Today was the first day I could tell that fall was coming. If you’ve ever lived in Washington D.C., you know that the summer is hot and humid, it barely dips below 75 at night, and days can be sweltering. In the midst of the summer heat, it feels like fall will never come, and while winter sounds vaguely familiar I can’t quite remember what it’s all about. But this morning, when I stepped outside, the air had just enough of a bite to remind me that fall is just around the corner. Suddenly, it seemed like it was basically Christmas, and I was terrified. Summer is always too short, and I wasn’t sure I had made the most of it. Did we take advantage of the summer produce? Did we swim enough? Sit out side enough? Eat enough popsicles? In my end-of-summer panic, I could think of only one thing–peaches.
There are so many ways to enjoy peaches–slice them over oatmeal, grill them with mascarpone, reduce them into a jam, blend them into a smoothie, and of course, eat them plain while leaning over the kitchen sink. However, none of these can even compare, in my opinion, with a classic peach crisp. Ice cream is optional (extra crisp topping is not).
Fruit crisps are seriously one of the easiest things to make. There is very little prep, they come together in a hurry, and they travel well, so they are great for taking to potlucks. They can be baked ahead of time, but should always be enjoyed the same day. If you are trying to save time, you can make up a batch of crisp topping and stick it in the freezer to use later. Just cover a cookie sheet with a piece of wax paper, and crumble the topping onto it. Freeze for about an hour, and then transfer to a ziplock bag.
- 5 large peaches (blanched, pealed, and sliced)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch (optional)
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/3 cup butter (softened)
- 1/3 gluten-free oat flour
- 2/3 cup gluten-free oats
- 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit.
- In a large bowl, toss peaches with one tablespoon of brown sugar. This is an essential step, since the sugar encourages the peaches to release their juices.
- If you don’t mind a little bit of peach juice at the bottom of your crisp (it never bothers me), don’t worry about this step. If the thought of too much peach juice scares you, sprinkle a tablespoon of cornstarch over the peaches.
- Pour the peaches into a 9×9 baking dish.
- In a medium bowl, combine butter, 1/3 cup brown sugar, and salt until creamy.
- Add oat flour and coconut and stir until well combined.
- Stir in oats. The mixture should be a bit crumbly at this point. If it seems more like a paste, add an extra handful of oats.
- Bake at 375 degrees fahrenheit until the top of the crisp is golden brown, about 35-40 minutes.