Perfect Peach Crisp

updated Sep 20, 2022
4th of july
Peach Crisp Recipe

Juicy summer peaches bubble under a crisp, sweetened oat topping.

Serves6

Prep25 minutes

Cook30 minutes to 40 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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peach crisp with ice cream in a pan
Credit: Photo: Julia Gartland; Food Styling: Greg Lofts

In the short stretch of summer when the bins of fresh peaches are practically overflowing, I cannot resist picking up an entire sack. I usually have no problem eating through them all before purchasing the next batch, but sometimes I am left with a few overripe peaches that need to be eaten stat. Enter: peach crisp.

Peach crisp is not only one of the easiest summer treats to make, but it also passes for both breakfast and dessert at my house. Juicy yellow peaches are sweetened ever-so-slightly (they don’t need much!) then topped with buttery brown sugar-sweetened oats and almonds. Here’s how to make the simplest and most delicious summer peach crisp.

What Is the Difference Between Peach Cobbler and Peach Crisp?

Cobblers, crisps, and crumbles are all variations on the same theme. In fact, you’ll often see these terms interchangeably. Each of these fruit desserts is built on a base layer of juicy, starch-thickened fruit. The toppings are where these dishes differ.

  • Crisp: Oat-based streusel topping that may or may not contain nuts
  • Cobbler: Biscuit topping
  • Crumble: Flour-based streusel topping with no oats
Credit: Photo: Julia Gartland; Food Styling: Greg Lofts

Why Is My Peach Crisp Soggy?

Hot out of the oven, the buttery oat streusel is golden and crisp (of course!). As the dessert sits, the fruit’s juices will seep into the topping from the underside. If leftover peach crisp makes its way to the fridge, the humidity of the chill chest can also turn your once-crunchy crisp soft. Regain the crunchy crisp texture easily by skipping the microwave and reheating the peach crisp in the oven at 300°F for 20 minutes or until the fruit is warm and the topping is crisp.

Do You Take the Skin Off Peaches for Peach Crisp?

No! Peach skins are thin, tender, and add a rosy hue to peach crisp. If you prefer to peel peaches, use a serrated peeler or poach them just as you would a tomato to easily slip off the skins.

Peach Crisp Recipe

Juicy summer peaches bubble under a crisp, sweetened oat topping.

Prep time 25 minutes

Cook time 30 minutes to 40 minutes

Serves 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the crisp topping:

  • 12 tablespoons

    (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for the baking dish

  • 1

    medium lemon

  • 1 teaspoon

    vanilla extract

  • 1 1/2 cups

    old-fashioned rolled oats

  • 3/4 cup

    all-purpose flour or gluten-free all-purpose flour blend

  • 1/2 cup

    sliced almonds (optional)

  • 1/2 cup

    packed light brown sugar

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    ground cinnamon

For the peach filling:

  • 2 pounds

    ripe peaches (about 5 medium) or frozen peach slices (do not thaw)

  • 1/4 cup

    packed light brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons

    cornstarch

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons

    kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon

    vanilla extract

  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F. Coat a 2-quart or 11x7-inch baking dish with butter.

  2. Make the crisp topping: Cut 12 tablespoons unsalted butter into tablespoon-sized pieces and place in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 20-second bursts until mostly melted, 40 to 50 seconds total (it will melt completely as it sits). (Alternatively, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and transfer to a large bowl.) Set aside to cool slightly.

  3. Finely grate the zest of 1 medium lemon into the bowl (about 1 tablespoon); reserve the zested lemon for the filling. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats, 3/4 cup all-purpose flour or gluten-free all-purpose flour blend, 1/2 cup sliced almonds if using, 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar, 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon to the bowl and stir to combine. Refrigerate for at least 5 minutes or until ready to use, the topping will harden when chilled.

  4. Make the filling: Halve and pit 2 pounds peaches (no need to peel). Cut into 1/2-inch thick slices. Place the peaches, 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in a large bowl.

  5. Juice half of the zested lemon until you have 1 tablespoon juice, then add to the bowl. Stir to combine.

  6. Transfer to the baking dish and spread into an even layer. Break the crisp topping into large clumps with your hands and scatter over the filling in an even layer.

  7. Bake until the crisp topping is golden-brown and the filling is bubbling, 35 to 40 minutes. Cover the crisp with aluminum foil if the topping begins to brown too quickly. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving with vanilla ice cream if desired.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The crisp topping can be made and frozen up to 3 months in advance, no need to thaw before using.

Storage: Cover and refrigerate leftover crisp for up to 3 days. Serve cold or reheat in a 300°F oven for 20 minutes before serving.