Believe it or not, after all my ranting about bad peaches, I got suckered again. The other day in the supermarket, I spotted a bushel of gorgeous sunny-yellow peaches, and I took some home. I was sure they were going to ripen beautifully and taste, if not great, good. Wrong.
The peaches are still sitting on my kitchen counter. They have that weird, rubbery feel that means they're going to be a total bust-out.
It's my own fault. A bunch of you told me about your perfect peach experiences, with lots of suggestions for finding wonderful peaches, including the obvious suggestion: go to one of the farmers' markets around town. It's on my to-do list.
Louie, one of my longtime friends, who lives in New York City, said he tasted "the best, juiciest, running down your mouth, most succulent peaches" in the French countryside.
Hmmm. If only someone would pay me to go to France and taste-test some of them.
Until then, I have all these much-less-than-average peaches, (and I imagine some of you do too). I thought it'd make a peach crisp with them. Here's Julie Robert's recipe for Fresh Peach Crisp. It's from "Newman's Own Cookbook" by Paul Newman and A.E. Hotchner.
As you'll see, the recipe is shockingly butter-heavy, and the Scotch whiskey is an interesting touch. I imagine the crisp is pretty darn good if it's included in the book, but if you don't want to risk a visit to the cardiologist, just go to cooks.com. There are 47 recipes listed for peach and fruit crisps. Also, you can substitute peaches for apples in most apple crisp recipes.
Fresh Peach Crisp
7 ripe but firm medium peaches, unpeeled, pitted and coarsely chopped*
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup Scotch whiskey
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 sticks unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish.
In a large bowl, toss the peaches together with the lemon juice. Add the whiskey and sugars, combining well. Spread the mixture on the bottom of the baking dish and dot with small pieces of the butter.
To make the topping: In a bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar and cinnamon until combined. Add the butter gradually, stirring it in to form a crumbly mixture. Sprinkle it evenly over the peaches.
Cover the dish with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake 5-10 minutes more to brown the top.
Let cool slightly, serve warm, topped with ice cream or frozen yogurt.
*The notes on the recipe say you can peel the peaches if you desire.
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