I adore summer fruit. Bring on the berries, the peaches, the apricots and cherries and nectarines. When each arrives at the market, I buy them in massive amounts. Twenty dollars disappears into a giant paper bag of blueberries, and the blueberries themselves disappear nearly as quickly as the twenty dollars.
Early in every summer, I think that summer fruit is just so delicious raw. I can’t bring myself to make blueberry pancakes or strawberry shortcake or anything that actually requires heating something that is so sweet and perfect in its natural state. I read a recipe a month ago that called for roasted strawberries and deemed it blasphemy. Why would you roast a perfectly ripe strawberry instead of just popping it in your mouth?
As we progress through the summer, I start to get a little arrogant with the fruit consumption. My fridge in early July contains so many pounds of fruit that not even I can snack my way through all of it. Then I suddenly remember all the recipes I can use this fruit in, and instead of deeming them blasphemous, I feel grateful that there’s a way to avoid wasting the 5 pounds of strawberries and 5 other pounds of peaches I optimistically purchased.
This crumble is so simple to remember, and it works with any kind of fruit. I fill an 8”x8” pan 2/3 of the way full with cut up fruit. The topping is simply 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of oatmeal with 1 stick of cold butter cut in. Sometimes I get creative, adding cinnamon or nutmeg, or perhaps grated fresh ginger to the topping, but none of those extras are necessary.
Strawberry Peach Crumble
This recipe can be adapted to use any kind of summer fruit. I’ve made single fruit versions with peaches, strawberries, blueberries and plums, as well as all kinds of combinations. You can also halve the crumble topping for a dish that’s more breakfast and less dessert.
- 2 pints of strawberries, halved
- 3 large peaches, pits removed and sliced (I leave the skin on)
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 stick cold butter
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Prepare the fruit and add it to an 8”x8” baking dish.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, and rolled oats.
- Using a pastry cutter or two butter knives, cut in the butter until it is the size of small pebbles and evenly distributed through the mixture.
- Pour the crumble topping on top of the fruit and spread evenly across the dish.
- Bake for 1 hour or until fruit is soft and juices bubble.
What’s your favorite kind of summer fruit?