One of my favorite television shows is the Food Network's gem, "Worst Cooks in America". While I don't watch a lot of regular television, I do enjoy a good cooking, decorating or gardening program.
It's my way of kicking myself in the rear end.
Instead of sitting around and whining about how little I actually know about these subjects, these shows motivate me to try, try and try again.
And because I'm a slow learner, I usually have to re-try the next day.
See, I can appreciate the plight of the non-cook. I've been there. I have boiled deer steak (Would you believe to cut out the fat from frying?). I have created masterpieces that even the dog wouldn't touch. And I have caused more trips to town for take-out then I care to remember. On this show, 16 cooking-challenged contestants are brought into a cooking boot camp, split into 2 teams and taught new skills in each episode. Then these cooks-in-training have to cook a dish, created by their well-known chef teachers, using their new skills. The 2 people who fail to impress the chef's, have to turn in their aprons.
While the contestants are busy trying to win the $25,000 prize, I'm busy writing down the recipes.
Just in case the show doesn't get renewed for a third season, or we get brave and ditch the satellite!
On the season finale, one of the desserts was a fresh nectarine and blueberry fruit crisp. Since fresh, local fruit isn't available in March, I decided to use frozen peaches and blueberries. I also substituted whole wheat pastry flour for the white, and Rapadura (sucanat) for the brown sugar.
And for the record, this dessert was made by the winning contestant.
I'm guessing that this crisp was the reason.
Blueberry Peach Fruit Crisp
The filling: 2 cups frozen blueberries
2 cups *frozen peaches, thawed and drained*
1/2 Meyer lemon, zested & juiced
2 Tb. organic cornstarch
1/4 cup Rapadura or sucanat (can use tightly packed brown sugar)
2 Tb. organic sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
pinch of salt
The topping: 1-1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup Rapadura or sucanat (can use brown sugar)
10 Tb. cold, unsalted butter, cut into pea-sized pieces
1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds (can use whole, soaked almonds)
pinch of salt
1-2 Tb. cold water
In a large bowl, stir together the blueberries, peaches, lemon juice and zest. Add the cornstarch, Rapadura, sugar, vanilla and salt. Mix well.
Fill 5 ramekins with the fruit mixture; a little more than halfway. Set aside.
|These were too full~after the picture was taken, I removed enough from each ramekin to fill a fifth dish.|
In a food processor, combine all of the topping ingredients, except for the cold water. Process for about 30 seconds, more if using whole almonds. Adding 1 Tb. cold water at a time, continue to process until the mixture is clumpy, but crumbly. I only used one tablespoon.
Put topping on the fruit, but don't push down. It needs to look "rustic".
Set the ramekins on a cookie sheet (I lined mine with tin foil for easier clean-up.) Bake in a pre-heated 350F. oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the fruit is bubbling up and the topping is browned.
Serve with a dollop of organic or home-made vanilla bean ice cream.
*Thaw the peaches in their bag on the counter. Do not drain the peaches until just before using them or they will turn brown.