It’s an unavoidable truth. The summer fruits are perfect for baking into pies and crisps at the same time that you don’t want to turn on the oven. July and August are already heating up the house, and the last thing I want is to crank the oven for a couple of hours. That’s when you need to pull out the slow cooker, and start investigating slow cooker desserts.
( I made this slow cooker dessert on TV this week, click to watch the clip!)
Slow Cooker Dessert is the Cool Choice
The slow cooker is often thought of as the appliance for wintertime cookery, to simmer stews and pots of chili while we go about our day. But if you think about it, it’s really a self-contained stoneware oven. Turn on the slow cooker, and it heats an enclosed space, just like the oven. It’s just gentler, and because it’s tightly sealed, it stays moist.
Keep the kitchen cool
Once you start seeing the slow cooker as a free-standing oven, it makes perfect sense to “bake” slow cooker desserts. Cakes, cheesecakes, baked puddings, even this fruit crisp are just as delectable when prepared in the slow cooker.
Right now, nectarines and blueberries are ripe and ready. They are so good, they barely need any help to turn into a crowd-pleasing treat. I picked nectarines for this because they don’t need to be peeled, just sliced right into the crock. Throw in the berries, a slash of vanilla, that’s it.
Crumble is irresistible
The crumble topping is made from healthful whole grain flour and oats, but don’t tell anyone. It’s so sweet and crunchy, they don’t need to know that they are being a little bit virtuous. You can pick the fat for your crumble, coconut oil is really good in this, or you can go with buttery sticks or butter, if that is your thing.
Take off the lid, let it crisp
If you’re wondering whether the topping will be soft and moist from being in the pot for three hours, don’t worry. It is a little soft right when you take the lid off, but if you let is stand for a few minutes, the steam will escape and it will become crisp.
I hope this recipe will inspire you to make your own slow cooker dessert. Of course, you can use other fruit, like apples and pears in the Fall, whatever is good.
That way, you can make the most of the seasonal fruit, without breaking a sweat!
Blueberry Nectarine Crisp in the Slow Cooker
- 4 quart oval slow cooker
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar or sucanat
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup coconut oil or buttery sticks melted
- 1/4 cup crystallized ginger minced
- 2 pounds nectarines
- 3 cups blueberries
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot or cornstarch
- Lightly oil a large oval 4-quart crockpot insert and reserve.
- In a large bowl, mix the oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Melt the butter, margarine or coconut oil and add to the bowl, stir to mix well. Stir in the ginger. Refrigerate while you cut the fruit.
- Slice the nectarines into a large bowl, add the berries, vanilla and arrowroot and toss to mix. Pour into the slow cooker. Sprinkle the oat mixture over the fruit, close the cooker.
- Cook on low for 3 hours. Uncover and take the crock out of the cooker and place on a cooling rack, or a trivet at the table. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving with your favorite ice cream, whipped topping, or vanilla yogurt.