Daily Archives: 6 September 2010

A Gift of Morning Glories

There are a few kinds of floral bursts that make my heart stop.

The first is the luscious purple dripping of wisteria blooms on the vine. I have a mental inventory of the many of the houses in Lexington and the surrounding towns that grow wisteria. In the spring, when its in bloom, I make the rounds, making a tour of these houses, admiring the array of purple and sighing in admiration.

The other is the spectacular color of Heavenly Blue morning glories. It takes a long time for them to bloom in New England, but the wait is worth it. When I see the open flowers in the morning, I have to stop and smile. I love them.

This summer, Howard planned something special. Beginning in May, he planted the seeds, strung strings for support, and watered. Together, we waited, for months. This week, when we returned from a week away, I was treated to the payoff of all this effort. The garage was covered with morning glories! So far, it’s two mornings in a row. It makes my day. I don’t know how long it will last, but I’ll look forward to each day of the beautiful heart-stopping flowers. Thank you, Howard! It’s magnificent!

All summer, I’ve been making fruit crisps for dessert. I use a combination of stone fruit, usually peaches and nectarines, and berries (raspberries or blackberries). I have a handful of topping recipes that I switch between for years.

Recently, I’ve settled on a new one from the August 2010 Food Network magazine. I’ve made it several times in the past month or so. I’ve made it with both oats and cornmeal, though I think I prefer the oats. The nuts have depended on what seems like the right match for the fruit and my mood, walnuts, almonds, or pecans, so far. Actually, the pecans and the cornmeal were a nice combination. The options are many.

I like the way the topping bakes up. I also like that the topping stays firm and crispy when I microwave the leftovers. Some of the other topping recipes don’t fare as well, melting when reheated.

Try it, you’ll like it!

Summer Fruit Crisp
Adapted from this recipe from August 2010 Food Network magazine
Serves 8

Crisp Topping:

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats or cornmeal
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup nuts, coarsely chopped (your choice: almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, or whatever you fancy)
  • 7 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature

Fruit Filling:

  • 4 cups sliced stone fruit (peaches/nectarines, peeled, and/or plums, unpeeled)
  • 1-2 cups fresh or frozen berries (raspberries and/or blackberries)
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 2 Tbsp sugar (or to taste)

Preheat oven to 375F.

To make the crisp topping, whisk together the flour, sugar, oats or cornmeal, salt, and nuts. With your fingers, work the butter into the dry ingredients until it is evenly distributed. The butter should no longer be visible, and the topping will clump when you squeeze a handful together.

In a large bowl, toss the ingredients for the fruit filling.

Transfer the fruit filling to a 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle the crisp topping over the fruit.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the fruit is bubbly and the topping is browned.

Summer Fruit Crisp