UPDATE (August 15, 2014): In my efforts to preserve the harvest, I froze apricots and cherries hoping I could make apricot and cherry crisp later in the year. For the apricots, I simply washed them and sliced them in half to remove the pit. I froze them initially on cookie sheets in my freezer, similar to the method of initially freezing cherries. Then, I vacuum sealed 2 lbs. of apricots in gallon sized bags. So, I had 2 lbs. of apricots in one bag and 1 lbs. of bing cherries frozen in another bag. I defrosted each in my microwave just enough to get them soft, but still cold (for my reference 7 minutes on 5 power for apricots and 3 minutes on 5 power for cherries). To adapt the recipe, I simply added 3 tablespoons of cornstarch instead of 1.5 tablespoons of cornstarch, because I assumed there would be more liquid. When you freeze fruit you rupture the cells in the fruit, thus releasing more liquid. The recipe and process totally worked. In fact, my apricot cherry crisp tastes better using frozen fruit. The best part of all is finding out my frozen apricots and cherries are WAY more delightful than anything you could ever buy in the store. I cannot believe how fresh, sweet and absolutely delicious perfectly ripe frozen apricots and cherries can be. Next year, do yourself a favor and freeze your own fruit. You won’t regret it. My oh my oh my oh my oh my!!! OKSOIAMALITTLEEXCITED!!!
But can you blame me? Apricots are in season! Here’s the first of several recipes I’ll be posting about apricots, apricot cherry crisp. Nothing better in life than apricots. And yes, I did the happy duck dance when I picked up my box of freshly picked apricots.
Here’s the thing I love about apricots. They grow naturally well in mountainous regions. The mountains get all the good fruit: apricots, peaches, cherries, apples, etc. The reason they grow well in mountainous areas is that they require dry cold climates. I have yet to figure out how California became the major US producer of apricots and not Utah. I have the same rant about peaches and Georgia, because that’s another fruit that needs dry cold weather. If you want to enjoy some of the best tasting stone fruit, you need to come to Utah.
For the apricot cherry crisp, you just need fresh yummy fruit and enough dry ingredients to make a crisp topping. This is a very inelegant dessert, but so so delicious. I’ve made crisps for dinner parties and gatherings. It’s filled with fruit and very refreshing. I’m not a huge fan of overly rich desserts and always prefer something with fruit when possible.
Apricot Cherry Crisp
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 pounds apricots, pitted and quartered
- 1 pound sweet cherries, pitted and halved
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
- Using your fingers or the paddle attachment of a mixer, work the butter with the brown sugar, flour, oats, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon until you have a coarse, crumbly mixture.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Lightly butter a 2 1/2-quart gratin dish.
- Pit the apricots and cut into quarters.
- Pit the cherries and slice them in two or leave whole.
- Toss the fruit with the sugar, cornstarch, and almond extract.
- Lay the fruit in the prepared gratin dish and cover with the topping.
- Place the dish on a parchment-lined baking sheet to catch any spills, and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the crumble is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling.
- Remove the crisp from the oven and allow it to cool completely. Serve with vanilla or honey ice cream or whipped cream.
- Recipe adapted from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone