But, in the end, I got to spend my son's nap time relaxing and wafting in the smell of Ginger Peach Crisp baking in the oven.
Normally, I way prefer cooking to baking. I am too impatient to perfectly measure ingredients and am a little too clumsy for a lot of the fine motor skills required for pastry work.
But then there are crisps! It is hard to mess up a crisp. Start with great fruit, add enough butter to your crumble topping, bake until golden on top and bubbling at the sides and you got yourself a good time!
Today I decided to spice up my life a bit by adding powdered ginger to both the fruit mixture and the crumb. Ginger and peach is a phenomenal combo and the ginger sends the cobbler flying out of the one dimensional world of sweet on sweet.
Another trick that I use in all of my crisps, is to add a healthy pinch of salt to the crumb. It makes all the flavors pop and is a delight to my salty sweet cravings!
Ginger Peach Crisp
5-6 pounds of peeled and sliced peaches [Don't worry about being homogenous in your slices...I had some small chunks and they just cooked down quicker than the bigger chunks and contributed to a great sauce]
3 T flour
3/4 cup brown sugar [I had dark on hand but light or white sugar would work great]
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. ground ginger
*If peaches are not very ripe, feel free to add in a 1/2 cup of apple or orange juice
1 1/2 cup of flour
1 cup of oats [I used quick cooking but any variety is fine]
3/4 c. brown sugar
3/4 t salt
1 tsp ginger
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 stick of butter
Optional but awesome: 4 oz. of chopped pecans, walnuts or almonds
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Hopefully, by this point, you have not exhausted yourself by peeling and cutting a jillion tiny peaches but have chosen to use ripe, normal sized peaches.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together all of the fruit filling ingredients until the flour, sugar and natural liquids have formed a nice gloss over the peaches.
*Sidenote, the flour is essential to make a everything hold together in the filling. An equal amount of corn starch would work just fine in place of the flour. When I have not used a binder in my crisp making, I still had a great tasting crisp but had a bunch of fruit juice and loose fruit slices on the bottom rather than having a more cohesive pie filling.
After you have assembled your fruit filling, place all of your dry crumb ingredients into a mixing bowl. Stir ingredients together to combine. It will look something like this:
Then add your stick of butter. It makes things a little better if you cut your stick down into a few squares before attempting to mix it in.
Using your hands, crumble the butter into the dry mixture until the mixture resembles a course meal.
Butter a baking dish. For this crisp, I chose an oval casserole dish that was small enough to allow my fruit mixture to come right up to top of the dish. Pour your fruit mixture into the buttered dish and cover with the crumb topping. Pile that crumb topping high! Don't worry...the fruit shrinks down as it cooks, and who wouldn't want a lot of the crumb?
This is what my crisp looked like before going into the oven:
Bake on the lower rack of your oven for approximately an hour or until the crumb has browned nicely and, most importantly, the filling has begun to bubble up around the sides of the crumb.
You can eat this fresh from the oven or let it cool. If you want to serve it warm later, just place it in a 300 degree oven for 15 minutes-ish. Obviously vanilla bean ice cream would be amazing served alongside. You also wouldn't find me complaining if someone drizzled some homemade caramel sauce over it.
Ugh!! I cannot wait to eat this. We are bringing it to our peach-giving friends for dessert tonight. Thus, I didn't think it appropriate to leave a gaping hole in the side of it.