Summertime and the livin’ is easy. Fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high. Oh, your daddy’s rich and your mamma’s good lookin’, so hush little baby, don’t you cry. ~ From the song Summertime (Porgy and Bess), Lyrics by DuBose Heyward & Music by George Gershwin
Summertime in the South is usually a blend of gorgeous sunny days with warm, but tolerable temperatures and sweltering hot, humid, and stormy weather. This year, so far, we’ve had mostly the latter. There’s been more rain and dreary wet days than I can ever remember. While we all rejoice with the onset of summer, this year has dampened our spirits (literally). The sun has been elusive; so much so that any sunshine and parting of the clouds for blue skies is a cause for celebration. Mr. Blue Sky has become my favorite new song. After all, we need some uplifting when the weather is this ornery. Can I just say that we are so over it?!
When we do have the opportunity to celebrate a sunny day, the festivities in our home are generally accompanied by a bottle of Proseco, fresh fruit desserts, and ice cream. There aren’t too many months in the year when we have the luxury of fresh South Carolina peaches, sweet and juicy North Carolina blueberries, and local blackberries at our Farmers’ Markets. With all of the excessive rain and lack of sun this year, the fruits and vegetables were delayed almost a full month. Now that the summer’s treasures have arrived, I take advantage of every opportunity to purchase and use them in recipes before the season is over and they disappear.
I have a recipe on the site from August 2010 which is a lower calorie version of this dessert, a Summer Berry and Peach Crisp. This new recipe amps up the sugar and butter and has a few changes that made for a really decadent and luscious fruit crisp that was served with a homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. We had some friends over for dinner and this was the dessert that ended an incredible meal.
For many of us, fruit pies, cobblers, and crisps are desserts that we grew up with and we prepare them from family recipes. There are also times when we like to try new versions or subtly change heirloom recipes to make them better. I think this recipe does just that. It’s truly one of the best fruit crisps we’ve ever had.
While the livin’ may not be easy this summer with all of the rain, it is after all, summertime. Steamy days and slightly cooler evenings are what the South is known for; nights spent sitting on the porch sipping a sweet tea or a glass of chilled Proseco as the sun sets and sharing desserts with family or friends of beautiful warm fruit crisps and cobblers topped with freshly churned ice cream. These are the memories of summertime. Use this recipe to start your own memories.
Cheers to your summer!
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Fresh Fruit Crisp
Yield: 6 - 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
The original recipe called for two cups each of blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. I substituted fresh, sliced peaches for the raspberries. Create your own combination of berries and stone fruits for this crisp. The recipe is perfect to make changes and adaptable to what is fresh, local, and in season where you live.
2 cups blueberries
2 cups blackberries
3 ripe peaches, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup rolled oats (I use Bob's Red Mill)
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Vanilla ice cream, for serving (preferably homemade)
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch square baking dish.
2. Gently toss the berries and peaches together with the sugar, flour and cinnamon; place in the prepared baking dish.
3. Prepare the topping: Combine the oats, flour, both sugars, and salt in a bowl. For best results, use a pastry blender or alternatively, a fork to work in the butter until topping resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle evenly over the fruit.
4. Place the baking dish on a baking sheet. Bake in the center of the oven until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is golden brown, about an hour. (Start checking at 45 minutes. You do not want the topping to brown too much.) Remove the crisp to a rack to cool slightly. Serve warm topped with vanilla ice cream.
Recipe adapted from Parade, July 2007