Breakfast Apricot Blueberry Crisp

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The origin of this wonderful breakfast crisp is – a road trip. A work road trip, to be exact. I spent a couple days in Redding and stopped by to say hi to Aunt Jeanette on the drive home. She has a giant apricot tree in her front yard, and it was filled with ripe apricots. We ate some right off the tree and they were amazingly sweet and tasty. She very generously offered to share some so I came home with this:

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So I had this giant box of fresh apricots and wanted to make some into a breakfast treat. This crisp is perfect for breakfast – a little tart, not too sweet and really crunchy. If you want, you can have a cup of vanilla yogurt on the side to get your protein in and kick start your day. Try substituting different fruits …plums would be great too!

Fruit mixture:

3 cups fresh apricots, stones removed and sliced into 1 inch pieces

1/2 cup fresh blueberries

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon flour

generous pinch of nutmeg, fresh if available

Combine all ingredients and spoon into a parchment lined 9 by 9 inch pan, then preheat oven to 400 degrees. It should look like this:

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Crisp Topping

4 tablespoons butter, melted

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/3 cup all purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup chopped raw almonds (or substitute my favorite Trader Joe’s candied pecans, chopped or a mixture of the two) It gives the crisp a nice crunch.

In a medium bowl, pour in melted butter.  Stir in sugar, then oats, flour, salt and almonds. Mix until combined, then use your fingers to sprinkle topping in chunks over fruit. Bake for about 30-40 minutes until topping is browned and fruit is bubbling. Serve warm.

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Fresh Cherry Clafouti

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Okay here it is….spring roadside fruit stand menu part deux…..

I pretty much could live off of fresh berries and fruit this time of year. I am a sucker for every sign on the side of the road whether it is fresh cherries, blueberries, strawberries…the taste is just so much better than what you can buy in the store. My favorite dessert to make with fresh black cherries is also one of the easiest to make…the simple but elegant clafouti.

Clafoutis (pronounced “kla-foo-TEE”) is a rustic French dessert originally from Limousin, in southern France. This region is best known for its sweet black cherries which are traditionally baked in a sweet custard filling. This dessert is super easy to make – the filling is similar to a crepe, but is more thick and pudding like texture – actually it is more like a cross between a cake and a pudding. As it bakes, the batter forms a golden crust and the cherries burst, forming puddles of thick syrup… it should look something like this. The bonus – it is really easy to make but looks like something you spent hours creating..

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If it is long past cherry season, plums or even peaches will work just as well with this amazing batter…

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons sliced almonds

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2/3 cup all purpose flour

2/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 large eggs

3 large egg yolks

1 1/4 cups heavy cream, divided

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

2 large pints fresh black cherries, stemmed and pitted (about 4 cups)

1/4 cup kirsh or brandy (optional)

1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cherries in a medium bowl stir in liqueur and macerate for 30 minutes. Place sliced almonds in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for 5 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool.

Use butter to grease bottom and sides of 9 X 9 by 2 inch pan. Place flour, 2/3 cup sugar, salt and almonds in a food processor, and pulse until mixture is finely ground. In a seperate medium bowl, add eggs, egg yolks, 3/4 cup of the cream, vanilla and lemon zest. Blend with a wire whisk until blended, then add flour mixture. Whisk thoroughly to combine and place in refrigerator for 15 minutes to rest.

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Pour cherries into bottom of pan and spread evenly over bottom. Pour batter over cherries and bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Sprinkle remaining sugar over top of dish and bake an additional 15 – 20 minutes until top is golden brown and bubbling. Transfer to wire rack to cool. Sprinkle sifted confectioners sugar over top of each serving.  Whip  remaning 1/2 cup of heavy cream until soft peaks form. Serve clafouti warm or at room temperature, topped with whipped cream.

Try this with plums too and let me know which one you like better…