Peaches are in season right now and they’re available in abundance—almost every stand at my local farmers market has stacks of them among the eggplant, corn and tomatoes that are also at their peak. When I pass by the peaches I often think about what else I can do with them besides eat them as is. I made a peach tomato salsa a few weeks ago which was pretty good, but we liked the mango version better. Yesterday, I had the itch to bake, especially since Christie and I were discussing how delectable peach desserts are. I consulted my Food & Wine cookbook and found this recipe for peach crisp. Perfect. I had all of the ingredients, except the peaches, but a quick walk through the Greenmarket took care of that. The recipe was intended for 12 individual crisps, though it said that one big crisp would also work. I opted for the latter. In order to prep the peaches, I needed to blanch them in boiling water for one minute, which would make the skins easier to peel.
Don’t these look delicious? I diced them up, sprinkled them with cornstarch and then into the crisp they went.
Here is the finished product, which I scooped into a small ramekin for photographic purposes. I baked the crisp in a dish that was just shy of 13 x 9. I had some of the crumb topping leftover too, so if you have a bigger baking dish, use it. The recipe says to serve it warm, but I prefer a cold crisp—especially for breakfast, which I indulged in this morning. It’s my birthday and birthdays are a great time to eat dessert in the am, after all. The brown sugar, oat, sugar combo ensures that the crisp is tasty without being overly sugary, and the peaches deliver a delicious natural sweetness. Next time you come across a pile of peaches pick some up. Then make this dessert!
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 cup rolled oats
7 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 pounds peaches
1/4 cup cornstarch
In a food processor, combine the flour, sugars, oats, butter and salt and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the peaches and blanch for 1 minute to loosen their skins. Transfer the peaches to a large rimmed baking sheet. When cool enough to handle, peel off the skins and cut the peaches into 1/2-inch dice. Transfer the peaches to a large bowl and sprinkle with the cornstarch. Toss well to coat and let stand for a few minutes.Preheat the oven to 325°. Butter and sugar twelve 5-ounce ramekins and arrange them on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Spoon the peaches into the ramekins and sprinkle with the topping. Bake the crisps for about 1 hour, until the filling is bubbling. Remove the ramekins from the oven and increase the temperature to 400°. Bake the crisps on the upper rack for about 8 minutes, until the topping is browned. Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream, if desired.