A ripe, juicy nectarine and dollop of natural yoghurt is perfectly adequate dessert material. Sweet, rich and creamy it ticks the ‘treat’ box just fine. However, there are times when you fancy a smidge more indulgence, and without major effort involved. Those are the times when you’re sorely tempted to reach for that box of chocolates, the one you stashed somewhere obscure in the hope that you might forget their location…but hold up a sec! Don’t go hunting for the chocolates just yet. Why, there’s another option on the cards. Let’s take a second look at that nectarine of yours. Sitting so innocently in the fruit bowl. In under twenty minutes you can transform this baby into a ‘luxurious’ dessert that’s a hell-of-a lot healthier, and satisfying, than a box of chocolates (because let’s be honest we never stop at just one).
Step one. Forget about the chocolates. In the time it takes to find the darn things (and no they aren’t in the depths of your underwear drawer like last time) you’ll have made yourself a tip-top dessert. Walk over to the overhead grill, oven if you don’t have one, and turn the nozzle to medium-high. It’s time for some heat! Continue your tour of the kitchen, and traipse over to the fruit bowl. Select a nice, ripe nectarine. You don’t need to be too picky. A bit soft? That’s okay, we’ll just handle it with extra care. You grabbed a peach instead? No stress, we can deal with that too.
Step two. Slice your fruit right down the middle, starting at the top where the stalky bit was/is. That’s it, aalll the way around. Now twist the two halves in opposite directions so that they will (hopefully) come away from each other. Prise the pip out of the half it decided to hang on to. Grab a scrap of alfoil, whack it on a heatproof tray and sit your two halves of fruit on it, cut side up.
Step three. Time to crumble! Scrounge up your crumble ingredients and a small bowl. Oh, and it matters diddly squat if you don’t have quinoa flakes or brown rice flour. Simply sub with rolled oats (or porridge oats for that matter) and whole-wheat or plain flour, then continue on your merry way. Get your hands dirty and turn those ingredients into crumbly goodness! It’ll take you two minutes max.
Step four. Sprinkle the crumble mixture over your two nectarine halves. Some will cascade off in a mini crumble-avalanche. Just roll with it – it’ll still toast up nicely. Consider it an impromptu ice-cream garnish. Slide the baking tray into the oven/under the grill and blast it with heat for 8-10 minutes or until it starts to smell like a tropical island, and the crumble topping is golden brown and beyond crispy.
Step five. Transfer the fruit halves to serving bowls. Careful now – they’ll be a little wobbly. Add a scoop of vanilla ice-cream (or yoghurt if you’re going down the crumble-for-breakfast track). Even a second – can afford to be a bit generous here!
Step six. Grab a spoon and dig in!
Crumble Topped Nectarine For Two (Or One!)
Serves One to Two.
1 nectarine, halved with pip removed
1 tbsp brown rice flour
1 tsp softened butter or margarine (I used Nuttelex Lite)
1 tbsp quinoa flakes (substitute with rolled oats)
1 tbsp chopped pecans
1 tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut
Scant pinch salt
Scant pinch cinnamon
1 tbsp maple syrup
¼ tsp vanilla essence
Preheat grill to high. Line a small baking tray/dish with alfoil and place the nectarine halves on the tray, cut side up.
In a small bowl rub the butter/margarine into the rice flour until ‘breadcrumbs’ form. Rub in the quinoa flakes and then stir through the chopped pecans, coconut, salt and cinnamon. Pour in the maple syrup and vanilla essence and use a fork to combine. The mixture should begin to clump and stick together a little.
Pile the crumble mixture into mounds on top of the nectarine halves. Depending on the size of the nectarine (mine was quite small) you may have some crumble mixture left over. Simply form a small pile next to the nectarines – you will then have some extra to sprinkle over when serving!
Grill for approximately 8-10 minutes or until the crumble is nicely browned and the nectarines are hot to touch.
Serve immediately with vanilla ice-cream or yoghurt. Alternatively, allow to cool and eat cold or reheat later on.
Source: A Taste Without Waste original.