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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Peach Crisp

 We went peach picking in July, and I went a little crazy - brought home over 20 pounds of the juicy golden orbs.  Which meant peaches with every meal, for every snack, and peaches n' cream every night.  Not complaining.  But by Sunday of that week, I wanted to cook something with them.  And I just didn't have the patience for pie. 

The thing about "crisps" is that sometimes the topping tastes too much like flour, has too many oats, or gets too soggy in the juice and is more "mush" than "crisp."  This recipe solves all those problems, and probably any others you have.  There are two key ingredients: spices for flavor, and nuts for texture and crunch.  It's really that simple.  The peaches juice and then thicken up on their own.  You make the topping in the food processor.  The hardest thing you have to do for this perfect, simple, summer dessert is decide who you're going to share it with.  If anybody.

Peach Crisp (print recipe)
Serves 4 to 6

6 T unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
5 T cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 cup coarsely chopped nuts, such as almonds, pecans or walnuts


3 pounds peaches (or nectarines) (about 6), peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/3-inch wedges
1/2 tsp grated zest and 1 1/2 T juice from one lemon
1/4 cup granulated sugar

1.  For the topping: Place the flour, sugars, spices and salt in a food processor and process briefly to combine.  Add the butter and pulse 10 times, about 4 seconds for each pulse.  The mixture will first look like dry sand, with large lumps of butter, then like coarse cornmeal.  Add the nuts, then process again, four or five 1-second pulses.  The topping should look like slightly clumpy wet sand.  Be sure not to overmix or the mixture will become too wet and homogeneous.  Refrigerate the topping while preparing the fruit, at least 15 minutes.

2.  Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees. 

3.  For the filling: Peel, pit, and cut the peaches into 1/3-inch wedges.  Toss the peaches, zest, lemon juice, and sugar in a medium bowl.  Scrape the fruit mixture with a rubber spatula into an 8-inch square baking dish, 9-inch deep dish pie pan, or similar 2-quart dish. 

4.  To assemble and bake:  Distribute the chilled topping evenly over the fruit.  Bake for 40 minutes.  Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees and continue baking until the fruit is bubbling and the topping turns deep golden brown, about 5 minutes more.  Serve warm.  (The crisp can be set aside at room temperature for a few hours and then reheated in a warm oven just before serving.)

Recipe from Baking Illustrated

1 year ago:  La Diva Chocolate Cake
2 years ago:  Strawberries and Cream Pie
3 years ago: Chocolate Pistachio Cake

1 comment:

Leslie said...

TWENTY pounds???? wow. I would have eaten 19 of those pounds! love the peach crisp!

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