Thank goodness for freezers! Last summer I was trying to figure out what in the world to do with over 150 pounds of fresh peaches. One method was to peel, pit, cut up and sprinkle with a little fruit fresh stuff, then freeze them in zip-lock baggies. I am so pleased that I preserved them in this way as they make the most delicious pies, cobblers and today I discovered “Crisps”.
A week or two ago my sweet bee man gave me a few bags of his blackberries preserved identically. It won’t be long and the peaches will be ripe and ready for picking, as will the blackberries. I decided today that it would be necessary to begin making room for the new crops of peaches and berries to fill the freezer. In July, a task which seems overwhelming, but come February, when peaches in the grocery, are tasteless and dry, are a welcome ingredient in my kitchen. Hopefully in July when my counters and tables are covered in peaches begging to be dealt with, I will remember this light bulb moment.
One of my favorite ways to make a meal, dish or dessert is to dig through my cupboards, frig and pantry and whip up some deliciousness based on what is in the house. Today I needed something sweet….have you noticed from time to time, actually rather frequently, I “need” something sweet? Adoring husband used to question why I unfailingly felt the need for something sweet after dinner. He’s over that now!
Tonight we will all enjoy this yummy Peach-Blackberry Crisp. I like the way it bubbled up inside the dish. I like the purple color that bled through. I like that when you dig into it the beautiful peaches peek out. It is juicy, crunchy, sweet and delectable. A scoop of vanilla ice cream would make a delightful accompaniment – we’re all out – but we’re good. Tomorrow I’ll make a trip to the grocery for a small carton of Blue Bell Vanilla Bean and we can enjoy it all over again. If you are not blessed to have Blue Bell in your area, I’m sorry, you have no idea what you are missing (as far as store-bought ice cream goes). It is a Texas favorite and rightly so!
1 1/2 pounds of peaches, pitted, peeled, and cut into wedges
2 cups blackberries, picked over and rinsed
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon almond extract
1/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits
3/4 cup chopped almonds, lightly toasted
Preheat oven to 350*
In a large bowl toss the peaches, blackberries, cornstarch, lemon juice, almond extract and sugar until well mixed.
In a small bowl combine flour, brown sugar, oats, salt and cinnamon, mix well. Add the broken bits of butter and blend until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Stir in the nuts.
Pour fruit mixture into a 3 quart baking dish, sprinkle topping over it evenly, and bake in the middle of a preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, or until bubbly and topping is golden brown.