All over the world, one of the simplest ways to turn a pile of ripe fruit into a warm comfortable dessert is to slowly bake them with aromatic spices under an easy-to-make crumbly crust
Yield: serves 6 - 8
2 to 3 pounds your choice of fruit
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white or brown sugar
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
Preheat your oven to 350 °F (180 °C).
Toss the fruit with the cinnamon, then spread it evenly into a 9- x 5-inch baking pan 2 inches deep.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and nutmeg. Drizzle in the melted butter and stir until well blended with the dry ingredients.
Scatter this topping evenly over the top of the fruit. Bake until fruit juices are bubbling around the edges, the fruit is tender and the top is golden brown, about 1 hour.
There are many ways to add your own freestyle ideas to a fruit crisp. Try apples, peaches, pears, plums, pineapple (peeled, cored and cut into chunks), rhubarb or banana chunks, or any berry. Even chunks of mango bake into a memorable crisp. You may use one fruit or try different combinations of fruit. If you choose berries, it’s best to toss them with a spoonful or two of flour to help soak up their extra juices. You may also try stirring in raisins or your favourite nuts. You can modify the topping with whole wheat flour and vegetable oil instead of white flour and butter. You can use your favourite baking spice instead of cinnamon or nutmeg. Cardamom is always a treat!
This classic sauce turns anything into instant dessert with its deep caramel flavour. Every time I transform bland white sugar into rich, slightly bitter caramel I get excited. I think it’s magical how much flavour a simple cooking process can add! Your family will too.
Who said baking a homemade dessert has to be difficult? Not me. This dessert could not be simpler and is fully customizable. It has 2 basic parts - the apple filling and the oatmeal topping. Choose any type of apple (or a combination), your favourite fresh or frozen berry, and any of the baking spices. Ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, or simply cinnamon all work.