The apricots can be mixed with 1 cup raspberries for color and a bit of zing. You can also make crumbles to follow the seasons, starting in the spring with strawberry-rhubarb; followed by summer cherries, berries, peaches, nectarines or plums; and then fall apples, pears or quince. If you like, serve the crumble with dollops of whipped cream or scoops of vanilla ice cream.
For the crumble topping:
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into chunks
- 5 cups pitted apricots, cut into chunks
- 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
Preheat an oven to 400°F. Butter a 9-inch pie dish or 9-by-7-inch baking dish.
To make the topping, in a bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. Scatter the butter over the flour mixture and, using a pastry cutter or 2 table knives, mix until the butter is evenly distributed and the mixture begins to form clumps.
In a large bowl, stir together the apricots, lemon juice and vanilla. Add the flour and granulated sugar and stir again to coat the fruit evenly. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and sprinkle the topping evenly over the surface. Bake until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is golden, about 40 minutes. Serve warm. Serves 6 to 8.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Family Meals, by Maria Helm Sinskey (Oxmoor House, 2008).