Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sweet Treat - Peach Crisp

Some kids grow up in houses filled with candy and others grow up in houses filled with healthy food. I was a child of both. My mother, blessed with a fast metabolism, polished off humongous bags of chips and M&Ms in a sitting while my father grew fresh veggies in the backyard and reveled in cooking food loaded with lemons, olive oil and other Mediterranean inspired ingredients.

As a result, I inherited a sweet tooth as big as my salty one. No matter how well or how much I eat, I'm only truly satisfied when a meal ends with dessert. While I could eat half a dozen cupcakes in a sitting (Oh, and I did the day before my daughter was born!), I don't have my mother's otherworldly metabolism so I must control myself. What's more, I happen to enjoy sweet treats that might even be construed as healthy, especially when those treats involve fresh peaches in their prime.

My husband and I recently adopted a nighttime ritual we will sorely miss once peach season ends in a few weeks. Each night, we give baby girl a bath, read to her, snuggle with her and sing, lay her down to sleep and then we dash to the kitchen to pop a peach crisp in the oven. I make a big thing of topping on Sundays to have on hand. The topping lasts for at least a week and is even better after being in the fridge as it will form nice little clumps that turn into crispy goodness when cooked. Enjoy!

Peach and Almond Crisp
(While there is a bit of sugar and butter, I still like to think of this as a healthy dessert what with its almonds, peaches, rolled oats and cinnamon. On indulgent days, I add a scoop of ginger ice cream. If you live in the New York area, Ronnybrook Farm makes an extraordinary one.)

What You'll Need:

8-12 peaches depending on size, pealed and sliced
1 3/4 sticks unsalted butter softened
1/2 c. white whole wheat flour
3/4 c. rolled oats
1/2 c. slivered almonds
1/4 c. white sugar plus 2 tbsp
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Then spread the peaches in a large casserole dish and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of sugar. In a separate bowl combine the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Evenly spread the mixture over the peaches and pop in the oven. It's ready when the crust is golden brown and you see some bubbling coming up from the peaches - about 35-45 minutes. Serve the crisp warm.

Approximate Dinner Cost
• Groceries - $10.00
• Leftovers – As a large crisp, this serves about 8 people, but my husband and I regularly make petite crisps for two (in a small casserole with about 2-4 peaches depending on their size and our piggery). The topping should last through the week if you choose to make a mini crisp each evening. All told, it's around $1-1.25 per serving.

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  1. Lots of organic peaches at our farmer's market this week, so I will try your recipe. I used to make apple crisp a lot but never thought to add almonds to the topping. Sounds like a great addition!

  2. Delish!!! Love your recipe (writing it into my B&B bible )

  3. I can tell it's going to be dangerous for me to read your blog, Peggy. Like you, I have a mouthful of sweet and salty teeth. That recipe looks divine.

  4. This looks awesome! I have an insatiable sweet tooth, too, and no matter how full I may be, I always have to have something sweet to end my meal with. Thanks for the recipe - can't wait to try it!

  5. I'm going to try this Saturday--Colorado peaches are in season and I'm getting a whole box straight from the farmer. Thanks for the yummy recipe.

  6. Thanks so much, everyone!! I promise this recipe won't disappoint!

  7. I can hardly wait to try this. I do apple crisp a lot (we have a tree) but I never thought to add almonds to the crust. Seems like it shoud work almost as well as with peaches.

  8. Oh yes! I think almonds would work well with almost any fruit. Walnuts might be nice with apples too:)

  9. This looks amazing. I need to make one this weekend for sure.

  10. Yum, I'd like to make this. I'm wondering about trying it with agave as a sweetener (or honey?) instead of sugar. I bet it will work. We're in full peach season here so I'll have to try it soon.

  11. YUMMY! I love the idea of making extra topping to keep on hand. You're a genius as usual. :)

  12. Thanks everyone!

    I haven't really used agave in my own cooking so I can't say what the proportions of agave to other ingredients should be. However, I think it's a great idea to try agave or honey, which is a favorite sweetener in our house. I imagine both would really help thicken the peach juices into something wonderful.

    You might try Erin McKenna's cookbook from her Babycakes Bakery in NYC. She uses all sorts of alternative sweeteners in an attempt to reduce the glycemic index of her pastries.


  13. What an ingenious idea, making a big batch of topping for the week! Now I'm fantasizing about a freshly-baked peach crisp every single night... Oh my. I often add candied ginger to mine, btw--gives it a great little zing.

  14. This sounds and looks amazing. And healthy. And delicious. I'm not much of a cook but I want to give this recipe a try. Glad I found your blog. Love the concept!

  15. Thanks everyone! I hope you will all have bowls of topping in your fridges come this weekend!

  16. Sweet and tart together -- yum! I will definitely make extra topping.

  17. Just bookmarked this recipe. The photos look amazing. Thanks for sharing.



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