Slump is the most easy-going one in the family of fruit-and-dough desserts like buckle, betty, crumble and grunt. This slump's dough is extra fluffy, indulged with mascarpone and barely held together with flour, so it's more like a custardy comforter laid atop your fruit. When the one pictured above emerged from the oven, Kristen noted its raised edges and said it should be called a shrug, not a slump.
I used nectarines because this year's local nectarines were sweet beauties. But I've made this recipe with peaches and apricots, too. In a couple of weeks, I'd slip in those oval Italian plums. Happy shrugging!
Adapted from "Under the Tuscan Sun" and "Cooking for Mr. Latte" —Amanda Hesser
8 tablespoons salted butter plus more for greasing casserole dish, softened
About 1 1/2 pounds ripe, sweet nectarines, pitted and quartered
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Wipe the inside of a large shallow casserole with a generous amount of butter. Cover the base, but not too snugly, with nectarine quarters, cut side up. Sprinkle them with 1 teaspoon sugar.
In a mixer fitted with a paddle, cream the butter and the remaining 1 cup sugar. When it's nice and fluffy white, beat in the eggs, then the mascarpone and almond extract. Fold in the flour by hand.
Spoon this mixture over the nectarines and spread it close to the edges of the casserole. Bake in the oven, until the sides rise and warp and the center is just set, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool before serving.
Before starting Food52 with Merrill, I was a food writer and editor at the New York Times. I've written several books, including "Cooking for Mr. Latte" and "The Essential New York Times Cookbook." I played myself in "Julie & Julia" -- hope you didn't blink, or you may have missed the scene! I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Tad, and twins, Walker and Addison.