Sunday, June 3, 2012

Apricot and Cherry Crisp with Almond Topping

Some good friends had a reunion of sorts for those of us who used to work with them. The main feast was Korean BBQ but we were more than welcome to bring along sides and desserts. Although this isn't necessarily what one would expect to find at a Korean BBQ, the seasonality of the fruits just naturally lent itself as a nice dessert. Apricots and cherries only show themselves for a few weeks in May and June at the farmers markets so we make every effort to incorporate them as much as possible into meals while they're available. (I'll be posting soon about a great duck with cherry sauce soon)

Like so many other meals I've posted here, I found this one in Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone. I'd never tried but it seemed simple and, like I mentioned, completely appropriate for the season as well as a rather light dessert. We paired it with the ice cream recipe here. With the warmth of the crisp and the freshness of the ice cream, it made for a very nice dessert indeed.

Cherries and apricots combined with the sugar, almond extract, and tapioca

Flour, brown sugar, chopped almonds and seasonings

Cold butter cut into small manageable pieces

Crumbly dry ingredients

Putting it altogether

Ready for the oven
The finished dish

Ingredients:
2 1/2 pounds fresh ripe apricots
1 pound fresh ripe cherries
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons tapioca
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Crisp topping:
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped almonds
pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375F. Lightly butter a 2 1/2 quart gratin or casserole dish.
To prepare the crisp topping, combine all of the crisp ingredients, except the butter, in a large bowl and mix completely. Add the butter a couple of chunks at a time and work them completely into the dry ingredients with your fingers. Once you have worked all of the butter into the mix you should find it to have a fairly crumbly consistency. Put aside.

Pit the apricots and cut into quarters. Pit the cherries and slice in half. Toss both fruits with the sugar, tapioca, and almond extract.

Spread the mixed fruits into the gratin or casserole dish then cover with the crisp topping.  Set the dish on a baking pan to catch any juices and bake until the top is browned and the juices have bubbled and thickened around the edges. I found this to take about 15-20 minutes. Great to serve this quite warm from the oven with vanilla or honey ice cream.