With only one week until the 4th of July and the Summer Solstice in the rear view mirror, you might think that The Kitchen Scout and her family are in full-on summer mode.
I wish. This winter, there were a lot of those little white flecks we call Snow, with a capital S which also stands for Shortened Summer.
Students and teachers are literally “sweating in the 80’s” as they navigate exam schedules and grade final papers in steamy classrooms across our town.
But today, we shall celebrate! Yes, today, June 27th our younger daughter will take two final exams and walk out of school into the humid embrace of summer! Finally, people!!!
And of course, celebrations require dessert.
Gorgeous piles of stone fruits are starting to appear at local farmstands right now. Peaches, nectarines and plums of all varieties are on display, waiting to be eaten alone or baked into a pie, crisp or crumble. Green cardboard boxes, harbingers of freshly picked, local berries are filled to the brim with juicy strawberries and blueberries so tempting, they may not last the car ride home.
The combination of peaches and blueberries may be my favorite of all time. My Mom used to slice up peaches and toss them with blueberries and a hint of sugar to include with our summer breakfasts. Yum.
I could have made and shared Ina Garten’s dangerously delicious Peach and Blueberry Crumbles recipe. But, I figured you might already know about that one.
No, I was determined to find something just a little bit different and perhaps a little lighter on the sugar.
Scouting around, I found a recipe for Martha Rose Shulman’s Peach (or Nectarine) Blueberry Crumble with Quinoa-Oat Topping and knew this was the one to try.
My friend, Jane, the Events Manager at Wellesley Books had just asked me if I knew of Ms. Shulman whom she was looking to book as a speaker. I knew of her, but hadn’t made any of her recipes. So, her name popped out during my recipe search which was fortuitous because her crumble is a delicious twist on the traditional.
Ms. Shulman uses just a little bit of honey or dark agave to sweeten the fruit and bakes the combination in the oven without the topping for about 25 minutes.
For the topping, Shulman makes it gluten free by combining GF rolled oats and quinoa flour with richly flavored (and less processed) turbinado sugar and butter. She cleverly bakes the topping on its own for about 15 minutes and then finishes it off with the fruit. This cooking method allows the topping to remain crisp and crunchy, just the way I like it. All of these ingredients are now available at your local supermarkets by the way.
I made the dish twice and had lots of taste testers, some of whom have Celiac disease or gluten intolerances and some of whom do not. We all agreed the recipe was a winner and I think this may be my go-to crumb topping moving forward! Just as dangerously delicious as Ina’s!
I did tweak Ms. Shulman’s recipe the second time by adding just 2 more tablespoons of butter to the topping. I mean, if you are going to use 6 tablespoons of butter, you might as well use the whole stick, right? I thought the topping held together a little better, but it certainly worked with 6 tablespoons if you want to cut it back.
I hope there are some celebrations in your life that require dessert.
But, you should make this on a regular old Tuesday in my humble opinion.