I got the recipe for this peach crisp at the farmers’ market last year, although it didn’t start out as a recipe, it began with a suggestion.
Our local farmers’ market is a cute one, spanning the length of a short block adjacent to lovely heritage homes and a small park; it runs during the summer months only, on Saturdays.
I go for the fresh local organic fruits and vegetables for cooking and snacking on throughout the week, and sometimes flowers to brighten the week.
Peaches start appearing at the market mid-July and are aplenty around this time – you can’t miss them. Last year we found a vendor selling sweet and luscious organic peaches grown on his small family farm in the Okanagan.
The thing with peaches (and cherries and strawberries) is that I’ve sort of gotten allergic to them; I get a slight adverse reaction to certain raw fruits, vegetables and nuts because I have seasonal allergies – I’m allergic to alder pollen and it happens to share allergenic proteins with fruits like cherries, peaches and strawberries. It’s called Oral Allergy Syndrome, or if you listen to my mom, it’s all in my head and then she’d ask, “how can you be from Ghana and be allergic to fruit?”
While the reaction isn’t severe enough to deter me from eating a few fresh cherries or strawberries, I try not to overdo it, because while an itchy throat and tingling tongue may not be life threatening, it’s still uncomfortable.
Fortunately, cooked fruit (and vegetables) doesn’t make my throat itch or tongue tingle.
The peach farmer proposed we make this crisp, it’s easy to whip up, the peaches truly stand out and it’s a favourite family recipe, but you don’t really need a recipe, he said.
This thing that sold me on this crisp was the fact that I didn’t have to peel the peaches – I guess I’m lazy like that. The delicate peach skins aren’t noticeable in the crisp; it boosts the colour, and let’s not forget that there are nutrients in the skin!
I came home inspired to make this peach crisp an easy favourite; I added custard powder to the filling for more lusciousness and splash of lemon to round out the flavours.
The crisp topping is sweet, salty and nutty, and delicately spiced with nutmeg and cardamom.
This is a crisp we make often, an easy dessert that is decadent and also comforting; and in the spirit of eating local, I enjoy mine topped with my favourite ice cream from a local small-batch ice cream maker.
- 1 tablespoon custard powder (cornstarch or arrowroot powder)
- 2 tablespoons almond milk (or other type nut milk)
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 - 1/3 cup turbinado sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 – 8 ripe peaches, pitted and sliced into wedges
- 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans (or almonds)
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut
- 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons coconut oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees f., and lightly oil a baking or pie dish (8 or 9-inch dish)
- Mix custard powder with milk in a small bowl, mix well to remove any lumps
- Combine custard mixture, lemon juice, sugar, vanilla and salt in a large bowl, and whisk together
- Add peaches and toss to coat evenly
- Transfer peaches to prepared baking dish
- In a smaller bowl, mix oats, almond flour, chopped pecans, shredded coconut, sugar, cardamom, nutmeg and salt
- Add in coconut oil and mix until well incorporated and mixture is crumbly
- Sprinkle the oat mixture evenly over the peaches
- Bake for about 50 - 60 minutes until topping is browned and crisp, and the fruit is bubbling
- Transfer on to a wire rack and cool completely and stand for at least 30 minutes before serving for filling to set
- For easier clean up – when baking crisp, place the dish on a baking sheet to catch any juices that might bubble over onto the oven.
- If you find that the topping is over-browning, place a piece of aluminum foil over crisp