August 30, 2010

an ode to summer

Late August is the time of year in Missouri when everyone is exhausted from the heat, lawns are turning a lovely brown (dead) color, and all you want to do is sit inside in the air conditioning. As much as I feel ready for fall, I know I will miss summer soon enough because I am a warm weather girl. Winter is not my friend ( the season, that is - I actually do have a friend named Winter, and she's great).

One of the things I love most about summer is the abundance of peaches, corn and tomatoes that are almost not worth eating the rest of the year. I don't want to give up my peaches. Marionville is a small town near by, known for white squirrels and more importantly, peaches. They are so good. I got to the farmer's market on Saturday a little later than usual, 11:30, and I couldn't believe that almost everything was sold out - including my beloved Marionville peaches. All they had left was a handful of yellow peaches and some white ones, just enough to make a crisp for a couple of friends coming over later. 

As an ode to summer, I made the crisp from a recipe by Ina Garten who never leads me astray when it comes to desserts. I was tempted to replace the orange for lemon zest, but I resisted the urge, and I'm glad. The orange is really nice and a bit unexpected. Serve it with vanilla bean ice cream if you want to get really fancy. 

peach and raspberry crisp
adapted from a recipe by Ina Garten

I love this recipe because it's oh-so-simple to make and you get the unexpected hit of orange and raspberry in a traditional peach crisp. The crumble on top reminds me of an oatmeal cookie, which is never a bad thing. I used half yellow and half white peaches because that's what I could find, but you could use either or both. 

8-10 large peaches, peeled and sliced
1/2 quart raspberries
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
zest of one orange
1 cup + 3 tbsp all purpose flour
1 cup oats
12 tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and diced
good pinch of salt
vanilla bean ice cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, gently combine the sliced peaches with the raspberries. Add 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 3 tbsp of flour, and the orange zest to the fruit. Fold together until the fruit is well coated. Scoop fruit mixture into an oval or rectangular baking dish (roughly 9x13 in size).

Using a mixer, combine the butter with the remaining sugars, 1 cup of flour, oats, and salt. Mix until crumbly, then scatter the mixture evenly across the top of the fruit.

Bake the crisp for an hour, or until the top is nice and brown (and crispy, just like the name). Cool for about 20 minutes and serve with vanilla bean ice cream. 

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