This crisp is made from fresh nectarines — it’s very easy — and it’s crafted from amazing fruit from Fresh & Easy supermarket, an awesome new store from Tesco’s, the British downmarket chain. Lucky for us, Fresh & Easy here is everything I love about European supermarkets — beautiful merchandising; lots of good, inexpensive chocolate; prepared foods that actually taste great (you heard me Trader Joe’s!) — with competitive prices to make it even better. For more about Fresh & Easy, check out their unofficial blog (the official one is dull) though it beats me why they need two!
Bags of produce are unappealing to the American eye (which was how my nectarines came packaged) but I can explain how they became popular in Europe. In Europe (and England) fruit was traditionally selected for you by the greengrocer, who might or might not be trying to pawn off rotten peaches on you. This still happens at street markets, so beware, especially in Paris, where they sometimes assume that American tourists will be too tongue-tied to complain. (I am many things in French. Tongue-tied isn’t one of them. Big mistake on the greengrocer’s part!) Therefore, when supermarkets came along, the clinically packaged bags and plastic-wrapped flats of fruit and veg were actually an upgrade of sorts.
Nevertheless, when I saw this bag of “California Summer Fruits” I was worried they would be as crappy as the stuff you usually get at Trader Joe’s. (I know, TJ’s is great for some things — produce and prepared foods aside.)
Was I wrong. After a couple of days on the counter, these tiny nectarines started to emit the most lovely perfume of summery nectariney-ness. The flavors were every bit as good as the fruit smelled. It seems almost a shame to cook with them but I can’t eat them all and now they are too ripe — perfect crisp-fodder
Easy Nectarine Crisp Without Dairy
Overripe stone fruit, such as nectarines, cut up to make about 1 1/2 cups of fruit
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
A stick of chilled Earth Balance
A cup of quick oats
A cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of white flour
Preheat oven to 350.
Use the wrapper from your Earth Balance to lightly grease a casserole of you choice.
Place the cut up fruit in the casserole and sprinkle cinnamon over it. If the fruit is REALLY high, squeeze some lime juice over it at this point to cut the sweetness.
Put your margarine in a bowl and dump all of the other ingredients on top. Use two knives, a pastry cutter, or your fingers to blend until the Earth Balance pieces are the size of peas.
Pour this over your fruit and bake for about 30 minutes or until brown and bubbling.
Excellent served with or without Breyer’s Lactose-free Vanilla ice cream. It should serve quite a few people (4ish?) unless someone is a pig! Told you it was easy.