The peach is such a decadent fruit: flagrantly colored as a summer sunset and perfumy-sweet, the perfect peach drips juices as you bite into its tender flesh.
The peach is a joy all on its own, but it makes friends easily. Perhaps my favorite appetizer is this: salty, sweet, creamy and crunchy in one fabulous bite.
I’ve made fruit crisps with pears and apples, and with peaches, alone or with a handful of raspberries. But the ruby-red cherries were calling to me today. The fruit was so lusciously sweet, it needed little more than a touch of brown sugar and a fine grating of nutmeg.*
*Please, please use real, whole nutmeg and grate it yourself. The powdered stuff in a jar does not begin to compare to the real thing. And if I can find whole nutmegs in the wilds of central Wisconsin, you can find them too.
In theory, a crisp is a pretty healthy dessert. In theory, it is mostly fresh fruit with a light sprinkle of topping, which contains oats and nuts. Heck, you could eat it for breakfast and feel virtuous.
But that darned topping is so fantastic that we tend to pile it on. And I may have forgotten to mention that it also contains butter and brown sugar. So follow your own conscience in the proportions of this dish. If you have more moral fortitude than we do, by all means boost the fruit-to-topping ratio to saner levels.
makes about 6 servings
3 ripe peaches
3 cups pitted fresh cherries (we used bing)
2 tbs. flour
1 heaping tbs. brown sugar (or more, if the fruit needs it)
about 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1 stick butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup coarsely chopped almonds
1/4 tsp. salt
Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Cut the peaches into 2-inch chunks and place in a large bowl. Add the pitted cherries (I cut them in half as I pitted them). Stir in the 2 tbs. flour, the 1 tbs. brown sugar, and a few gratings of nutmeg. Taste and add more sugar if the fruit needs it.
In a small bowl, mash together the topping ingredients. I use my fingers. Pour the fruit into a 10-inch pie pan or casserole. Sprinkle the topping over the fruit. Bake for 30-40 minutes until topping is golden and fruit is tender. Serve hot (with perhaps a scoop of ice cream), warm or cold. Store leftovers in the fridge.