In case you haven't noticed, I love love love fruit desserts.
A few days ago I found myself in possession of a fridge drawer full of ripe peaches – placed in chilly purgatory against my better instincts. I get so excited during the season that I overbuy (how is it possible that I'm the only one in the house who snacks on them?), and in Texas almost-summer, they go from ripe to fuggedaboudit in no time flat. So into the fridge they went . . . and joined an embarrassment of blackberries and raspberries.
Peaches . . . blackberries . . . raspberries . . . hey, wait a minute. Sounds like a crisp just waiting to happen!
The simple topping on this one, inspired by one I've made a million times from Lindsey Shere's Chez Panisse Desserts, is something every fruit-dessert-lover should have in his or her repertoire. Nothing more than flour, brown and white sugar, salt and a pinch of cinnamon with some slightly softened butter worked in with your fingers and toasted almond slivers added at the end, it puts just the right not-too-sweet crunch on top of luscious fruit. Years ago something gave me the idea (David Lebovitz's blog maybe?) that you can double the amount of crisp and freeze half of it, so if a windfall of ripe peaches or nectarines comes your way, you can quickly achieve a repeat performance. Brilliant.
So, what to do with the fruit? Peel and pit the peaches (about two pounds) and slice 'em into a bowl. Rinse a few baskets of berries (blackberries, or a combo of blackberries and raspberries) and add them to the peaches. Sprinkle a tablespoon of flour and two tablespoons of sugar on the fruit, toss it gently, and turn it into a baking dish. Smooth out the top a little, then distribute the topping over all. Pop it in an 375 degree oven for about 35 minutes, et voilà. The juices, peach and berry wonderfulness mingled together – concentrated and syrupy – bubble up through the crust here and there as it bakes.
Sometimes I serve it warm with vanilla ice cream. Sometimes I whisk some crème fraîche into whipped cream and serve it with a dollop of that. This time I just made good old fashioned whipped cream (lightly sweetened, with a glug of vanilla) and plopped that on each slice.
It was so good, all that juicy fruit bursting with flavor topped by that miraculous layer of brown and buttery crispness, that we nearly wept.
No one stopped at one piece.
Perhaps you'd like the recipe?