A little while ago, Kathy wrote about homemade "convenience foods" and included a recipe for a very simple crumb topping for cobbler. It sounded pretty good to me, so I whipped up a batch. It's a rather large yield recipe, so if you don't eat dessert very often or if fridge space is limited, I'd recommend cutting it in half. You might have to make it in half batches anyway, because you'd need an awfully big food processor to handle these quantities all at once. Also, I found it a tad on the sweet side for my tastes, so I think I would modify it slightly the next time around by both cutting the sugar and upping the oatmeal. Her standard batch came close to filling two half-gallon canning jars, which I have to admit are a little tough to find room for in the fridge right now.
Still, it was wickedly satisfying to slice up a few late plums we bought at the farmer's market this weekend, supplement them with some volunteer ground cherries from our garden, plop them in a small pie plate, and top them with just the right amount of my homemade convenience food. Since I'd used my small pie plate for the cobbler, it fit in the toaster oven. About 45 minutes later, it was done. I didn't even bother to thicken the fruit. Some might call this more of a crisp, though the addition of oatmeal isn't standard in crisps. Whatever you want to call it, it was delicious!
The beauty of having plenty of this topping on hand is that it truly is convenient. Quantities sort of become irrelevant. If I had just one plum and a hankering for something sweet, I could put just that amount of fruit into a ramekin and make a single-serving cobbler/crisp. Having this kind of stash pretty much vaporizes any sort of weasely justification for giving in and paying for store-bought pie or dessert. Once the topping is waiting in your fridge, it's trivially easy to cut up fruit, top it, and get the dish in the oven. Five minutes, max. So you'll buy the fresh fruit instead of the over processed and over packaged pie. And this'll work with just about any fresh fruit too.
I live on a 2/3 acre homestead in a residential neighborhood. A major goal is to demonstrate how much food a non-expert can produce in my particular climate and hardiness zone, with the soils native to my immediate area. We have gardens of annual and perennial plants, keep laying hens and honey bees, and regularly bite off more than we can chew. Another major goal is to pay off our mortgage as fast as possible. Here I blog about frugality, self-reliance, gardening, cooking and baking, food preservation, practical skills, half-baked experiments, and preparing to thrive in a lower-energy future.