The other night we finally had our first dinner guests. Some very good friends of ours graciously accepted our invitation despite it meaning that they had to drag their children out at night into our quite blatantly not child-proofed home. We had a blast! We still don’t have proper dining chairs or a baby gate for the stairs, or rug pads to make more easily (and safely) runnable areas, all of our furniture seems to have sharp corners and none of our floors are level–great combo–, but they overlooked all our deficiencies. Their children are fantastic and we always have a good time with them; it was a wonderful way to christen this home!
So, the grub: I made bbq using my dad’s secret recipe (which includes no measurements), sauce from Jason’s dad’s recipe, cabbage-kale coleslaw from. . .well, my brain, and corn with lime wedges and sea salt. Not so funny story- cooked properly a pork butt takes hours to cook, I mean, hours and hours. Well, roughly three quarters of the way through we must have had a brief power failure without my noticing it; by the time I found out the oven had cooled! So, add an extra 6 hours cooking time to the hours already gone by!! Lesson to take away- check on your oven even if it is not time to open your oven :). Amazingly, the Q still came out just fine.
For dessert we had what I think of as a “say goodbye to summer” crumble. Stone fruit season, for me, is the time when I begin transitioning from summer with all its sweet, hot languor to autumn, brisk, radiant, and a wee bit magical.
I used this dish as an opportunity to try a new-to-me ingredient: coconut sugar. I’ve been hearing good things about it for some time now, and thought I’d have a go. I really liked the results. It gave a rich, caramel-like flavor without the excess liquid you would get from maple syrup. This crumble is not only gluten-free, but dairy-free and vegan as well.
What is your favorite end of summer dish? Or are any of you in complete denial that the seasons are changing, holding on to every last minute of sunshine? If so, what is your favorite summertime dessert? Tell me about it in the comments; I’d love some good ideas!
- 9×13 baking dish
- blender or food processor
- zester or grater
- approx. 10 stone fruits (I used a mixture of plums, pluots, and nectarines)
- 2 Tbs. corn starch
- 1 Tbs. water
- juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 1 1/4 cup blond coconut sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar (or make it all coconut. . .or honey or maple or just plain cane)
- 2 cups g.f. whole rolled oats
- 2 cups mixed nuts and seeds ( I used almonds, walnuts, pecans, hemp and flax because that is what I have on hand)
- 3/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Wash and dry fruits. Cut into 1 inch chunks and place directly in baking dish. Combine corn starch and water in small bowl until smooth; pour this mixture over the fruit. Add lemon juice and zest, and 3/4 c. coconut sugar. Mix to thoroughly coat fruit.
(Note: if you like your topping very chunky you can skip processing the oats. I find that this helps to make the topping slightly more cohesive (and a nicer texture to me).)
In food processor combine oats, all remaining sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Pulse until a very rough meal forms. You don’t want to break the oats down completely, just rough them up a bit. Remove mix to large bowl. If using almonds in your nut mix, pulse those all by themselves until broken up into chunks (almonds are harder than many other nuts and if you try to process, say, almonds and pecans together, the pecans will turn to dust before the almonds are properly chunky). Add almond chunks to large bowl. Pulse remaining nuts and add to bowl. Stir to combine, pour coconut oil over the lot, and then mix until all ingredients are thoroughly coated.
Spread topping out evenly over fruit. Bake in oven for approx. 50 minutes. The crumble should be beautifully brown with gorgeous juices bubbling round the edges. Cool for at least 45 minutes to and hour before eating so that it may “set”.