Peach Crisp

peach pecan crispI suspect that crisps, like cobblers, were born of necessity. Some time ago, a thrifty and creative baker probably had some fruit that had gotten soft and rather than toss it out to the birds in her backyard, she decided to whip it up into a tasty dessert. I admire such resourcefulness, being a thrifty gal myself.

Crisps are easy to make and quick to bake, requiring basic pantry staples and whatever fruit is in season.This crisp is made from farm-fresh white peaches that were just beginning to get mushy in the heat of my kitchen, but you could substitute (or add) apples, apricots, or pears. You could also use frozen, rather than fresh fruit, if you let it thaw first and bake it for 40 minutes rather than 30.

This recipe bakes in an 8×8 glass dish, but you could increase the quantities to bake it in a larger dish if you need to serve a crowd. A classic accompaniment would be vanilla ice cream, but I might serve it with a berry ice cream for an interesting twist.

Ingredients

  • About 2 1/2 cups sliced peaches
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place peaches in the bottom of an 8×8 baking dish; add sugar and stir to combine.

In a medium bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, sugar, and nutmeg.

Add butter and rub it into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Add pecans and toss to combine, then sprinkle the topping over the peaches.

Bake for 30 minutes, until top is just golden brown.

Cool completely, or serve warm.

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Peach Cobbler

 

 

 

 

 

A few weeks back, I whipped up a peach cobbler from the peck of peaches Mike brought home from his new job as a jack of all trades at a local family farm and orchard.  I meant to post this at the time, then things got super-busy for us, as I also accepted a new job, which I am starting tomorrow.  In any case, both peaches and cobbler make me think of the South, so this recipe presented a good opportunity for me to talk about where Mike grew up, in St. Mary’s County, Maryland…or as I like to say, “oh way down south in Dixie.”

About 40 minutes south of Washington, DC, as far south as you can go on the Western Shore of the Chesapeake Bay, St. Mary’s County is beautiful, mostly flat with the gentlest of rolling hills, surrounded by water from the Bay to its east and the wide, graceful Potomac River to the west.  Most people don’t think of Maryland as the South, but St. Mary’s County is very Southern, in manners, in cuisine, and in culture.  Everyone says hello.  Stuffed ham, barbecue, and pie are gastronomic requirements.  Farms abound, growing soybeans and corn and politically incorrect tobacco.

During the Civil War, when Maryland reluctantly sided with the Union, the residents of St. Mary’s County were disinclined to acquiesce, pledging allegiance to the Confederacy and earning the nickname “Little Dixie.”  The Union was not amused.  Intent on giving the rowdy locals their comeuppance, Union troops commandeered Point Lookout, at the southernmost tip of the county, to serve as a camp for Confederate prisoners of war.  Those under arrest could gaze across the Potomac at Virginia; many died trying to swim back home.

I imagine that wives on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line made desserts not unlike this one, and suspect that the bakers of St. Mary’s County would enjoy it as much as Mike did – they may even add a bit of vanilla ice cream on the side of a warm cobbler.

Ingredients

For the peaches:

  • 3 1/2 cups sliced peaches
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the batter:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare the peach topping by combining sliced peaches, brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl; mix well and set aside.

In another medium bowl, stir together flour, brown sugar, white sugar, baking powder, and salt; add milk and egg and mix well.

Pour melted butter into the bottom of a 9×13 baking pan.

Pour batter evenly over top of the melted butter – do not mix together.

Spoon peaches evenly over top of the batter – do not mix together.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the top is golden brown.

Serve warm or cool.