The end of summer always leaves me hankering for peaches.
Confession: I don’t like eating peaches whole, like an apple. Too fuzzy.
I do, however, love peaches baked, grilled, macerated, sliced, diced, or otherwise dolled up.
Tonight, the brisk evening combined with the threat of a day over 80 degrees tomorrow led me to finally bake the peach crisp I have been dreaming of since last week. That, and the fruit fly invasion threatening my fruit bowl.
And, since I had them, I threw in some plums too.
Second confession: I am not much of a baker. I splish, splash, dash, and substitute through recipes.
When the recipe is, say, cupcakes, it often does not go well.
But crisps are forgiving. They take a licking and keep on ticking.
Especially when you decide the following:
1. Dirtying a second bowl (besides the baking dish) is unacceptable in a kitchen with no dishwasher
2. You have to do something with the bulk animal crackers you bought, or they will go stale
3. You do not feel like getting your hands sticky with crumble topping
Up for this one? You need the following
8×8 inch baking dish (I used Pyrex)
Food processor (or a plastic ziplock bag and a meat mallet of sorts)
5 baseball sized peaches
3-5 plums (small)
1/2 stick of butter
1/2 cup oatmeal
20 (2 handfuls) animal crackers
1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/4 tsp nutmeg
Throw the butter into the freezer.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Slice the peaches and plums, and take out the pits.
I did not peel them, but you can.
Put the fruit directly into the baking dish and mix with 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 nutmeg, and 1/2 Tbsp sugar.
Next, in a food processor, throw in the oatmeal, 1 teaspoon of nutmeg, and the animal crackers and pulse until everything is fairly smooth. A few chunks of animal crackers are fine. You’ll live.
If you don’t have a food processor, put the animal crackers with 1tsp nutmeg in a baggie and smash. Very cathartic. Then, just mix them with the oatmeal.
Now-this is when things get hairy, and contrary, to the traditional Crisp Routine. Hang on.
Sprinkle the crumbs over the fruit.
Sprinkle the sugar over the crumbs.
Take the butter out of the freezer.
Take your cheese grater and GRATE it over the top of the crisp. I learned this trick from Molly Wizenberg, of Orangette fame, in her book,
A Handmade Life
It looks fancy.
Put the crisp into the oven and bake about 20 minutes.
Then, reach in and stir it, incorporating some topping into the fruit.
If your husband wants to cook his frozen pizza at the same time, this crisp can deal with that.
Continue cooking until it is brown and bubbly.
Take it out of the oven, and stir one more time to get any last sandy bits sodden with peachy and plum goodness.