This one was a no-brainer. I found some sweet-smelling nectarines on sale the other day, and immediately remembered that I had a plastic baggie of crumble topping in the fridge, just waiting for a surplus of fruit to appear in the kitchen. The topping was left over from the Rhubarb-Apricot crumble of a few weeks ago, when I accidentally made twice as much as I needed. The good news is that crumble topping will keep for quite a while in an airtight container in the fridge.
I also found this cool sugar on the same shopping trip.
It’s the texture of granulated sugar, but has a very light brown color. I mainly bought it because I prefer to use cane sugar when I bake – the flavor is superior and it takes less processing to get sugar from cane than to get it from a beet, which is where most of the white sugar in Europe comes from. (Of course, when you factor in the distance the sugar has to travel to get here, I’m sure it increases my personal carbon footprint.) Environmental issues aside, this sugar has a fuller flavor than regular white sugar, but not so much that it can’t be substituted freely.
For my crumble filling, I took 7 or 8 nectarines, pitted and sliced them, and tossed them with about 1/3 cup sugar and 2 Tablespoons of flour, which turned out to be just a little too much. A teaspoon or two less would have been ideal. Still, the finished crumble was rather tasty, if I do say so myself. (Like I can take credit for the nectarines.)
We ate it topped with hazelnut ice cream for dessert, and with scoops of plain yogurt for breakfast. (In case you can’t tell, I have a habit of finishing off fruit desserts the next morning – gotta love dishes that pull double duty!)
You may be wondering why on Earth I feel compelled to bake dessert after working in a pâtisserie all day. Here’s the thing: I don’t actually do any baking there. I whip up pastry cream or anglaise on the stove, fold meringues into mousses, pipe out pâte à choux, and build entremets, but the actual baking happens downstairs and across the courtyard from where I am. As it turns out, the things I’m making at work are things I probably wouldn’t make at home anyway. So I can keep making crumbles and galettes chez moi, and leave the fancy stuff to the professionals (me included).