Friday, August 3, 2012

The Locavore Kitchen: Peach Almond Crisp




That song by The Presidents of the United States of America has been stuck playing in my head on repeat ever since I got my first batch of amazingly golden juicy peaches from my CSA a few weeks ago.

It's peach season here in New York and I'm completely reveling in it. Peach-based desserts are probably my favorite...I pretty much love any recipe where you combine fresh peaches with butter and sugar and some sort of doughy-goodness. And that love is multiplied by a gazillion if you throw some almonds in there too.

This recipe is based on a peach crisp my mom would often make when I was growing up. It's pretty much the perfect combination of peach-juiciness, almond-nuttiness, and oat-topping-crumbliness. I could eat it for breakfast with Greek yogurt, but it's best for dessert with vanilla bean ice cream.

Strip your peaches. Dunk them in boiling water, then in ice water. Slip their skins off with your hands. Try not to drop the incredibly slippery naked peaches on your kitchen floor.

Halve your naked fruits. Take out their pits. Marvel at the deep bloody red of the peach cores.

Slice them up. Feed way too many slices to your hungry 15-month-old toddler. Stir in almond extract and brown sugar. Take a deep whiff...it'll smell like heaven.

Mix your dry ingredients for your crumb topping. Thank your past self for for setting up a mise en place....it makes everything so much easier!

Add butter....lots of butter. Cut it into your dry ingredients till things are all crumbly. Eat a spoonful of the uncooked crumbs, a LARGE spoonful. Then have another.

Spread your crumbs on top of your fruit. Bake it in the oven till things get brown and bubbly. Don't taste it yet, it'll totes burn your mouth...trust me on this one.

Bring the crisp to a family dinner so you're forced to share it with the people you love (thus preventing you from devouring the entire thing yourself). Serve warm with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Peach Almond Crisp
Serves 12-16
Recipe adapted from my wonderful mom, Barbara Lutkenhaus

8 cups peeled, sliced peaches (about 8 large peaches)
1/2 cup plus 2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks)

To peel peaches, submerge in boiling water for 30-45 seconds, then submerge in an ice water bath. Allow to cool, and then remove the skins with your hands.

Combine peaches, 1/2 cup brown sugar and the almond extract. Spoon into a large baking dish (I used a 13 1/2 inch x 8 1/2 inch glass baking pan).

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine flour, oats, almonds, salt and 2/3 cup brown sugar. Cut the butter into medium pieces and add it to the mixture. Use a pastry blender (or two butter knives) to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until crumbs form.

Distribute the crumb mixture as evenly as possible over the peaches. Bake 35-40 minutes until the top is browned. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

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