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Did you know that when red currants are baked they taste like candy? I swear! Just like candy. All red and sweet and sticky. If you’ve never tried red currants before, I think you should snatch some up and make this crisp. Wikipedia says that red currants are a bit sour and mostly used in jams and other cooked dishes. They’re definitely not conducive to snacking since they’re as tiny as a mini Altoid. But something happens when they’re baked and they just transform…into candy!
I paired them with some sweet nectarines and added bit of thyme as a contrast to the sweet crisp topping. I also used more salt than is usual, fancy fleur de sel to be exact, in the topping to really make the fruit pop. I loved how sweet, salty, sour and savory all combined to make this special summer dessert. I also loved how the scoop of Haagen Dazs Fleur de Sel Caramel ice cream we heaped on top made for the best dessert I’ve had in a long time.
Red Currant, Nectarine & Thyme Crisps
6 oz. red currants, removed from stem
2 nectarines, sliced into medium-thick pieces
1/2 cup natural cane sugar
2 tbsp. whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, loosely packed
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 stick of butter, room temperature
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp. fleur de sel (or other coarse salt)
Preheat the oven to 375° and grease 4 ramekins (or a small baking or casserole dish).
In a small bowl, stir the currants, nectarines, sugar flour and thyme together and divide amongst the ramekins.
Add the remaining ingredients to another bowl (or use the same one if you’re lazy), and use a knife to “cut” the butter into the dry ingredients until everything forms giant crumbs. Divide amongst the ramekins (on top of the fruit).
Place the ramekins on a rimmed cookie sheet (or you’ll have a mess!) and bake for 35 minutes. Serve warm and topped with your favorite ice cream.