Despite the fact that stone fruits are plentiful in the summer time, it almost feels sacrilegious to bake with them. Maybe it's the fact that they can cost upwards of $4.99 a pound, or perhaps it's just that there is nothing tastier than a tree-ripened peach or nectarine on a hot (or cool SF) summer day. What can I say, I worship stone fruits.
Recently the stars aligned at the market - the peaches were feeling plump and I was feeling spendy. Three and a half pounds of peaches, don't mind if I do. Don't get me wrong, I ate SEVERAL of these raw (see note above about nothing better). I also decided that the day felt worthy of a crumble made with my market bounty.
Besides Ina, there is no one I turn to more than Deb Perlman over at Smitten Kitchen for excellent recipes. I followed her Peach and Pecan sandy crumble to a t, except for the fact that I added in some oatmeal to the crumble mixture. I also had to halve the recipe given I had chipped away at my peach supply over the previous 24 hours. An 8x8 baking dish works perfectly for that amount.
You can follow Deb's recipe for any stone fruit - nectarine, apricot, plum, you name it. Once it's cooled, serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. We enjoyed this crumble so much that I forgot to take a picture of a slice once it was done. Oops! Trust me, it's delicious.
By Smitten Kitchen
Pecan sandy topping
- 1/4 cup oatmeal [OPTIONAL]
- 1 cup raw pecans
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons coarse sugar, such as Turbinado or Sugar in the Raw; use granulated if you have neither
- 3/4 teaspoon table salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 1/2 to 4 pounds peaches
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- A couple pinches of salt
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the nuts out in one layer on a baking sheet and bake them, stirring occasionally, until they are well browned, 10 to 13 minutes (they will smell toasted and nutty but keep an eye on them towards the end so yours do not burn). Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool.
2. In a food processor or with your excellent knife skills, coarsely chop 1/4 cup of cooled pecans, then set them aside in a small dish. Put remaining pecans (3/4 cup) in food processor along with about one-quarter of your flour (you can eyeballs this) and grind the nuts until they’re as powdery as possible.
3. Add the remaining flour, powdered sugar, coarse sugar, salt, baking powder and pulse the machine two or three times, just to combine.
4. Transfer dry mixture a bowl and add melted butter and vanilla. Stir this together until small and large clumps form, then stir in coarsely chopped pecans. Refrigerate until needed.
5. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
6. Halve and pit your peaches, then cut them into chunks, smaller if they’re firm, large ones if the peaches are already soft. In the bottom of 3- to 4-quart ovenproof baking dish (9 x 13ish), toss the peach chunks with sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
7. Remove topping from refrigerator and cover fruit thickly and evenly with topping. Bake until crumble topping is golden brown in places and fruit is bubbling and begins to creep up over the topping a little, about 40 to 50 minutes. If your topping browns too much before this happens (this doesn’t happen in my oven, but just in case) you can cover the top with foil until it is done baking.