Sammy the Seal

Mango strawberry crisp

In delicious on Monday, 7 May, 2012 at 20:49

Finally, a break from all that darn chocolate! Time for delicious fruit. One of the things I love about tarts and pies, other than the inclusion of delicious fruit, is their relative simplicity. It’s a rather democratic dessert– so easy, it’s within anyone’s power. (It really is. The fruit does most of the work.) They’re not as fancy as other desserts and pastries, certainly not aesthetically– they’re not much to look at, a bit prosaic by comparison. But, for something so simple and surface unsexy, there is such comfort, gratification, and layered sexy. Not to mention, there are few things to be quite as satisfying as cold fruit (the best way to eat a crisp or pie).

I actually resisted the urge to gussy up the crisp by adding spices and/or nuts. I even cut back on the sugar, especially on the filling. I wanted to let the fruits (and butter and oats) speak for themselves. There’s a natural urge to keep adding, to pile on, to get greedy, than to let things be. (Not just that, but I don’t think strawberry nor mango go with spices, really.) For me, certainly. I always have to remember to scale back and relax.

3 ⅓ c strawberry, hulled, diced, chopped (~1 ¼ #)
2 ⅓ c mango diced, chopped
¼ c corn starch
½ c less 2 T sugar

Tossed together and dumped in a 9″ pie plate. (It likely would’ve fit in a 8″ square cake pan, just rather heaping. I opted for more room.) Sprinkled/covered with:

1 c + 2 T old-fashioned oats
¾ c flour
½ c + 2 T brown sugar
7 T butter, slightly softened

It may seem a bit much, but it’s better to have every bit of fruit covered than have a few bits sticking up. After topping, it was all baked at 400° for just under 40 minutes. I made it too late in the day for it to cool sufficiently that I could have some last night, which was fine, because I had it waiting for me for after dinner today, sitting in the fridge all day getting cold.

At least with tarts, you can see most everything. Pies and crisps are a bit more enigmatic. Sure, they look normal on the outside, but there could be mud, or fish heads inside:

mango strawberry crisp whole

Now, I was initially very slightly disappointed that it came out such a deep brown, dark in some places, fearing that maybe I should have decreased the oven temperature. And then I ate some, and was vindicated with a wonderful crunch. The individual serving is more picturesque than the whole, but still, as is the nature of a pie or crisp, down-to-earth and unassuming. Unfussy and easy to get along with. Ah, cold fruit…..

mango strawberry crisp bit

Oh, and I ate it with a fork. A completist thing, you could call this:

mango strawberry crisp bit with fork

What I could have done differently

Not much, really. The only things I can think of are variations to suit a certain preference, like maybe:

1) I might lower the oven temperature 10-20°, but that’s minor. Depends on how brown one likes their topping.

2) Maybe subtract a tablespoon of cornstarch, to have the filling slightly gooey and runny. The consistency on this one was firm, no pools of any size. I thought I’d need it, having never baked mango before, and fearing release of water (ever sliced a mango and tried to keep it steady?).

3) Maybe a little less sugar in the filling, to get a little more tang from the fruit.

Also, the strawberry imparted a pinkish hue to some of the mango, which was kinda neat. So good. I’m having another bit.

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