Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Peach Crisp

Springtime in Texas means peaches.  Peaches everywhere.  Fredericksburg, Texas, boasts some of the best in central Texas.  There is peach everything as far as the eye can see.  People set up booths all along the roadside for a couple of months, it's hard to avoid them. 

I wish I liked peaches.  I really do.  I try.  Every year I buy some, eat some and am thoroughly underwhelmed.  Husband loves them, well likes them, he doesn't 'love' any food.  I won't even go into how hard it is to be a foodie, have a foodie son and a husband who merely eats to stay alive and never says anything other than a deadpan 'cool' for everything I present now matter how many hours went into it's creation.  But I digress, we're here to talk about peaches. 

We had a day out with my dear friends who live in Fredericksburg last weekend and stopped at a local farm on the way back into Austin to buy peaches.  Husband has been eating them up, neither son nor I are fans, but came to me last night and ASKED ME TO MAKE SOMETHING.  I thought I would pass out from the shock.  He asked me if I could make something with the peaches as they were starting to get "a little soft".  I smiled sweetly and said sure, I can come up with something. 

I thought to myself that if I didn't like peaches off a tree then maybe I would like peaches out of the oven.  I was absolutely correct there!  I have tried the crisps and cobblers in restaurants and buffets but the peaches are always overcooked and slimy and the topping soggy and limp.  Nope, husband wants peach crisp and i'm going to make the best one on earth. 

Oh and before we go any further; worry not, I did!! Here's the recipe if you just want to grab it and not bother with the beauty shots: 

9 peaches, peeled
1/2 cup quick cook oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
tablespoon cinnamon
teaspoon salt
splash vanilla
couple of grates of fresh nutmeg
1/4 cup butter

Peel the peaches.  Squish 3 between your fingers and lay the goo in the bottom of a lightly buttered dish.  Slice the rest of the peaches and lay them on top of the squashed peach flesh.  This lets some of the peaches cook away and release more juice and leaves some with a firmer texture and the combination makes for one hell of a fantastic peach crisp. 

Mix the oats, sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, vanilla together and knead in the butter.  I do it on a board and form a log with it and then bread off chunks of it to mostly cover the crisp.  Put on sheet pan and bake at 375 for 45 minutes. 

Enjoy warm with cream, ice cream or custard. 

Here's the play by play: 

Make a small 'x' slit in the bottom of the peach and drop them into boiling water for 45 seconds or so.  Plunge them into ice water immediately.
The skin will slip right off.  Then run a knife around them, split them open with your thumb and remove the pit.
Oh look at these blushing beauties, sometimes a naked peach is a pretty sexy thing.      
Lightly butter a dish and squash 3 of the peaches between your fingers to break them up small, this will allow them to cook faster and softer than the rest and they'll exude delicious juice without making the whole thing slimy and soggy.
Slice the remaining peaches and lay them on top.
Combine the topping ingredients then knead in 1/4 cup of butter on a board until they make a log.  Crumble the log over the peaches making sure some poke through, we want rustic comfort food here.
Bake at 375 for 45 minutes.  The smell is amazing.  The topping is crisp and flavorful.  The peaches still have texture but are soft enough to explode juice with every mouthful.  The peaches at the bottom make a delicious juice you can top your crisp with.  Yes, this works nicely!

You can serve yourself up a spoonful of peach and crisp or you can cover it in a spoonful of that delicious, slightly thicked, peachy, juicy goodness...  No slimy overcooked peaches here.  Go.  Make this.  They're everywhere!
Now, go find some Fredericksburg peaches and have yourself a crisp!!  


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