I did something this week that I never thought of before. Twice, as a matter of fact. I liked the first result so much that I had to try it again, and I am considering adding the easy recipe to my family cookbook.
You see, my local market discounts less-than-perfect produce in addition to day-old bakery items. I’m not proud when it comes to saving money. Especially these days! So, when I saw a several-pound bag of very ripe nectarines (marked down to the price of two nectarines I might add), I immediately snatched them up. Roasted nectarines with crumbled graham crackers, walnuts, and vanilla yogurt seemed like a wonderful dessert idea.
Soaring summer temperatures (and a desire for a nap) made me consider alternatives to turning on the oven. I could have poached, grilled, or microwaved the nectarines. Instead, I chose to use my crock pot. I just cut the 8 large nectarines in half, placed them in the crock pot, added a cup of granulated sugar, some brown sugar, the juice of 2 medium lemons (picked from my tree), and some chopped fresh lemon peel. With no other effort, I turned the crock pot temp to full blast. (What a bunch of crock to call it a slow cooker!)
When I woke up, the nectarines were a soft juicy and the kitchen was cool. I removed the lemon peel, added a bit more sugar, and let the nectarines continue to steep in sweet juice in the crock pot for another hour. Divine!
A few days later I did the crock pot treatment again with mixed apples (Granny Smith, Red Delicious, Gala), adding cinnamon and a little ginger, but without the lemon juice or peel (and the nap). Using the crock pot was so easy, and was a no-fuss way to enjoy an abundance of “better-eat-it-today fruit.”
My lazy experiment resulted in a perfect ingredient for cobblers, ice cream topping, crisps, shortcakes, even preserves and pies. Variations of your own could be splendid additions to your family cookbook. Try it with other stone fruits such as peaches, cherries, plums, mangoes, apricots. Almost as easy as opening a can, only so much better!