Every year around this time we get loads of requests for Peach Cobbler. And after some questioning, people always explain that they like their peach cobbler with a crispy crumbly topping (as opposed to a cakey style biscuit one.) So I gather that in reality, most of the requests coming in are for Peach Crisp and not Peach Cobbler. Which is great for me, because I’m a crisp girl myself. In fact, I’d say that’s one of my favorite (and most made) desserts in the summer and fall months, especially. With a good crumb topping, you can take just about any fruit and create a rustic dessert that’s very open to interpretation and adaptation and tastes heavenly piled on top of a cool bowl of ice cream. This time of year, you can usually find peaches in abundance, and for a great price. In my local stores right now, the peaches are much less expensive than apples!
While I say any fruit can be used in a crisp, one specific problem that comes with peaches in particular, is that in dishes like this they produce so much moisture that you almost always end up with a soupy, watery mess. That is unless you add high amounts of thickeners, like flour, and then instead of a soupy watery mess, you have a goopy gloppy mess. Most recipes also call for a ridiculous amount of sugar, which makes it nearly impossible to taste the fresh sweet tang of the actual fruit. You’ll see this recipe calls for a very small amount of sugar; just enough to heighten the flavor of the natural fruit-letting those peaches be the star of the show.
This recipe combats the soupy juice problem by macerating the peaches first. Just like you toss strawberries with sugar to create the sweet syrupy sauce for strawberry shortcake, tossing peaches with sugar draws out their juices. That way we can use just what we need and leave out the rest, producing a crisp that’s not watery at all, but instead has a light sauce and holds together nicely.
Start by peeling those peaches. Click Here for a tutorial on the easiest way to do that. After pitting and slicing, toss them with a little sugar.
Mix the peach juice with a little corn starch, some fresh lemon juice, and a pinch of salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Toss the peaches with that mixture and place it in a baking dish. I like to use a 9×9-ish pan, but anything close to that is fine. If you want to make this in a 9×13, I’d double or at least 1 1/2 the recipe as written.
For the crumbly crisp topping, combine some oats, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Either cut in chunks of cold butter, or use a large-holed cheese grater to grate it right in. I know, it looks like shredded mozzarella. It’s not. I swear.
Notice how after being spooned out of the pan, there’s not a pool of juices there.
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Fresh Peach Crisp
Topping by Our Best Bites, Filling by ATK
3 1/2 lbs ripe but firm peaches (6-8), peeled, pitted, and sliced into 3/4″ wedges.
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
6 tablespoons cold butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350.
For peach filling, gently combine peaches and sugar in a large bowl and let stand for 30 minutes, tossing occasionally. Drain peaches in a colander set over a large bowl, reserving the peach juices. Whisk 1/4 cup of the drained peach juice, cornstarch, lemon juice, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in small bowl. (You can discard the rest of the excess peach juice or toss it in a smoothie!) Toss juice mixture with peaches and transfer to an 8 or 9 inch square pan that’s been sprayed with cooking spray. Any size pan that’s close to that is fine, it doesn’t need to be exact. As long as it all fits, it’s good :)
For topping, combine oats, brown sugar, flour, nutmeg, and cinnamon and either grate the cold butter with a large-hole cheese grater, or cut it into small cubes and use your fingers to crumble the mixture together. Sprinkle topping evenly over pan.
Bake for about 30 minutes. The topping should look golden brown and crisp, and I always watch for little bubbles of peach liquid to start popping though the outside corners. Let cool to luke warm before serving. Spoon over ice cream.
Feeling Peachy? Check out some of these other recipes featuring this in-season beauty!
1. Fresh Peach Shakes
2. Slushy Peach Punch
3. Spicy Peach BBQ Sauce (can be canned!)
4. Peach Kissed Turkey Burgers from Savoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites
5. Peach-Watermelon Salsa from Savoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites
PS Check out the “Timeless Originals” tab on our sidebar for a new Bonus Dinner Recipe today!