It seems that August is the peak season for stone fruits at the Farmer’s Market. Many of the vendors now have baskets overflowing with luscious apricots, peaches, plums, nectarines and pluots, as well as many new hybrids –at least new to me. One such variety that caught my eye last Sunday was the Spice Zee NectaPlum. That name alone elicited dreams of a bubbling fruit crisp topped with cinnamon streusel to compliment the hint of spice in the fruit. One taste and I knew that a crisp was on the menu at my house.
And so I had my shopping plan of action. I bought a big bag of large Spice Zee nectarines that were ripe and ready from Nicholas Family Farms, as well as a big bag of smaller, less ripe fruit from Arnett Farms across the aisle. I like both the texture and flavor variety of ripe and not so ripe nectarines. This makes for a more interesting fruit pie as you get sweet and soft as well as tart and firm in one bite.
If you can’t find Spice Zee NectaPlums, no worry as this crisp is delicious with any variety of nectarines or peaches.
This recipe uses plant-based butter and is dairy free.
Spice Zee NectaPlum Crisp:
Set oven to 350 degrees with the oven rack in the middle.
One 9 or 10 inch by 2.5 inch deep pie pan. It needs to be deep to hold enough fruit and streusel topping. You can double the recipe for a large 10x 15 rectangular pan to serve a large party.
For the fruit base:
3.5-4 pounds Spice Zee nectarines, peeled and sliced thick
zest of one orange
2 T Granulated Sugar
2 T dark brown sugar
2-3 T flour
To peel the nectarines, immerse 3 or 4 at a time in a large pot of simmering water for 30-40 seconds, and then remove to an ice bath. This will make the skins slip off easily. Once sliced, put the fruit in the pie pan to see that you have enough nectarine slices to fill up high. The fruit will settle as it bakes. Remove the fruit from the pan into a large bowl.
Rinse and dry the pie pan, and grease with cooking spray or plant-based butter.
Toss the nectarines with the orange zest and 2 sugars until well coated. Add 2 T of flour and toss. Set aside and let it absorb the flour while you make the streusel topping. The flour thickens the fruit juices. If the fruit mixture is still watery when ready to put in the pan, sprinkle in a bit more flour. How much flour is necessary will depend on the water content of the fruit you buy.
Once the streusel topping is made and the nectarines are thickened, put the fruit in the pie pan. Top with a thick layer of the streusel, pressing down so that it adheres to the fruit. Place on a metal sheet pan to catch the drippings, and bake 50-60 minutes, checking on it at 45 minutes, until the fruit is bubbling and the crumb topping browned.
Serve either plain or with vegan ice cream.
¾ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup old fashioned oats
pinch of salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup packed, dark brown sugar
4 oz. cold vegan butter, diced (Miyokos brand is amazing)
Put the dry ingredients and sugars in the bowl of a mixer set with the paddle attachment, and mix up on low for a few seconds. Add the cold butter and mix on low until the butter is pea sized and everything is crumbly and incorporated.