Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Peach Blackberry Crisp

I realize that this is the fourth recipe for some form of fruit crisp on my blog. I think that makes it quite clear where my dessert loyalties lie. This version comes from Alice Waters' cookbook called The Art of Simple Food.

If you're wondering why I made this seasonally summer recipe in late February, there are two reasons. First, I am eagerly anticipating spring and summer. We're almost to March - soon asparagus and even strawberries will start appearing, and I can hardly wait. In the meantime, I needed something to tide me over. I looked in my freezer and saw that I still had peaches from a CSA box we received last summer, as well as wild blackberries we had picked and frozen. This recipe struck me as a perfect way to use clean out the fridge as we start a new growing season.

Note: You could also use 4 pound of peaches, or substitute nectarines; use raspberries or blueberries instead of blackberries; and so on.

Peach Blackberry Crisp

3 pounds ripe peaches, peeled and cut into 1/3 inch slices plus 1 cup blackberries (about 7 cups of fruit)

Toss with:

1 T. sugar (if needed)
1 1/2 T. flour

Pile the fruit into a medium baking dish and top with Crisp Topping (recipe below). Bake in a 375 oven for 40-55 minutes (rotate once while cooking for even browning) or until the crisp topping is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling in the dish.

Crisp Topping

Toast in a 375 oven for 6 minutes:
2/3 c. nuts (walnuts, almonds or pecans)

Let cool, then chop coarse.
Put the chopped nuts in a bowl and add:

1 1/4 cups flour
6 T. brown sugar
1 1/2 T. white sugar
1/4 tsp salt (leave out if using salted butter)
1/4 tsp. cinnamon (optional)

Mix well, then add:

12 T. (1 1/2 stick) butter, cut into small pieces

Work the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or your fingers until the mixture comes together and has a crumbly, but not sandy, texture. Chill until ready to use. Crisp topping can be made ahead and refrigerated a week or so, or frozen for 2 months.

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