Autumn is amazing. I’ve said it before, but I believe it a little more every time I get to use local, fresh produce to build something that tastes even better than the ingredients do alone. Apple crisp is such a mainstay in Canadian harvest kitchens, and I think its because we have a longer apple season than most other fruit. I usually make apple crisp 3 or 4 times per year, but this peachy version only happens once or maybe twice. I don’t remember where I got the idea to put raspberry’s & peaches together – and no, Jamie Oliver had nothing to do with it. It really doesn’t matter where it came from – it is so damn good. Sunday night, friends over for a movie, and crisp in the oven – pretty perfect. I think the reason this is so popular is that its easy to make in huge quantities, whereas pie is frustrating and slow.
I hate baking, or rather I hate measuring. That’s math, and despite the fact I took 12th grade math twice, I really don’t like it. I like to feel out what the dish needs and trust my instincts. Luckily, this dish is somewhere in the middle between instinct and trigonometry.
I started with about 6 or 8 peaches (from Ontario), just perfectly ripe. Blanch the peaches in boiling water for about 30 -60 seconds. This will make the peel essentially fall of the flesh. If the peaches are still unripe, then it will be frustrating trying to peel the leathery skin off. Who hasn’t been there before – trying to peel the tight leather of a sweet sweet peach. Next, pit the peeled peaches and slice into 1cm thick wedges. Add these to a large mixing bowl with 1 pint of fresh, hopefully wild raspberries. Unfortunately mine came from California, but in true Perry fashion – they’re undeniable. I sprinkled about 2-3 tablespoons of brown sugar over the fruit and gently mix together. Add to a shallow baking pan and get to work on the topping.
I measured 2 cups brown sugar (and 1/4 cup white sugar, cause is just feels right), 2 cups rolled oats, and 3/4 cup of flour. Mix this before adding 3/4 cup of melted butter. For the love of god, don’t use margarine. Seriously, why the hell would you use margarine – but more on that another day. Mix everything and you should have a nice, moist consistency. This is when I might add more oats/butter if I think it needs. Be certain the mixture isn’t dry – I’ve had this problem, and it makes for a terrible topping. Spread the mixture over the peaches and bake at 350 Fahrenheit for about 40 minutes.
I was watching mine pretty closely so I was able to see that I needed to put a cookie sheet on the lower rack to catch the juices bubble over. Once its out, let it sit for 5 minutes to set up a little. When I make this with apples it takes a little longer in the oven – maybe an hour. This round, since I had guests, I saved a handful of raspberries to mix into the ice cream. It was nice – a contrast of sweet cooked peach/raspberry and sour fresh berries. I think contrast is what makes this dish so great: Sweet peaches and sour raspberries, crunchy hot crisp and creamy cold ice cream.
The result of this is difficult to explain, so I’ll put it as plain as this: If you want to get laid, make this for someone – it works almost every time. If it doesn’t work, and you followed the recipe, then there’s something wrong with you. On the bright side you still have half a pan of leftovers… Always a silver lining.
Enjoy and please share your comments!