Now, I know you probably won’t believe me, but it’s freezing in Hawaii right now and I’m layered in fleece, double socks, and long johns as I write this. It’s getting so bad that I placed an order with LL Bean for a bunch of hats to wear when we sleep (no joke). Granted, I live up in the mountains and not at the beach, but still! This is Hawaii, for Pete’s sake!
And yes, it’s true that my definition of “freezing” may be quite different from that of my fellow Debs who live in bona fide “freezing” temperatures, but you have to remember that these little sugar cane houses aren’t built for cold weather. There’s no heat, no A/C, no double pane windows. I can see into my garage (correction: car port) from my kitchen by looking under the gap beneath the front door. So when an unexpected storm passed through a couple of weeks ago (leaving a nice dusting of snow atop Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa), it left in its wake two sick kids and one sick husband. And me, trying to not freak out (and I’m not doing a very good job in that department, let me tell you).
So clearly anything I make this holiday season needs to be EASY. As in, easy peasy lemon squeezy. As in, so easy my 7 year old daughter could do it (if she wasn’t sick and if she was allowed to use the oven, which she’s not). This recipe has become one of my favorites and was given to me by a prominent local foodie, Joan Namkoong, for my upcoming novel, SWEET LIFE (Berkley, September 2008). It’s guaranteed to warm you up this holiday season plus the sugar hit will put you in joyful mood as you pick up discarded tissues all around your house.
- 5-6 cups firm, ripe mango, sliced (if you can’t get mangos, you can easily substitute with ripe peaches, nectarines or plums)
- juice from 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons raw white or turbinado sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter, frozen for 10 minutes
- 1½ cups flour
- 1½ cups quick cooking oatmeal
- 2 cups raw white or turbinado sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Place fruit in a 9” x 13” baking dish or deep pie dish. Sprinkle with lemon juice and sugar; mix together.
- Mix flour, oatmeal, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg together in a bowl.
- Quickly and carefully grate butter by hand or in a food processor. Toss grated butter with flour mixture using two table knives (or cut cold butter sticks into 8 to 10 pieces and blend into dry ingredients with a pastry blender) until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Once butter is evenly incorporated, place mixture on top of fruit. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until top is browned and crisp. Remove from oven and cool.
- Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.
To the 2008 Debs, I wish you every publishing and personal success!