Red, White, and Blue Fruit Crisp
Note: You can make different variations of this dessert all year round—with apples, cranberries, and fresh ginger in the fall and winter, or with rhubarb, apricots, plums, and strawberries in the late spring. The combination of strawberries and raspberries, blueberries and blackberries is a way to make it red, white, and blue for the Fourth of July. (Don’t forget the vanilla ice cream, the white part of the dish.)
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Dash of salt
1 cup sugar (1/2 cup for the crust, 1/2 cup for the filling)
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, or 3/4 cup coconut oil
2 large egg yolks
10 cups mixed strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries (or other fruit—see note above)
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 cup candied ginger, diced
vanilla ice cream
1. To make the crust using a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse the flour, salt, and 1/2 cup sugar together. Divide the butter or coconut oil into smaller amounts, add gradually to the bowl, and process until crumbly. Add the egg yolks and process until a ball is formed, adding more flour if necessary. (To make the dough by hand, use your fingers or a pastry blender to work the butter into the flour, salt, and 1/2 cup sugar until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolks and work the dough into a ball.) Flatten the dough with your hands or a rolling pin to about a half-inch thickness, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least a half hour.
2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and put the fruit in a 9-by-13-inch Pyrex pan. Sprinkle lemon zest, the candied ginger, and the remaining 1/2 cup sugar over all; mix together with the fruit, using your hands. Then remove the crust from the refrigerator, pinch off nickel-sized bits of dough, and sprinkle over the top. You want it to be rustic.
3. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the fruit juicy. Remove from the oven and set on a rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature, topped with generous scoops of vanilla ice cream.
Yield: 8 servings