Summer bounty: Easy Fruit dishes

With the abundance of fresh fruit, much of it locally grown, available in the summer, it might be difficult to figure out what to do with it all. Many fruits don’t hold up for very long. The beautiful colors draw us in, but then what?

In The Bachelor’s Kitchen, we often are looking for easy ways to use all that fruit before it begins to spoil. Some great things we could do, like bake pies, are time-consuming. And then there’s making the pie crust and heating up the kitchen with the oven on for hours.

Of course, if you can get out of the kitchen for 45 minutes or so while the oven is on, we may have a bright idea for using that fruit. It’s a Fruit Crisp. It’s more like a cobbler than a pie, but it’s much easier.

You need about four or five cups of sliced fruit. Apples and peaches work especially well and a mix of fruits is even better. Some dried fruits, like raisins, can add sweetness to tart fruits. These fruits need to be cut into about the same size pieces as you would use in a pie. Cut them over a bowl to collect the juice.

Put your fruit with a quarter cup of water into an 11 by 7-inch baking dish. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Then, in a medium mixing bowl, mix together 1/2 cup rolled oats, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup flour, a teaspoon of cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Cut in a 1/4 cup of cold butter, just as you would for biscuits until the mix looks like coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over the fruit and bake for 35 to 45 minutes. When the topping is just starting to brown and the fruit is hot and bubbly, it’s ready. Allow the crisp to cool a bit before serving so the fruit sets.

This would be great with a combination of berries, pears or plums.