Callie’s Cabin: That’s the way the cookie (and fruit) crumbles | TahoeDailyTribune.com

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Callie’s Cabin: That’s the way the cookie (and fruit) crumbles

Fresh fruit in May at Lake Tahoe isn't as fruitful as it is in the summertime. However, finding sweet fruits, including plums and pears, can be done. These two favorites can make a sweet English-style fruit crumble like the Brits favored because the sophisticated dish is uncomplicated to make.

During one May visit to the South Shore before I became a local, the unpredictable weather, like in Hawaii or Alaska, was an introduction to how meals and plans can change in a heartbeat. My sibling and I were en route to having a picnic on a sandy beach. But due to a thunderstorm we had to resort to plan B.

"We can eat sandwiches and fruit while watching the rain at the lake," I offered, thinking the novelty of winter-like weather in the spring was exciting even while sitting in the car.

The funny thing is, years later I forgot how this month can be cold one day and warm the next. Last weekend I purchased fresh fruit to make cold fruit salad. But it snowed. So, that is how I switched things up and my fruit (not as flavorful and juicy like it is in the summer) morphed into a warm dish.

Spring Fruit Crumble

3 plums, cored, peeled, chopped

3 pears, cored, peeled, chopped

1 apple, cored, peeled, chopped

1/8 cup (each) brown and granulated sugar

¼ cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 lemon cut in half, all the juice

Crumble Topping

¾ cup all-purpose flour

¼ stick European style butter, melted

½ cup brown sugar

¼ cup old-fashioned quick oats (not instant)

½ cup walnuts, chopped

Whipped cream or ice cream (choice depends on the weather)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl put chopped fruit. Add sugar, flour, cinnamon and juice. Mix well. Set aside. In another bowl, combine butter, sugar, oats, flour and nuts. Dish fruit evenly into ramekins. Top each with crumbly topping. Bake approximately one hour. (If you live in high altitude it may take a bit longer.) It's done when crust is golden brown and fruit is tender and bubbly. Best served warm with a dollop of whipped cream. Serves four.

Making a plum tart or apple pie in May seems a bit off, but creating simple fruit crumble dishes works whether it's chilly or not. The oatmeal makes it crumbly not sugary like a fruit crisp. Served warm with coffee for breakfast or cold with iced tea for dessert definitely works. Come summertime repeat with blackberries or rhubarb. It's a sweet and comfort food from nature's finest for life in the mountains and guaranteed to please whatever Mother Nature decides to do.

Motto: Going with the flow in the Sierra is something you do when engaging in fun and food.

Cal Orey, M.A. Is an author and journalist. Her books include the Healing Powers Series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, Coffee, and Tea) published by Kensington. (The collection has been featured by the Good Cook Book Club.) Her website is http://www.calorey.com.