I know fresh peach season is still quite a ways out, but when I strolled past the frozen section of my little grocery, a bag of frozen peaches sweetly whispered their summer siren song. I couldn't resist, and honestly, I'm glad I caved.
I realize it's not ideal to eat out of season, and usually, I'm in the mood for whatever nature's bounty is offering. In early April however, those of us in Northern parts of the country may be hankering for the delights of summer. My mouth starts to water at the thought of picking berries at the local U-Pick farms, shaking cherries off the trees and even a peach war with friends -- the succulent, tender peaches that have fallen to the ground make for excellent, smushy weapons. Like snowballs, only messier. Peach fights remind a lady to act as a girl every once in a while throwing out the rules, jean cut offs and sun hat covered in oozy fruit goo.
These individual gluten–free peach crisps are a nod to summer fun yet to come. They're quick to make, easily thrown together with ingredients you probably have on hand and make a lovely dessert. They're also a perfectly hearty breakfast, with the addition of a blob of plain Greek yogurt and a strong cup of coffee. For an afternoon snack, the crisp pairs well with a glass of pink lemonade, a combo that will surely send your mind to summer thoughts. Sometimes summer fun just can't come soon enough. I recommend we bring the season to our tables, like the sun clearing the Portland clouds, if only for a brief, treasured moment.
For the Filling:
6 cups peach slices (I used one bag of frozen, organic peach slices, with great results)
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
(extra butter for greasing the ramekins/pie plate)
For the Crusty Topping:
3/4 cup gluten–free oats
1/4 cup gluten free oat flour (you can put a rounded 1/4 cup of oats into a food processor and pulse until a flour is achieved)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup pecans/walnuts (whichever you prefer, or use both as I did)
Preheat oven to 375. Grease 6-8 ramekins (or a large pie pan, if using). In a large bowl, toss the peach filling ingredients together until evenly combined.
For the crusty topping, place all ingredients, except the nuts, into a food processor. Pulse 10-15 times (holding down about 5 seconds/pulse), until a loose mixture created. Don't worry if it's not totally uniform, rustic is the look. Add nuts to mixture.
Evenly divide sugared peaches into greased ramekins. Sprinkle about two tablespoons of oat/butter mixture onto each of the crisps. You may want more or less topping, depending on your preference. If you have extra topping leftover, it freezes well and you can sprinkle it onto a different fruit later. Place ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes.
Do you ever bend the season and just cook what you crave?