Crisps are a great way to use up fruit that is almost past its prime. Be sure to remove bruises before chopping. For best results, try to cut the fruit into uniform pieces. Panko are coarse, extra-crispy bread crumbs often used in Japanese cooking. Once confined to Asian markets, these crumbs can now be found in most large, chain grocery stores. Look in the Asian section or in the regular bread crumbs/melba toast aisle.

Serves 6 to 8


For the filling:
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • Peel of 1 orange, finely grated
  • 3 cups pitted, peeled and chopped peaches
  • 4 cups blueberries
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

    For the topping:
  • 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
  • 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1/3 cup melted, unsalted butter


    Preheat the oven to 350° F.

    To make the filling: In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, cornstarch and orange peel until evenly combined.

    In a large bowl, place the peaches and blueberries. Sprinkle with the vanilla and toss gently to evenly distribute the fruit. Sprinkle with the sugar mixture and toss gently to coat evenly. Spoon into an 8-by-8-inch glass baking dish. Level with the back of the spoon.

    To make the topping: In a medium bowl, toss the panko, brown sugar, hazelnuts and salt until well combined. Pour the butter over the crumbs and toss to coat well. Spoon the crumbs evenly over the fruit. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is crispy. Allow to cool for 30 to 45 minutes before serving. The crisp can be served warm or at room temperature. Eat as is or topped with whipped cream, ice cream, crème anglaise or crème fraîche.

    This dessert is best eaten the day it's made. Any leftovers should be covered and refrigerated. Soggy topping can be rescued with a minute under the broiler.

    From The Messy Baker: More Than 75 Delicious Recipes from a Real Kitchen (Rodale) by Charmian Christie.

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