Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mom's Almond & Fruit Crumble

Is it a crisp or a crumble? I can't decide. I do know that the first Fourth of July that Mom made this it was a crazy hit - plums, blackberries, and the marzipan flavor from the almond paste along with the melting creaminess of the ice cream. We all asked for it again and again after that. She got the idea from Bon Appetit magazine and when I went looking for the recipe I was surprised to discover that it was actually supposed to be a tart, but Mom just stole the idea for the topping. If you like almonds and crisps/crumbles/whatevers, you'll love this. I make it in the winter with plums I've frozen from the fall. Now is the perfect time to discover you love it too and put away some stone fruits and berries for when a taste of summer will save you from the winter doldrums.

Mom's Almond & Fruit Crumble
serves 12

3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup cold almond paste (about 5 oz.)
1/2 cup brown sugar
6 T cold butter
1/4 cup almonds

2 1/4 pounds fruit,* cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup sugar
3 T cornstarch
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Combine the topping ingredients, except the almonds, in a food processor and pulse until combined. Or cut everything together using a pastry blender. Then mix in the almonds.
  • Toss the fruit with the sugar and cornstarch and spread into a 9x13 pan. Sprinkle the topping over the fruit
  • Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. The fruit should be bubbling (this activates the corn starch) and the topping golden brown.
  • Let sit for 15 minutes before serving so that it can cool and set a little. Don't worry, it will still be warm. You'll be tempted to serve it right away, but it will burn your mouth, trust me.
  • Serve with ice cream.
*I think it's best with stone fruit and berries, especially Italian plums with blackberries or nectarines with blueberries, but many different combinations would work.
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