Grape Crisp

Thursday, July 23, 2009

One of the easiest and best tasting ways of enjoying fruit in the summer is to make a crisp. They are also good for using up less than perfect fruit. I've been making at least one crisp a week this summer, starting with apricots, then sunset coloured mixes of apricots and plums, then peaches. The latest amazing local fruit to turn up at the markets has been bunches of very round and purple seedless grapes. They are eaten by squeezing them out of their sour skins and have a deep grape flavour. I've never made anything with cooked grapes before but wanted to try them in a crisp.

Making a crisp is more of a technique than a recipe: peel and chop fruit into the pan; add a little sweetener; add minute tapioca to thicken; make and sprinkle the topping; bake. I don't use a lot of sugar for either the filling or the topping; it is meant to be a breakfast or snack, not dessert. I peeled a large bunch of grapes into a glass pan (8X8 pan would work) and drizzled them with 2 tbs honey. I figured I had about three and a half cups of filling plus juice, so stirred in two heaping tablespoons of minute tapioca. The grapes were really juicy so I put them in the oven to bake for ten minutes at 350 degrees, covered with foil. (If your filling is too juicy when you put on the topping, the topping will sink into it.) Meanwhile I rubbed together the crisp topping. An estimate of the ingredients: 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup large flake oatmeal, 2 tbs icing sugar, 2 tbs butter, 1/2 tsp salt. I took the crisp, which was starting to thicken, out of the oven, sprinkled the topping over the surface and returned the pan to the oven to bubble away for another ten minutes.

A perfect-consistency crisp is when the filling just starts to bubble over the sides, like so. Serves 4.