Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Baked nectarines with almond crumble

I wasn't going to post anything this week. Somehow rambling on about food didn't seem appropriate in light of the sad events in Sydney of late. It's been a sombre start to summer here, first with the death of cricketer Phillip Hughes during play at the SCG, and this week, the siege at the Lindt cafe in the city. I found myself in tears at each of these tragic events, but the show of humanity in the aftermath of both had the same effect - from cricket bats left outside houses, to the #illridewithyou campaign to show solidarity with Muslims. That's life really - awful and beautiful all at once - and regardless of which end of the spectrum you're at, you've got to eat. And if you've got to eat, it may as well be something good. So here I am, rambling on about food. Summer fruit is, in my opinion, the best thing about summer. Mangoes, peaches, plums, apricots, cherries, nectarines... They don't need a thing done to them really - they're magnificent all on their own - which is lucky because usually it's so hot that the last thing you feel like doing in summer is cooking. This recipe allows the fruit to shine, and keeps you from getting shiny under a film of sweat in the kitchen. Just a few ingredients combined for a dessert to celebrate all the good (and goods) of summer. 

Baked nectarines with almond crumble
Adapted from a recipe by Nigel Slater, via my friend Elizabeth and her lovely blog The Back Yard Lemon Tree
I love this with plain Greek yoghurt for a tangy contrast to the sweetness of the fruit. 

4 nectarines (you could also use peaches)
1/3 cup (50g) almonds 
1/4 (50g) brown sugar
3 tablespoons (45g) unsalted butter, cubed

Preheat oven to 180 deg C / 350 deg F. 

Wash nectarines, cut in half (widthways) and remove stones. Place halves in a baking dish where they'll fit snugly.

Pulse the nuts, sugar and butter in a food processor til the nuts are coarsely ground and mixture is uniformly brown.

Cover the tops of the fruit with crumble and bake for 45-55 minutes til the crumble is crunchy and the fruit is cooked through.

Serve warm with yoghurt, cream or ice-cream.

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