Peach Crisp

It is amazingly comforting to consider hot soup and Thanksgiving turkey when it’s exhaustingly hot outside.

So this past weekend when the temperature hit about 100 degrees, I spent a lot of time indoors figuring out proposals for upcoming food articles for the MediaNews-Hearts newspapers I write for. We work way ahead of course so the foods I was thinking about were cold winter items like Shepherd’s Pie, Borscht and Braised Lamb Shanks. 

One of the dishes that always catches my attention when thinking about cool weather ahead is Apple Crisp. Maybe because apples are among the first culinary harbingers of a new season.

Apple Crisp was one of my Dad’s favorite, so my mother made it often during the fall and winter, starting in about October when the first good new crop apples came to market. I’d visit my parents and the first whiff of roasting fruit mixed with cinnamon welcomed me before my Dad even got to the door.

But of course I realized that I don’t have to wait for the apples to make this wonderful dessert. This is a terrific dish when made with peaches or nectarines. 

Here’s a recipe for a simple, easy version you can make with summer fruit. Use firm but ripe peaches, nectarines and/or plums and add blueberries or blackberries if you like. Serve it warm or at room temperature with cold ice cream. What a treat!

Peach Crisp

8 ripe peaches or nectarines

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2/3 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup rolled oats

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

4 tablespoons butter

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Peel the peaches, cut in half and remove the pit. Slice the peaches into a bowl and add the sugar, cinnamon, cornstarch and lemon juice. Mix and spoon the ingredients into a baking dish. In a second bowl, mix the brown sugar, oats and flour. Add the butter in chunks and work it into the dry ingredients with your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Spoon the oat mixture on top of the fruit. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Makes 6-8 servings