A few days ago I came home to find a big bag full of ripe, round, perfect peaches hanging on my front door. After enjoying that bag of juicy, delicious fruit, I can say with certainty that there are few things in life as sweet as friends with peach trees in their backyard who are kind enough to share.
They are the best kind of friends and these were the best kind of peaches. You know, the kind of peaches that dribble juice down your chin and between your fingers with every bite. To me, all that sticky, juicy, sweetness is the whole point of summer. Right?
I realize I may be getting a little intense about a bag of peaches, but seriously, just look at those gorgeous things! It’s been Peaches: A Love Story around here this week. That’s just the kind of girl I am – someone who gets maybe a little too excited about a bag of perfect peaches.
So if good peaches are the point of summer, then good friends and good food are mostly the point of everything else. You know what I mean?
The hour that this beauty of a dessert spent in the oven was one of the longest, most tortuous hours for my sweet children who could smell all that loveliness in the works. Is it done yet? Is it done yet? Is it done yet?
It is worth the wait – even the kids thought so. Peaches and blueberries pair really well together, though I have also used fresh raspberries later in the season and they are tasty too. Browning the butter with a vanilla bean for the crumble topping takes this simple dessert to the next level.
Really though, the star of this show is the perfect peach. If you are blessed enough to have access to some sweet juicy peaches this summer, this is the dessert recipe for you!
The peaches are hot, which makes them taste even sweeter, and their juices combine with the berries to create a perfect gooey sauce. The crispy oatmeal on top is the icing on this cake.
And don’t forget the vanilla ice cream – you absolutely must serve this warm with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. This is the best of the best in my book.
- For the filling:
- 2 lbs ripe peaches (about 6 medium to large peaches) sliced
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- For the topping:
- 8 tablespoons butter
- ½ a vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 1 cup whole wheat or spelt flour
- ¾ cup rolled oats
- ¼ cup toasted, chopped pecans (optional)
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Place the butter in a small, light colored saucepan (so you can see the color of the butter). Scrape in the seeds from the vanilla bean, then also add the pod to the pan. Cook over medium heat until butter is melted. Continue to cook and as the butter begins to foam, keep stirring. Watch the butter carefully and as it begins to turn a golden brown color, remove from heat and pour into a separate bowl to cool. Remove vanilla bean pod.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Prepare the filling: Place the sliced peaches and berries in a 10 inch cast iron skillet, or equivalent pan or pie dish. Drizzle the vanilla and lemon juice over the fruit. Stir together the corn starch and sugar, then sprinkle over the fruit. Toss gently to coat the fruit.
- Prepare the topping: In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, sugar, nuts, salt, and nutmeg. Stir in the slightly cooled, brown butter. Mix until clumps form. Spread topping evenly over the fruit in the skillet, leaving clumps throughout.
- Bake at 375, on the center rack of the oven, until the crisp is golden and the fruit is bubbly, approximately 50 to 60 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream. Serves 6.