Among the many things I love about fruit crisps, one of my favorite features of this versatile dessert is that once you learn the basic technique of making one, you really never have to measure again. Saturday afternoon, I put together a blueberry-nectarine crisp to take to a potluck later in the evening. Back in August, I froze half the blueberries
I picked, along with a quart of sliced nectarines
. I plucked both bags out of the freezer, and after an hour of defrosting, tumbled their contents into a large bowl. I sprinkled them with some sugar (I didn't measure, but if I was forced to guess, I'd say it was a little more than half a cup), some cinnamon (a good shake), fresh nutmeg (a third of a meg) and a teaspoon of cornstarch (the only thing I measured, because you always want to err on the scant side with cornstarch). I tossed the fruit around with my fingers until coated and them spread them out in a large baking pan (it was a lot of fruit).
The fruit went into the oven at 350 degrees plain for the first fifteen minutes, as it was still a little frozen and I didn't want the topping to burn while the fruit was undercooked. While it baked, I whirred up topping in the food processor. In went about 2 cups of oats, 1 stick of butter (unsalted please), cane sugar (about a third of a cup), some cinnamon and a bit more nutmeg. This is my favorite way of making a crisp topping, because some of the oats get worked down into flour, while other bits remain intact. It comes together into a sort of dough that has a terrific texture and makes you think that what you're eating has some relationship to healthy eating. I toss in a couple of handfuls of chopped pecans just before spreading it out over the fruit. It baked for another 45 minutes, until the top was lightly browned and the fruit was bubbly and soft. Eaten with vanilla ice cream, it was one of the better treats I tasted in recent memory.