Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Apricot Blackberry Crisp

Most of the time when I bake, I'm baking for someone else, like this and this. My personal tastes tend towards the tart and bitter and salty. I like licorice ice cream and dark gingerbread and salty smoky caramel. What I really have a soft spot for, though, are tough, sour fruits that take a bit of coaxing to come out of their shell, like rhubarb (yes it's technically a vegetable), sour cherries, and apricots.

I feel like apricots are not appreciated enough in the states. There's apple pie, peach pie, blueberry pie, but who's heard of apricot pie? Apricots are the darlings of French pastry cooks though (at least it seems that way after reading three Pierre Herme cookbooks). Fresh apricots are meant for buttery pastry, and dried apricots pair wonderfully with chocolate desserts.

I baked up a storm this Sunday, making walnut butter tarts, chocolate tartlets, mango coconut ice cream, and this gorgeous apricot blackberry crisp. While the other three were meant to be shared, the crisp was my private treat. The buttery, nutty topping was a perfect foil for the intensely aromatic and tart (not to mention vibrant!) fruit below. 

Apricot Blackberry Crisp
Topping adopted from The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

6 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces and softened
3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Mix the dry ingredients together. Add the butter pieces and rub until the mixture look like wet sand. Add the nuts and toss to incorporate. (Alternatively, put all the dry ingredients in the food processor, drop in butter pieces while the food processor is running, then add the nuts and pulse until combined)

6-8 apricots, sliced
1 cup blackerries
1/4 cup sugar (more if you like a sweeter filling)
2 teaspoon corn starch

In a 9" pie pan, toss fruit with sugar and cornstarch until evenly combined.

Top fruit with crisp mixture, then bake at 350 F for 40 minutes, or until bubbling and golden brown on top.

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