Monday, July 18, 2011


It’s the time of the season…no, not for love running high, as The Zombies would have you believe. No, it’s the time of the season for nectarines. (But I do love any song that includes the line “Who’s your daddy?” How can you not?)

Let me take you back a couple weeks. We’re wandering somewhat aimlessly through the aisles of the farmer’s market, not really sure what we need or if we even need anything at all. I’m sipping on my enormous cup of coffee and carrying my enormous purse. Both of these items fall into Andy’s “excessive” category for an event such as this. See, he inevitably ends up holding my coffee since he waits outside the hubbub of each stall…that way my hands are free to shop. To his thinking, since he’s “always” the one holding it, perhaps it would be better if I just left it in the car. But to me, coffee and farmer’s markets just go together. It’s part of the experience. Now with my purse, he may be right. (Don’t tell him I said that.) But it usually bumps into people and comes dangerously close to knocking precious produce of its perch. And so far Andy has not volunteered to hold it. Personally, I think a nice brown leather hobo bag suits him just fine.

Back to the point…just as I’m beginning to wonder how much longer this incredibly extended winter season of root vegetables and greens is going to last, I see piles of stone fruit, sweet corn and squash blossoms. My heart sung. My mind starting racing as I imagined all the lovely summery dishes that this bounty would afford. Juicy nectarines and peaches, plump berries, heirloom tomatoes and spicy peppers are here again! As much as I love turnips and kale, I’m more than ready to say goodbye to them until next year. And come to think of it, I don’t even really like kale all that much...

So for the last several weeks, we’ve been buying the sweetest, juiciest nectarines from my favorite vendor at the market. And each time I eat one, I think of how good they would be baked into a fruit crisp paired with a slightly tart fruit like blackberries or plums.

The perfect opportunity to make this crisp came when I was asked to make a recipe for Smart & Final’s weekly shop, this week using Nilla Wafers in a dish. I haven’t had Nilla Wafers in years, and I’ve always just eaten them as they were meant to be…a cookie. But I knew that their sweet vanilla flavor combined with my hatred of all things dough meant that making a cookie crumb crust was the way for me to go on this dish. Nilla Wafers would be perfect for both the crust and topping of my summer fruit crisp.

Being a part of the #SFSmarties has its advantages…because of this shop, I’m finally making a dish that I’ve been thinking about for weeks. And since I already had in mind exactly what I was going to make, I knew that all I really needed were Nilla Wafers and blackberries. This is such a simple recipe and everything else was already on hand in my pantry. (Except for those luscious nectarines that I’d get at the farmer’s market.)

Now I know that technically a crisp does not have a bottom crust, but to me, anything with a crumbly topping and fruit filling qualifies as a crisp, but call it a pie or a tart if you’d rather.

Nectarine-Blackberry Crisps

Makes 6 individual crisps

1 1/2 cup Nilla Wafers
3 tablespoons slivered almonds
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted

4 large nectarines
1 cup blackberries
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons Amaretto

1/2 cup Nilla Wafers
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons slivered almonds
4 tablespoons butter, diced

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

For the crust, combine the wafers, almonds and sugar in food processor. Run until mixture is a fine crumb. Transfer to a bowl and stir in melted butter until well combined. Press about 1/4 cup of the mixture into bottom of each ramekins. Bake on a baking sheet for 10 minutes. Let cool before filling.

For the filling, slice the nectarines into thin slices, then cut in half lengthwise. Combine nectarines, blackberries, sugar, cornstarch and Amaretto in a mixing bowl. Let the fruit macerate while you make the topping.

For the topping, combine wafers, sugar, flour and almonds in food processor. Run until mixture is a fine crumb. Add diced butter and pulse until mixture is crumbly.

To assemble, evenly distribute fruit and juices amongst ramekins, then top with a scant 1/4 cup of topping. Bake on a baking sheet at 350°F for about 35 minutes, until fruit is bubbly and topping is browned.

Let sit at least 10-15 minutes before serving. (Although these are best served warm, I did try one that had sat at room temperature for many hours and it was still just fine.)

Note: With these quantities, this dish could also be made in a 9” pie plate or equivalent size. Baking time may vary slightly.

This crisp turned out even better than I had hoped. The sweet nectarines that I have been gushing over were perfect with the tart blackberries. Hints of vanilla and almond run throughout the dish, but don’t overpower the fruit. The bottom “crust” turned into one with the filling, absorbing all the juices and helping the crisp set up. Served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, this is a quintessential summer dessert. And best of all, no dough is required!

And before I go, I need to announce the winners of the giveaway…JC, Shelley, Pacheco Patty and Theresa are each the winner of a gift card! Thanks to all who entered.

This project has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for #collectivebias. All opinions are my own.


