Delicious Peach Crisp

 

As the end of summer draws near, the evenings get a little cooler, the Canadian geese start to fly South, and . . . the peaches and apples start to get ripe!

Get ready– this is one of the most amazing seasons for fresh fruit.  I can’t wait to get this season started!  Let’s kick it off by starting with a perennial favorite . . . peach crisp.

Let’s make a little distinction, here, between peach CRISP and peach COBBLER.  Cobbler has kind of a biscuit-like crust, while crisp has a delicious, oatmeal-based, brown-sugar laced topping.  They are both swooningly delicious . . . but I think, if I had to pick a favorite, peach crisp would edge to the front of the line and become the winner. 

What are we waiting for?  Let’s do this!

I wanted to point out, too, that nectarines work well in this recipe, too– today I have 4 nectarines that are perfectly smooshy and ripe, so I’m going to use those.
I don’t really have a recipe for this, per sa . . . I adjust, and taste, and adjust again . . . and you should, too.  Depending on the sweetness of your fruit and how sweet you like the topping, you can change up your sweetener.  What are we waiting for?  Let’s give it a try!  🙂
First, peel your peaches (or nectarines), and remove the pits.  Thinly slice the fruit.  This time, I am just making a small crisp for our little family, so I’m using 4 nectarines.
Cover your fruit with a little white sugar (I used maybe 1/4 cup), a little brown sugar (maybe 2 tbsp.), and a sprinkle of cinnamon.  I also placed about 2 tsp. of lemon juice and a splash of vanilla.  The juice keeps the fruit from turning brown, while the vanilla and cinnamon add a nice flavor.  I usually add about a tablespoon of cornstarch, as well, if the fruit is very juicy, so that it thickens the juice.
Mix up your sugars and peaches and allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes, while the fruit absorbs the flavor.  This is a good time to taste test.  Get a clean spoon each time, but taste away! 🙂
Now for the streusel-type topping!  This is the magic step that makes your delicious dessert into a “crisp.”  This is my favorite way to make the topping, but feel free to substitute if you like!  Here I have 1/2 cup of old fashioned oats, 2 tbsp. of butter (cold), 2 tbsp. flour, 2 tbsp. of brown sugar, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.  It tastes great with nutmeg also– experiment and see what you like best!
Using a pastry blender (or a fork, if you don’t have one of those), squish all the ingredients together until they become coarse crumbs.
Take your topping and spread over your peach mixture.  This is in my teeny cute little Dutch oven– it’s about 6 inches across.  It was a gift from my friend, Pam, and it is one of my most cherished pots, as a result of her thoughtful gift.  A loaf pan would work well, also– just grease the pan with cooking spray, add your peach mixture, and top with this crisp topping.
I baked it for about 45 minutes at 375– basically just until your peaches are bubbling and the topping is, well . . . crisp 🙂
The best part is, you can totally customize this to your own tastes– and even substitute any kind of fruit that you like!  It works great with apples, too– and how about raspberries or rhubarb?
Don’t forget a scoop of fresh vanilla bean ice cream to melt over the top when it comes out, warm from the oven!  Trust me– make this, and it will be the star of your next get together! 🙂
You did it.  And I’m just so proud of you.

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