Twilight Peach Crisp
by Sandra Lewis    Tue, Aug 7, 2007, 08:08 AM
It’s early August and just as the summer heat is upon us it’s the twilight of the peach season in Texas.

While some orchards have closed, one local grower has a variety that they’re picking through August 9th so it’s not sunset yet on one of my favorite summer treats.

I didn’t hesitate when my neighbor Phil offered some of his peach bounty to me a couple of weeks ago.

Seems his next-door neighbor had a peach tree dripping with fruit, but she had no matching inclination to pick them. Phil relieved the heavy-laden tree of its burden, with his neighbor’s blessing of course, and snagged at least a half-bushel worth of luscious peaches. He used his RV as a makeshift ladder since many of the trees branches were already drooping over on Phil’s side of the fence.

Peach cobbler was my first thought. It would be a fitting end to a dinner with friends who had offered to help me with a garden project.

But with not enough daylight left for the more time-consuming-cobbler-which-means-a-crust-of-some-sort, I opted instead for the fruit-crisp-recipe-with-the-truly-easy-brown-sugar-and-butter-topping approach.

I washed and cut the peaches and easily separated the pit from the flesh. The fruit was beautiful with more of a white flesh than I’ve seen on most peaches.

While I wasn’t sure how well the peaches would accommodate the brown sugar and butter topping with barely a spoonful or two of crisp left, I’d say my guests and their tastebuds approved.

This recipe may be end of life as far as peaches go this season, but consider it a head start for fall apples.

And, remember it next year as the sun rises on the May 2008 peach season.

Fresh Fruit Crisp
6 cups sliced apples, peaches, nectarines, pears, plums, or apricots
1 teaspoon cinnamon, if desired
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place fruit in 2-quart casserole. Sprinkle with cinnamon, water, and lemon juice. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup, level off. In large bowl, combine remaining ingredients; mix with pastry blender or fork until crumbly. Sprinkle crumb mixture evenly over fruit. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 35 minutes or until fruit is tender and topping is golden brown. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.

Sandra's Cooking Notes:
- This recipe comes from "Sweet and Easy," a 1986 Pillsbury cookbook, the kind that you pick up while you're in the grocery checkout line. I have a stack of these books that I've collected over the years and have enjoyed them even though I rarely buy them now.
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