Quick, before summer ends! Run out and pick up some of the yummiest peaches you can find! Got ’em? Good.
It’s become part of our weekend routine now to swing by the Mar Vista Farmer’s Market on Sundays. Summer, my friends, is peach season and boy, do they look and taste great. We always stop by the same stall to get our peaches — the Tenerelli family farm. They grow dozens and dozens of varieties of peaches, most of which I’d never even heard of, and each week is always a pleasant surprise. They stole our hearts when we first tried their snow bright peaches — super sweet white peaches that are best served when they are extra ripe and are so soft that they bruise when you look at them. Amazing. I had never tasted a peach that tasted quite so… peachy. We returned week after week to try their other varieties – snow angel peaches (also white, more crunchy, and oh so sweet), glacier peaches (whites, crunchy, a bit more tart), and most recently, their O’ Henries, a yellow peach that truly captures the balance of sweetness and tartness that comes to mind when you think of the iconic peach. Just today we also tried their Ryan Sun yellow peaches, or as they affectionately refer to it – the ugly fuzzy ones.
We brought some O’ Henries home and while I love eating peaches just the way they are, I wanted to turn these into a crisp. A crumble. You know, I honestly don’t know the difference between those terms. Usually they refer to hot-out-of-the-oven baked fruit topped with crumbly streusel-like topping and (if I’m lucky) served a la mode, so that’s good enough for me. A quick Google search tells me that a crisp is simply the British name for a crumble. So I guess this could be called a peach crumble, but because I love British accents and want to speak with one someday, let’s call it a crisp. (By the way, in case you’re wondering where the “cobbler” figures in, it’s basically a crumble/crisp with bits of dough instead of streusel as the topping, making it more similar to a peach pie.)
6 peaches, white or yellow or both (I used 2 whites and 4 yellows)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract, optional
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter (1 stick – frozen or very cold)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup oats (1 minute quick oats for oatmeal is fine)
The first step is to prep the peaches. They need to be peeled, pitted, and sliced, and if your knife skills need work (like mine), this may take a while. I waited until after I finished slicing all the peaches before preheating the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the peach slices in the baking dish, add the vanilla and cinnamon, and toss to coat evenly. Set aside.
Next, prepare the crumble. Most recipes will tell you that you need to “cut” the butter into the flour mixture until the butter breaks up into smaller-than-pea-sized bits. Doing this by hand would take a lot of work, even with a pastry cutter. Instead, I used my trusty little food processor. Add the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Slice the butter into thick pats, about 1/4 to a 1/2 inch thick, and throw them into the processor bowl too.
Pulse until the texture looks crumb-like. Add the oats and pulse just once or twice to mix. I tried making this crumble topping with butter straight from the refrigerator and it turned out sticky and doughy; it doesn’t brown quite the same way, so I’d recommend using frozen butter if you can.
Top your peaches with an even layer of the crumble mixture. I used an 8″ x 8″ baking dish and sprinkled all of my crumble, which yielded a really thick crusty layer. I liked it, but if it’s not your thing, you can either use just enough to cover all the peaches (anywhere from half to 3/4 of the recipe) or use a 9″ x 12″ baking dish keeping in mind that this would spread the peaches out in a thinner layer as well.
Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes or until the peach juices start to bubble and the topping gets roasty-toasty. Serve hot or cold, with ice cream or without. It keeps in the refrigerator for a few days (if it doesn’t get completely devoured first!) and reheats well in the microwave for a minute or two.
Whether or not you decide to try this recipe, I hope you’ll still run out to your farmer’s market (or grocery store – we don’t judge) and grab some peaches before summer ends. There’s nothing quite like enjoying fruit at the peak of the season. And if you’re local, we recommend swinging by the Mar Vista Farmer’s Market! It’s so quaint and there’s a certain comfort in seeing the same vendors and farmers setting up shop every week. Not to mention how fun it is to discover new fruits and vegetables as they start to come into season. Enjoy!