Admit it, no matter how healthy your lifestyle is, sometimes you just need dessert. Having a sugary treat at the end of a meal or with a warm cup of tea is one of life’s sweetest pleasures. Now you can indulge your sweet tooth without compromising your healthy eating habits. In The Sweet Spot, former White House pastry chef, Bill Yosses creates crave-worthy desserts that have a healthy twist. How does he do it? Yosses puts into practice his seven pillars for transforming recipes: the use of herbs and spices, essential oils, whole grains and the best full-flavor ingredients available, less sugar, less fat, real ingredients (eliminating fake ingredients such as Cool Whip), and fruit purees or compotes to provide flavor and contrast. The finished desserts in this book rival those of any pastry shop. Lemon Curd Pie with Meringue, Candied Grapefruit and Ricotta Tart, or Chocolate Raspberry Tart can be ours to enjoy with less guilt and tons of flavor. Try this crave-worthy recipe for Fruit Crisps with Nut Toppings as a dessert option for your next family meal.
Fruit Crisps with Nut Toppings
- MAKES ENOUGH NUT TOPPING FOR TWELVE 5-OUNCE RAMEKINS OR TWO 9-INCH CRISPS
- MAKES ENOUGH FILLING FOR SIX 5-OUNCE RAMEKINS OR ONE 9-INCH CRISP
For the Nut Topping
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted high-fat European-style butter, at room temperature
3⁄4 cup muscovado or light brown sugar
2 drops food-grade essential oil (fir balsam, bergamot, bitter orange, lavender, or rose; optional)
1 1⁄2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1⁄2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup coarsely chopped nuts (of your choice)
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
For the Filling
1⁄3 cup organic cane sugar
3 tablespoons black chia seeds
1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cardamom Pinch of kosher salt
21⁄2 pounds fresh fruit (of your choice), pitted and/or peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces, if applicable
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons drinking vinegar
Maple Whipped Cream (see below), for serving
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment.
Make the topping. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the essential oil and mix to incorporate. Reduce the speed to low, add half the flour, and mix until incorporated, then add the remaining flour and mix until combined. Add the oats, nuts, and thyme and mix until just combined. Do not overmix. The mixture will resemble chunky paste. Spread in thin layers on the prepared baking sheets and bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Let cool, then break into marble-size pieces.
Make the filling. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, chia seeds, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt. In a separate medium bowl, combine the fruit, lemon zest and juice, and drinking vinegar and toss. Add the dry mixture to the fruit mixture and toss together with your hands until the fruit is coated all over. Spoon the fruit into 6 individual ramekins or into a 9-inch oven-safe dish. Press the fruit down to make room for the topping, if necessary. Divide the crumble evenly over the fruit. Bake until the fruit bubbles, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for 30 minutes. Serve with the Maple Whipped Cream.
Maple Whipped Cream
½ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons granulated maple sugar
Place the bowl and whisk attachment of a standing mixer in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
Return the bowl and whisk to the mixer and pour the cream into the bowl. Whisk on medium-high speed until soft peaks form and the tines of the whisk begin to show in the cream. Add the sugar and whisk for 30 seconds more. Remove the bowl from the mixer, and using a hand whisk, finish whisking to stiff peaks. The whipped cream will keep in the refrigerator, tightly covered, overnight. Whisk before serving.
Reprinted from The Sweet Spot by arrangement with Pam Krauss Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © 2017, Bill Yosses