June 1, 2009

Recipe of the Week

Recipe: Nectarine-Blackberry Crisp
Source: Bon Appetit

nectarine-blackberry crisp

Ingredients: ***
I’m being a little harsh on the ingredient list on this recipe. It’s pushing it a bit to find good ripe nectarines and blackberries at the end of May in my neck of the woods. But Bon Appetit lured me in with this recipe from their June issue and I had to make it! Now! I’m not one for patience. However, if the growing season and the release of this recipe were better timed (or I had more patience to wait) I’d have to rate the ingredient list at five stars. It is lots of fruit turned into my favorite course, dessert! Now, that’s what I call health conscious.

Preparation: *****
Measure, mix, chop, dump, pour and crumble. Easy peasy! I did make a few small changes. I peeled my nectarines. I think this is a personal choice. You’d be fine either way. I also doubled the amount of sugar in the fruit since the nectarines needed a bit of help.

nectarine-blackberry crisp

Taste: ***(**)
This tasting result comes from a much larger sample size than most weeks: me and the dudely, my mom, my sister, and Little Miss Lou. The topping was really well received by the entire group earning it 5 stars. In fact there were hands found picking at the crumb topping long after their bowl of dessert was finished. That’s very poor dessert etiquette; I really should try to control myself. I think the secret to this topping’s success lies in the lemon zest. It’s a lovely addition I wouldn’t have thought of on my own.

Now to the fruit filling and its three stars. I think it mostly comes down to the lack of really good fruit. On top of that the custard was just there, suspended on top of the layer of fruit. Perhaps if the fruit had released more juice the custard would have been creamier. So really the three star rating may be a bit unfair at this point. I think I’ll have to revisit this recipe later this summer when really good peaches or nectarines find their way to me. As my sister pointed out this dessert has real potential. It is sweet but not too sweet and that crumb topping deserves to be paired with perfect fruit. It sounds like an experiment I’m willing to take on. I wonder if I can get them to fly to me for the next tasting?

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