Sunday, July 1, 2012

Blueberry Peach Crisp

"Stone fruit is summer in your hand," says Mark Bittman, and I couldn't agree more. A ripe peach or nectarine is the perfect treat on its own, but if you can make yours last, these fruits are super versatile to cook with when taken one step further: saute, poach, roast, or grill. And then of course, there's your classic summer fruit desserts, like this Blueberry Peach Crisp.

This recipe does not call for a crust; fresh fruit is layered in the pan and slow-cooked with a sprinkling of sugar and lemon. Halfway through the baking, a crunchy oat topping is gently piled on top followed by a smattering of crushed almonds, creating the ultimate crunch on top of the luscious, stewed fruit.  This crisp is absolutely delicious - orange concentrate adds a subtle citrusy zest to the oat-sugar crumble topping. Good luck not eating the whole thing out the pan. If you do though, keep in mind that this recipe is about as healthy as a crisp can get - no crust saves calories and bad fats, and the topping's oat and whole-wheat flour base is whole grain. Your guests (or you, referring back to the hard-to-not-eat-out-of-the-pan observation above) will be shocked to learn there is only 1 tablespoon of butter in the  entire dish.

And there's more peachy news! According to the June 2012 issue of Tufts' Health & Nutrition Letter, new research shows that the compounds in stone fruits may fight metabolic syndrome -the cluster of symptoms like obesity and hypertension that predisposes people to heart disease and diabetes-through their 4 different types of antioxidants. The phenols attack metabolic syndrome on different fronts, so the health-promoting compounds complement each other.

This recipe is also great because you can use different types of fruit. The original calls for peach and raspberry, which I've made many times and is wonderful- today I was just in more of a blueberry mood. Need a recipe idea for July 4th? Substitute peaches for cherries, and you have yourself a red white and blue fruit crisp.

Blueberry Peach Crisp (from Eating Well)
Yield: 8 servings of 1/2 cup, Total Time: 1 hr 10 min, Active Time: 20 min
2 pounds peaches, peeled (if desired), pitted and sliced (5 cups), or frozen slices
1 cup blueberries (or raspberries or cherries), fresh or frozen
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2/3 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon canola oil
3 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate
1 tablespoon chopped almonds or walnuts


1.Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat an 8-inch-square baking dish (or similar 1 1/2- to 2-quart dish) with cooking spray.
2. To prepare filling, combine peaches, blueberries (or other fruit), granulated sugar and lemon juice in a large bowl; toss to coat. Place the filling in the prepared baking dish. Cover with foil. Bake for 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, make topping. Mix flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl with a fork. Add butter and blend with a pastry blender or your fingertips. Add oil and stir to coat. Add orange juice concentrate and blend with your fingertips until the dry ingredients are moistened.
4. After 20 minutes, stir the fruit filling and sprinkle the topping evenly over it. Sprinkle with almonds (or walnuts). Bake, uncovered, until the fruit is bubbly and tender and the topping is lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes more. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.

"Compounds in Stone Fruits May Battle Metabolic Syndrome." Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter (n.d.): n. pag. Tufts University, 29 June 2012. Web. <>.


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