Eat & DrinkFeaturesWhat a Dish


By Debbie AndersonJune 29, 2021July 2nd, 2021No Comments

Fruit Crisp with Ice Cream

By June Naylor
Photos by Meda Kessler

Provender Hall, which opened last July in the Fort Worth Stockyards, is chef/restaurateur Marcus Paslay’s homage to the comfort of Southern cooking.

This summer, the native Texan gets a better chance to share his favorite dishes of the season as dining traffic returns (Provender reopened for lunch in late May). His passion for cast-iron cooking is evidenced by his fruit crisp, a dessert that showcases whatever is fresh from the market. While that means pears and apples in fall and berries in spring, in hot-weather months the crisp stars peaches or a combination of stone fruits — plums, cherries and nectarines. Served at the restaurant in individual cast-iron skillets, the dessert also gets a scoop of vanilla ice cream. “I’ve always loved warm fruit with cold ice cream melting on top and the contrast of crunchy crumble in between,” says Paslay. It gives you all the textures and flavors you want.”

Fruit Crisp with Ice Cream

Serves 6


  • 4¾ cups chopped peaches or mixed stone fruits, pitted
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 2½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cinnamon stick ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon hot water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch


  • ¾ cup butter, melted
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated white sugar
  • 1½ cups flour
  • ¾ cup chopped pecans

For the filling, combine fruit, sugar, lemon juice and zest, vanilla extract and cinnamon stick in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook about 10 minutes or until sugar dissolves and fruits soften and release liquids, stirring occasionally. Remove cinnamon stick and discard.

Combine hot water and cornstarch, mixing into a slurry; add to pot with fruit mixture and bring just to boil. Transfer to an 8-by-8 buttered baking dish or 4 large ramekins. We used a 9-inch cast-iron pan.

In a bowl, mix butter, sugars, flour and pecans with a fork just till combined. Spoon crumble mixture atop fruit mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes or till top is browned and edges are bubbling.

Top individual portions with a scoop of ice cream and serve immediately.

Provender Hall Elevated American comfort food is the emphasis here, from smoked chicken to cheddar-cheese grits. The restaurant is open Wednesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner and for happy hour with a limited menu between the two. Mule Alley, 122 E. Exchange Ave., Fort Worth, 817-782-9170,