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One of the best things about the summer season is the amazing bounty of fresh fruits that are available. There’s strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, watermelons, peaches and one of my absolute favorites – the nectarine! Juicy, sweet, and little tart, there is nothing better than a perfectly ripe nectarine on a hot summer day. Wonderful as a healthy snack on its own or sliced into salads, the nectarine is just darn delicious. But have you ever found yourself with an abundance of nectarines and are looking for a new and creative way to use them? We thought, why not bake them into a healthy version of a crumbly, buttery crisp? Here’s how we did it:
First Step: We began by slicing all our nectarines and removing the pits. If you’re wondering how to properly cut up a nectarine or other stone fruits (peaches, plums, apricots, etc.) without hacking them to bits you can check out this article on How to Pit Apricots, Plums, Nectarines, & Other Stone Fruits Like a Chef.
Second Step: Next we measured out the dry ingredients into a bowl, mixed them together and then cut in small pieces of cold butter to create the crisp or crumble. Is there a difference? Call it what you like at the end of the day its delicious. We decided to make this Nectarine Crisp gluten free using a combination of blanched almond flour, oats, brown sugar and pecans for a little extra crunch and nutty goodness. If you don’t have pecans you could always substitute almonds or walnuts. For those with a nut allergy you could skip them entirely.
Third Step: Toss the cut nectarine slices with a little sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice. A few dashes of vanilla extract and then the nectarines are spooned into a dish for baking. We used these mini cast iron serving dishes greased with butter because they’re adorable. If you decide to bake these in smaller, individual sized baking dishes the baking time will be much shorter.
The nectarine crisp was baked for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees. You’ll know it’s finished when the top is a nice toasty brown and some of the baked fruit should be bubbling around the sides. Almond flour has a tendency to toast quickly and can burn easily. Make sure you bake it on the middle rack of your oven and as always keep an eye on it. If it does start to brown but, you feel the fruit isn’t quite ready yet cover it with foil and continue baking.
This gluten-free and grain-free nectarine crisp is a yummy twist on the classic crisp while using healthy and hearty ingredients. Tons of summer flavor without all the guilt. Don’t have enough nectarines? Try adding in peaches, plums, or berries. In place of the almond flour, you can always substitute regular wheat flour, cassava flour or a gluten-free blend with a 1:1 ratio.
Summer Dessert Recipe: Nectarine Crisp
- 3-4 lbs nectarines, sliced 1/2 inch
- 1/8 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon optional
- 2 teaspoons arrowroot starch (or corn starch )
- 1 cup quick-cooking oats (not instant)
- 1 cup almond flour
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup butter (1 stick) cold and diced into pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)
- 1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
Preparing The Fruit
- Slice and peel the nectarines. Place in a bowl and then toss well with the lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon and corn (or arrowroot) starch to evenly coat. Then spoon the nectarines into a greased 9x9 baking dish.
Making the Crisp Topping (Can Be Made A Day Ahead)
- Combine the flour, brown sugar, salt, oatmeal, nuts (if using) and the cold, diced butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the butter is thoroughly worked through into crumbly pea sized pieces. You may also use two forks or pastry blender. Sprinkle evenly and loosely on top of the nectarines.
Baking and Serving The Crisp
- Place crisp on a parchment paper or foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the top is browned and you can see the juices bubbling. Rotate in the oven after 25 minutes to ensure even browning/cooking. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Serve with ice-cream and/or fresh whipped cream. Have leftovers? Store the crisp in the refrigerator and then reheat in a preheated 350 degrees F oven, covered with foil for about 20 minutes or until warmed through.