Low-sugar cobblers, crisps and crumbles

  • With less sugar, these cobblers, crisps and crumbles let their fruit flavors shine brighter.

    With less sugar, these cobblers, crisps and crumbles let their fruit flavors shine brighter. Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post

 
Posted8/14/2019 6:00 AM

Peach Apricot Buttermilk Cobbler

This is also known as a buckle. Adding some finely minced dried apricots naturally sweetens this recipe and intensifies the taste of the peach-apricot filling. A bit of turbinado sugar on top adds sparkle and brings out the country flavor of this summery cobbler. The fruit caramelizes slightly while the topping puffs up and turns golden with a texture somewhere between a scone and a biscuit. For a deeper Southern flavor, replace half the flour with cornmeal.

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Peach Apricot Buttermilk Cobbler.
Peach Apricot Buttermilk Cobbler. - Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post

For the filling

½ cup (65 grams) dried apricots

2/3 cup (160 milliliters) boiling water

4 medium peaches (475 grams), halved, pitted and cut into eighths (about 3 cups)

5 apricots (400 grams), pitted and quartered (about 2½ cups)

¼ cup (60 milliliters) fresh orange juice (from 1 orange)

3 tablespoons granulated or light brown sugar, firmly packed

1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot powder

For the topping

1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose or whole-wheat flour

¼ cup (50 or 60 grams) granulated or light brown sugar, firmly packed

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

1½ teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon fine sea or kosher salt

¼ cup (60 grams) unsalted butter, melted

¼ cup (60 milliliters) buttermilk or Greek yogurt

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon turbinado sugar

For the filling: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter or spray an 8-inch square pan.

Place the dried apricots in a small bowl and cover with the boiling water. Let stand until softened, about 10 minutes. Drain, dry and then finely mince the apricots.

In a medium bowl, mix the reconstituted apricots, peaches, fresh apricots, orange juice, sugar and cornstarch (or arrowroot powder). Gently toss to combine and transfer to the prepared baking dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

For the topping: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Using a wooden spoon or silicone spatula, stir in the melted butter, then the buttermilk or yogurt, egg and vanilla until combined. The topping mixture will be thick and sticky.

Drop dollops of the topping over the fruit. Dust with the turbinado sugar.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the topping turns light golden brown. Serve warm.

Serves 8 to 10

Nutrition (based on 10 servings) | Calories: 200; Total Fat: 6 g; Saturated Fat: 4 g; Cholesterol: 35 mg; Sodium: 115 mg; Carbohydrates: 34 g; Dietary Fiber: 2 g; Sugars: 18 g; Protein: 3 g.

(From food writer and cookbook author Marcy Goldman.)

Bumbleberry Crumble.
Bumbleberry Crumble. - Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post

Bumbleberry Crumble

Here is a quartet of sweet and vibrant fruits -- cherries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries -- collectively referred to as bumbleberry. An extra-generous crown of the crispy oatmeal topping offers a buttery, crumbly contrast to the preserve-like jammy fruit filling. In the summer, use the plentiful fresh berries, but feel free to use frozen in the winter.

For the topping

1½ cups (145 grams) old-fashioned oatmeal

1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose or white whole-wheat flour

½ cup (120 grams) light brown sugar, firmly packed

1/8 teaspoon fine sea or kosher salt

½ cup (8 tablespoons/113 grams) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch dice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the filling

2 cups (270 grams) blackberries

2 cups (300 grams) blueberries

2 cups (250 grams) raspberries

1 cup (125 grams) pitted fresh or frozen cherries, halved

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/3 cup (67 grams) sugar

1 tablespoon mild honey

1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously spray a 3-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

For the topping: In a medium bowl, combine the oatmeal, flour, sugar and salt. Using a pastry cutter, work in the butter until the mixture is crumbly and the butter pieces are pea-size. Stir in the vanilla.

For the filling: In another medium bowl, toss the blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, cherries and lemon juice together. Sprinkle in the sugar, add the honey and cornstarch (or arrowroot powder), and, using a wood spoon, stir to combine. Spoon the fruit into the prepared baking dish and then top as evenly as possible with the oatmeal mixture.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until fruit starts to bubble around the edges and the topping turns golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and let the cool for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

Serves 6 to 8

Nutrition (based on 8 servings) | Calories: 390; Total Fat: 13 g; Saturated Fat: 8 g; Cholesterol: 30 mg; Sodium: 20 mg; Carbohydrates: 66 g; Dietary Fiber: 7 g; Sugars: 35 g; Protein: 5 g.

(From food writer and cookbook author Marcy Goldman.)

Strawberry Roasted Rhubarb Crisp.
Strawberry Roasted Rhubarb Crisp. - Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post

Strawberry Roasted Rhubarb Crisp

A little oven roasting helps to intensify the rhubarb's tart-sweet flavor and makes the fruit jammy and tender. If you want a gluten-free version, use almond meal to replace the flour and ensure your oats are gluten-free.

For the fruit

3 cups (375 grams) chopped (in 1-inch pieces) rhubarb, from about 1½ medium stalks

3 tablespoons light brown sugar, firmly packed

2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

2 cups (300 grams) small strawberries (halved, if berries are large), hulled

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons mild honey

2 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot powder

For the topping

¾ cup (65 grams) old-fashioned oats

¾ cup (94 grams) all-purpose or white whole-wheat flour

1/3 cup (75 grams) light brown sugar, firmly packed

A pinch fine sea or kosher salt

4 tablespoons (60 grams) unsalted butter

Half-and-half, for serving (optional)

For the rhubarb: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the rhubarb on the baking sheet and add the brown sugar and orange juice, tossing gently with your hands to coat the pieces. Roast the rhubarb about 20 minutes, or until it has softened and juices run on the pan. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Transfer the rhubarb to a 2½- to 3-quart oven-safe casserole dish and add the strawberries and vanilla. Toss gently to combine, then add the honey and cornstarch (or arrowroot powder) and gently stir to combine.

For the topping: In a large bowl, combine the oats, flour, sugar and salt. Using a pastry cutter or your fingertips, work in the butter to make a rough, crumbly mixture.

Spread the topping mixture evenly over the fruit. Bake 35 to 45 minutes, or until the fruit is bubbling around the edges. Transfer to a cooling rack and let rest 5 minutes before serving. Serve warm, as is, or with half-and-half.

Serves 6 to 8

Nutrition (based on 8 servings) | Calories: 230; Total Fat: 7 g; Saturated Fat: 5 g; Cholesterol: 15 mg; Sodium: 40 mg; Carbohydrates: 40 g; Dietary Fiber: 3 g; Sugars: 21 g; Protein: 3 g.

(From food writer and cookbook author Marcy Goldman.)

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