Tarts and Crumbles

by Fresh and Frugal

Oh hello there. With everything up in the air at work, it’s a relief to be able to come home and know that I have two leeks, a handful of tomatoes, some peaches and apples, soy milk, eggs, and cheese. Fact. Kitty will be waiting for me. Fact. The girls across the hall have a really attractive friend who always rings the wrong buzzer, whom I always wind up buzzing in. Fact.

One of my favorite people at work is leaving, and I’m rather bummed. While he’ll still be in the area, and I’m sure he’ll stop in from time to time, it’s still a complete bummer.  Long story short, we’re having a little surprise party for him (as we do for everyone who leaves so it’s not really a surprise at all), and I wanted to bring some really fantastic things because he’s been so great. While I’m pretty wiped from work and still haven’t quite scraped together dinner — does an avocado with a little lime and salt count? — I have somewhat successfully hit the market, come home, and turned random ingredients into two desserts that I hope the people will like at work tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

Peach Tart (same idea as the Pluot Tart)

5 medium-large peaches

1 c walnuts

2 c flour

3/4 c brown sugar

1 stick butter

1 tsp cinnamon

pinch salt

Preheat to 400.

Mix the flour, sugar, walnuts, cinnamon, and salt.

Chop the butter into smaller pieces and mix until the ingredients seem rather chunky. Dump these into the bottom of a tart pan and press from the center outward, forming a crust. Hold back 1/5 of the mixture if you would like a sprinkling of topping, or go ahead and make a slightly thicker crust. I usually save it, but the peaches were too pretty for me to cover.

Slice the peaches and arrange (or dump) on top of the crust. If you reserved any of the mix, sprinkle it on top and pop the whole thing into the oven for 30-45 minutes.

Note: coarse sugar looks lovely sprinkled on top, but the peaches are often so sweet that it’s not needed as far as taste goes.

Jay’s Apple Crumble

(Jay is the friend who is leaving. I completely made up this recipe for him!)

Fruit:

4 large, tart apples

1 large lemon (for juicing)

1 tbsp flour

4 tbsp sugar

1 pinch salt

1 tsp allspice/pumpkin pie seasoning

Topping:

1/2 c flour

1/2 c oats

1/2 stick butter (melted)

4 tbsp sugar

4 tbsp sliced almonds or walnuts

pinch salt

Preheat to 400.

Juice the lemon and put that in the bottom of a large bowl. Wash, core, and roughly chop the apples, putting them on top of the lemon juice. Every so often (I cut up apples slowly, I guess) toss the the apples in the lemon juice to keep them from turning brown. Add the rest of the called for ingredients in the fruit mixture section, mixing/shaking well, and dump into the dish to go into the oven.

In another bowl, mix all the dry ingredients for the topping first. Quickly mix everything in the bowl and then add the melted butter. Continue to mix (often I find this part is best/most fun with hands), then when it’s starting to crumb up, dump on top of the fruit mixture and pop into the oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the topping is golden-brown and the mixture below is bubbly.

I think this is best enjoyed warm, straight out of the oven, with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. However, I’ll admit to snarfing down a giant bite or two in the morning for breakfast — after all, it’s healthy, with the exception of the butter and sugar.

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