If you saw my post yesterday then you saw the photo of the big barrel of peaches from the Okanagan – soon to be out of season. They were the tastiest, juiciest I can ever remember having. What to do with them all?Of course I gave some away but can’t possibly eat all the rest before they start to go bad. I decided to make peach crumbles instead of pies. Why? You can cheat on not having to make pie crust which is more time consuming and finicky especially if you like using real butter instead of lard (as I prefer, per Martha Stewart). Also crumbles are lighter, you get to taste more of the ripe fruit which is in season this way and then you can eat twice as much (ha). Top with vanilla or caramel ice cream for perfection. If you want to add liquor (as some people like to) then add some rum or brandy to the filling. I prefer it just as is
maybe a shot of brandy on the side. Peachy clean!
What they fail to tell you in many recipes:
You must first remove the skin. The easiest way is by blanching. First you need to cut an X into each peach with a knife as in the photo above. Have two pots ready. One with boiling water, another with ice water. Take one by one by slotted spoon into a pot of rapidly boiling water for about 15 seconds each. With same spoon drop gently into another pot filled with ice water. This cools it to make it easier to peel and also stops the cooking process. See how easy it is? And to think I invested in a soft fruit skin peeler!
FOR THE FILLING
- 2 pounds peaches or nectarines, cut into 1/2-inch wedges (6 cups)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 4 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
FOR THE TOPPING
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup light-brown sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Make the filling: Combine peaches, granulated sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch, and salt. Transfer to an 8-inch square baking dish or pyrex pie plate.
- Make the topping: In a large bowl, using a mixer, beat butter and brown sugar on medium until light and fluffy. Add flour and salt and, with your hands, mix until large pieces form. Scatter over filling.
- Bake until center is bubbling, 40 to 50 minutes, tenting loosely with foil after 30 minutes. Let cool 20 minutes before serving. Square or Round? I did both but prefer the round shape. I think it tastes better.
COOK’S NOTES: the topping freezes well, so why not make a double batch and save half for another day?
CONFUSED between Crisps, Crumbles and Cobblers? You’re not alone.
Inquiring minds need to know:
- Crisps– Crisps have a bottom layer of fruit, but their topping is much more crunchy than cobblers. Instead of a dough-like pastry that rises, the crisp is topped with mixture of butter, sugar and flour that is mixed together until ‘crumbly’ and is briefly browned in the oven. Crisps might include oats or granola in their topping as well.
- Crumbles– The crumble also begins with fruit at the bottom, but is topped with a different butter-flour-sugar mixture called a ‘streusel’. The three ingredients are mixed just until crumbly and then poured on top of the fruit. This dish is very similar to a crisp but the crumble originated in Britain whereas the crisp is seen as more American. Crisps are also more rich than crumbles with higher amounts of sugar, butter and flour.
- Cobblers– Cobblers also have a bottom layer of fruit but are topped with biscuit dough. The result is a dense, rich dessert. Most popular cobbler ingredients include apples, peaches and cherries.
Call it a crisp or call it a crumble but it’s not a cobbler…and all I can call it is good!
Recipe: courtesy of Martha Stewart (maybe not her personally, but on her website) Photos: d king