Friday, July 4, 2014

Peach Crisp

When you're busy in the kitchen and there's a lot of other stuff going on, sometimes the wisest move can be to fall back on an easy and beloved dessert, something very basic but truly satisfying like a fresh fruit crisp.  With peaches nearing the height of their season, what better way to celebrate their gorgeous and flavorful beauty than a simple spoon dessert?

Among the cobblers, buckles, slumps and brown bettys, crisps are probably the most familiar.  They are quintessentially American, dating all the way back to the early settlers.  I remember being introduced to Apple Crisp as a kid in my school cafeteria.  The star is always the fruit but the crisp and chewy topping most definitely puts it over the top.  I use just enough sugar to sweeten the dessert but not so much that it masks the lovely freshness of the peaches.

I do love recipes that challenge my skills and desserts with interesting and unusual components.  But perhaps my first love is rustic pastries that really showcase the beauty of a few simple ingredients.  Although this Peach Crisp appears to be nothing fancy, it's a super indulgence when you feel you just can't get enough of all the great fruit in our markets right now.  Served with vanilla or caramel ice cream, it's a supreme summer memory.

Bench notes:
- Peaches should be ripe but firm.
- Taste your fruit to gauge how sweet it is.  Add sugar to taste.  Also keep in mind that the topping adds sweetness as well.
- For individual servings, bake in six 4" ramekins.
- Also perfect right now is shortcake.  I'm talking Almond Shortcake with fresh berries!
- For lots of ideas for summer fruit pastries and desserts, see my Pinterest page.

Peach Crisp
Makes 6 servings

3/4 cup (2 1/4 oz) old-fashioned oatmeal
1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz) flour
1/4 cup (1 3/4 oz) granulated sugar
3 tablespoons (39 grams) brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 oz (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter

6 fresh peaches (about 2 1/2 lbs)
1/4 cup (1 3/4 oz) granulated sugar, to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Have at the ready an 8" x 8" glass baking dish.

Whisk together the oatmeal, flour, both sugars, cinnamon and salt.  Cut the butter into 1/2" pieces and toss with the oatmeal mixture, coating each piece.  Work the butter in with your fingers, pinching it into smaller pieces until the mixture is combined into large and small crumbles.  Chill while you prepare the fruit.

Cut the peach in half and remove the pit.  Cut each half into 1/2" slices and place in a bowl.  Combine the sugar and cornstarch and toss with the peaches until the fruit is evenly coated.  Add the lemon juice and toss.  Put the fruit in the baking dish and spread into an even layer.  Sprinkle the oatmeal mixture over the peaches.

Bake until the topping is browned and the fruit is bubbling vigorously, about 30 minutes.  Serve warm or at room temperature.


Sue/the view from great island said...

We're on the same page today --- there's nothing better than summer fruit baked up in a crisp!

pastry studio said...

Hello, Sue! Nothing beats a simple fruit pastry in the spring and summer. Enjoy it while it lasts!

Kate said...

The only thing holding me back on this recipe is that peaches are on sale for $3.29 lb.!
It's still early in the upstate NY season, but this will surely make it's way to our summer table this year.
I love the oatmeal/peach combo so much that it's my favorite way to have my morning oatmeal :)
Great recipe!

pastry studio said...

Kate, WHOA!! It does seem like the price of fresh fruit has gone up this season. I fear the day when there is precious little fruit to buy due to drought and market forces.

In any case, hope you are able to enjoy the fresh bounty of your region for now. Primavera!!