  1. Yummy, Karen...I would so make these. I love blackberries and peaches/nectarines...a perfect combo!

  2. What a fantastic post Karen! you are such a good writer;. I love your recipe and love the way you introduced it. In fact, in my mind, I could see Andy holding that cup of coffee and patiently waiting outside the stall for you to make up your mind. Anxious to see the nectorines appearing on our shelves and will surely make your crisp I am printing it as we speak.

  3. That looks simply divine. I've seen nectarines on sale this week and this is the perfect dish to put them in.

  4. Oh what a lovely crisp. I love nectarines. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  5. Oh the Amaretto does sound like a good add. I wonder if it would be yummy with Amaretto cookies for the crisp part too! Your pics of the fruit are gorgeous!

  6. I love nectarines. I love peaches too, but I hate the fuzzy skin. Love this crumble with the amaretto!

  7. Looks fantastic! I have always love combining stone fruits with berries... they just go so well together don't they? Thanks for sharing this :-) Buzzed!

  8. wow this looks delicious...your pictures are gorgeous! I just picked a bunch of raspberries, debating between a cobbler or jam...tough decisions.

  9. Stunning! I love the little dribble out the side of the dish. Count yourself lucky that you can get those berries...I can get them here too, but at $14 a pound!

  10. This looks delicious! One of the things about living here in the deep south is the seasons come early. I love the coffee & farm stand story... Recipe looks like a real winner!

  11. I have a bag; it is my favorite. We go every where together. It could be described as a bit wide. I have to be careful when we go out. Turning around can be quite disasters for those standing near.

    Peaches and berries are a great combination. For some reason I always go for the peaches over the nectarines. I have a thing for the fuzz!

  12. What a great post! This crisp looks so good!

  13. This sounds great! I, too, and thrilled that we finally have stone fruit. I'm addicted to white nectarines. And we love vanilla wafers. I would never have thought to use them for the crust!

  14. We love crisps in my house - that is LOVE with all caps and tons of exclamation points. One of my favorite combos of all time is nectarine blackberry. It just doesn't get much better. I use a traditional oatmeal topping but your idea is very clever, especially for the dough-averse cook like you and me!

    Wish i was eating it now!

  15. That color combination is always a winner!

  16. mmm I recently made a peach crisp, but adding blackberries would make it even better!

  17. mmm love the nila wafer and almond crust. this looks like perfect way to use up some of the blackberries in my garden! so glad I found this recipe.

  18. crisp looks colourful delicious
    congrats to the winners

  19. BEAUTIFUL!!! I am SO JEALOUS that all the food bloggers are using peaches and blackberries right now... I'm in India and we get neither of those! mmm enjoy :) :)

  20. A nilla wafer crust for a crumble is a genius idea. What an awesome combo, too, the peaches and blackberries.

    Your photos are gorgeous, by the way :)

  21. I love the idea of using vanilla wafers as the crumble topping! Totally borrowing that idea next time I make a crumble of my own. :)

  22. Vanilla wafers?!? AWESOME! I've never ever seen a crisp/cobbler recipe that uses Vanilla Wafers but I love it! Yum!

  23. This looks delicious! I have never tried baking with blackberries, but seeing this recipe makes me want to give it a try! Love the idea of using the Nilla wafers on top!

  24. Stunning photographs and a delicious recipe! Yum!

  25. lookin good!!! mmmm, nilla wafers. genius!

  26. I just got my first batch of nectarines too! SUPER SWEET!!!!! I also have blackberries at home...but I'm so reluctant to make this beautiful crisps! Such a shame that I have no confidence in baking. I'd LOVE to eat this but no one is making it for me...Grrrrr!!! Looks SO GOOD!

  27. That looks like just enough! Yum! Give me a spoon and I'm all set!

  28. first off, sorry I have not been commenting. I was having issues (still am on occasion) and it was annoying me to no end! Every time I would comment BLOGGER kicked me back to sign-in pager and this is something that happens to me for what seems a few days a month! ARG!!!! Anyway...

    I love the coffee and purse! The best is a HUGE hot coffee at the farmer's market in the fall when it starts getting cool and crisp and you can smell pumpkin pies and fires of in the distance.... I digress....

    I'll call it a crisp and eat 6 of them please! Beautiful and fresh!

  29. I'm so glad that it is nectarine season too! I love the addition of Amaretto to the filling!

  30. WOW Karen this looks absolutely delish! Im so into eating Blackeberries & Rasberries right now just alone. But your giving me some yummy ideas. Great pictures.

  31. This looks so tasty! Perfect summer dessert!

  32. I am envious of your nectarine harvest - we are still in the depths of our winter and I am bored by the lack of variety of fruit on our shelves. At least I can 'eat' vicariously through your blog - my hips thank you!

  33. Im dying to try this recipe!

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