As someone who anticipates summer more than any other season, it's hard towards the end of the season to not sit back and think about how good the summer has been compared to other summers. How many warm perfect days vs. rainy days ... how many beach bbqs did we do or just overall days spent on the beach and swimming in the ocean. Did I get in my fair share of epic outdoor dinner parties. This summer had mostly ups and just a few downs. We had a lot of rainy saturdays, and for some reason these last few weeks of august have felt more like the last few of september, needing a sweater in the early morning and late evening. But weather aside, I have to say, everything else about this summer has been pretty great. I relished in my vacation time, just as much as I did getting back to work and getting our new brooklyn studio ready. We opened officially last weekend, and that definitely was a big highlight of my summer.
Once I have had a chance to anaylze my summer, I pretty much always come to the same conclusion. Summer is the best, and even the least best summer is still pretty darn amazing.
This summer I did a lot of cooking. Even more than I usually do, and I consider that a big summertime win. With all of the amazing fruits and veggies at my finger tips, I have a hard time passing up any opportunity to cook with the summertime gems .... whether it's just for myself, or for a big group of people. I made a point to always make myself breakfast and lunch at home, and I tried to keep eating out for more special or social occasions, or for when I was craving the crab pasta or wood grilled whole fish at one of my two favorite restaurants in town. Usually when I am doing a lot of cooking, I like to get creative to keep from getting bored, but this summer I was drawn to the most simple preparations .... a quick satuee or roast of vegetables served with a simply grilled fish or chicken was pretty much on repeat. As was this dessert here. I made a version of this crisp every single time we had guests this summer. In the early summer is was with strawberries and rhubarb, mid-summer it was with cherries and blackberries, and right about now I am making it with the perfectly ripe peaches and blueberries (my favorite fruit crisp duo).
I have been working for a long time towards a crisp that is free of gluten and dairy, but hardly noticeable to traditional crisp lovers. This version which uses olive oil instead of butter, and a mixture of polenta and a gluten-free flour blend for a bit of crunch and texture, is by far the winner. I was so surprised at how well olive oil works to make a crispy crunch dessert topping. I have also been loving serving it in this limited edition teal colored dutch oven by Le Creuset. The color makes the dessert pop, and the dutch oven is the perfect vessel to cook and serve the dessert in because the top comes in handy for when you want to bake this ahead of time, and keep it waiting on the countertop, covered, until you're ready to serve. I would strongly suggest making this at your next dinner party, before the blueberries and peaches and summertime leave us until next year.
**This post is sponsored by Le Creuset + Williams Sonoma. All opinions are my own. I am giving away one of these dutch ovens over on my Instagram, so head there for a chance to win! Thanks for supporting the brands that support WCGL!
peach + blueberry + polenta crisp
This recipe is inspired by the strawberry + rhubarb + polenta crisp in Gjelina, by Travis Lett, but is adapted to be made gluten + dairy free.
for the topping:
1 cup of gluten-free flour
1/2 cup of quick cooking polenta
1/3 cup of sugar (coconut palm sugar or white sugar)
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
a pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
for the filling:
2 pints of blueberries
5-6 peaches, pitted and thinly sliced
1/3 cup of sugar (coconut palm or white sugar)
2 tablespoons of gluten-free flour
the juice of 1/2 a lime
a pinch of sea salt
Vanilla ice cream for serving
Pre-heat the oven to 375ºF.
Make the topping:
- In medium bowl, whisk together the flour, polenta, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the egg and olive oil and whisk until combined. This topping will be a little wetter than more traditional crumble toppings, and that is ok. This can be made in advance and stored in an air-tight container the fridge, if using the same week, or you can place it into a container and store in the freezer for a few months.
Make the filling, add the topping + bake:
- In a large dutch oven (3.75QT) or baking dish (10"x14"), combine the blueberries, peaches, sugar, flour, lime, and salt. Sprinkle the crumble topping evenly over the top.
- Bake until the crisp topping is lightly browned and the filling is bubbling, about 30-40 minutes. Allow to cool, uncovered, for at least 20 minutes before serving.
- Serve warm with a scoop of your favorite ice cream.