It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
Wait, you thought that was Christmas?
No way, guys. I’m 97.89% positive it’s June. I mean, think about it. The days stretch long and warm into the evenings. We break out the grill and gather round the campfire. Fireflies light up our nights. Flowers add brightness and color to our walkways. And berries are bursting with all their juicy, jewel toned glory.
S’mores and ice cream, people. S’mores and ice cream. What more convincing do you need?
This is my favorite time of year. After a particularly long, cruel winter, these first few weeks of sunshine, sun dresses, and grilling out feel especially extravagant. I’ve also always been partial to fruit desserts over chocolate desserts, and this season provides more than enough opportunity to indulge my cravings.
I’m not sure if there’s any dessert I love more than a simple fruit crisp. Warm fruit + buttery crumble + ice cream is my summer groove.
I adore a simple peach or apple crisp, but this Strawberry–Nectarine–Cherry combo is really something special. Each bite provides a little something different–a pop of sweet cherry, a little burst of tart nectarine, and then a bit of crunchy oatmeal topping. It’s heavenly warm from the oven with a big, melty scoop of vanilla ice cream.
The nice people over at Zulka contacted me a few weeks ago and asked if I’d be willing to try and review their Morena Pure Cane Sugar. It took me all of about .2 seconds to make that decision. In case you haven’t noticed, this kitchen goes through a lot of sugar, and I was excited to try their product.
Zulka is an unrefined sugar that is minimally processed, allowing it to retain the natural properties of the sugar cane plant. What does that mean? Basically, this stuff is the real thing. One look at the grains makes the difference pretty obvious. Zulka’s sugar grains are coarser and less uniform than traditional refined white sugar and they have a golden brown color. The taste difference is subtle, but Zulka sugar has a lingering caramel taste that traditional refined sugar lacks.
Zulka can be used as an exact 1:1 replacement for refined white sugar in all baking and cooking recipes, which means you don’t have to do any complicated math in your head. Woohoo! It also means your baked goods will have the naturally sweet, caramel flavor of real sugar cane.
This crisp was the first recipe I tried using Zulka sugar, but since then I’ve been using it in everything from cookies to iced tea. I find it’s especially good in beverages, where you can really taste the difference in flavor. I also love that the grains are more coarse, which makes them perfect for sprinkling on top of a muffin or crisp to add a little texture and shimmer.
If you’d like to learn more, check out Zulka’s website. And be sure to enjoy all the goodness of the most wonderful time of the year!
Zulka provided the sugar for this review. All opinions are my own.
Nectarine, Cherry, and Strawberry Crisp
For the fruit
- 1 cup cherries, pitted
- 1 pint strawberries, thickly sliced
- 3 nectarines, pitted and sliced
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
For the crisp
- 8 Tablespoons butter, melted
- 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 2/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1 1/3 cup rolled oats
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a baking dish (I used a deep dish 9 inch pie plate), combine cherries, strawberries, nectarines, sugar, lemon juice and cornstarch. Toss to coat.
- In a mixing bowl, stir together butter, brown sugar, flour, and oats until well combined. Place oat mixture over the top of the fruit mixture.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes or until top is golden brown, and fruit is starting to bubble.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
Recipe by Neighborfood