooled down with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream. This Strawberry & Nectarine Crisp is a summery combination that is always a hit at my house. It uses sliced nectarines and ripe strawberries, topping them with a buttery oatmeal streusel.

Nectarines aren’t used quite as often as peaches for baking, but they might be even more delicious. Nectarines not only have a wonderful honeyed sweetness, they have a subtle floral aroma that makes them a star in my book. I use sliced fresh nectarines in this crisp, but you can use frozen sliced nectarines if you only have those on hand. The nectarines do not need to be peeled because their thin skins are very tender, though you can if you don’t mind spending a few extra minutes on prep work. The strawberries, unlike the nectarines, should be used fresh. Frozen berries are too soft and release too much liquid when baked into this cobbler. The dish will still taste good, however it is a bit better when fresh berries are used.

Once your crisp is baked, serve it in generous scoops while it is still warm. The strawberries and nectarines are an outstanding combination and the nutty, buttery, crispy topping adds just the right amount of texture to contrast with the tender fruits. Leftovers can be refrigerated and reheated, if desired, before serving again.

Strawberry & Nectarine Crisp
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup oatmeal (pref. quick cooking)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter, cold
16-oz sliced nectarines, fresh or frozen
16-oz strawberries, hulled
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch

Preheat oven to 350F.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, oatmeal, cinnamon and salt. Cut butter into flour mixture using your fingertips or a pastry cutter until butter is very well integrated and no pieces larger than a small pea remain.
In a large bowl, combine nectarines, strawberries, vanilla, sugar and cornstarch. Stir until combined. Pour fruit mixture into an 8×8-inch square baking pan.
Grab handfuls of the oatmeal mixture and squeeze them tightly to form larger, streusel-like crumbles. Sprinkle evenly over the top of the fruit.
Bake for about 55-60 minutes, until fruit mixture is bubbling around the sides of the pan and fruit is tender.
Serve warm.

Serves 6-8.

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