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.
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.