Sunday, August 10, 2008

Praise the Peach Crumble

My sister and brother-in-law, Carla Van de Walle and Craig Avedisian, joined us for the weekend with their children, Juliana and Aram. They were great guests because not only do they love to eat they also like to cook and clean up – perfect visitors in my view especially since I do a lot of entertaining in the summer and by August I’m pretty ready to let the guests take over.

Long walks on the bay beach, Juliana’s first time riding a boogie board, hours in the pool, pancakes on the griddle and burgers on the grill -- convenience rules when the little ones are around, although we did have plenty of local fare. Peaches, pitted cherries, blueberries at every meal. Cory had fun pitting the cherries with the Oxo Brand Cherry Pitter which as it turns out was the summer food new tool of the summer winner in our house.

The featured recipe on Saturday night was an amazing Peach Crumble.

“RUSTIC” Peach Crumble -- A Healthy (Juicy and Spicy) Treat
You’ll need an 8x8 pan or a deep dish pie pan (I love my blue and white Emile Henry)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2 pounds ripe peaches
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup sugar in the raw
1 tablespoon cornstarch or flour

3/4 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar in the raw
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon allspice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Remove the peach skins by boiling water and drop several peaches in at a time for 40 seconds, let cool -- skins come right off. “Rough cut” the peaches into bite sized pieces and place the chopped fruit into a bowl. Be sure to reserve the juices along with the fruit. Add juice of a lemon right away to prevent the peaches from turning brown.

In a separate small bowl blend the 1/4 cup raw sugar and corn starch (or flour). Sprinkle over the fruit, toss gently to coat the peaches. Transfer the peaches to the baking dish.

To make the topping combine the oats, flour, sugar, and cinnamon, allspice and vanilla together. Stir in the butter and mix until everything comes together (texture should be doughy). Sprinkle the crumble evenly over the fruit.

Place the baking dish on the middle rack, and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the topping is begins to brown.

Delicious, and juicy either warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream and or homemade whipped cream.

Health Note:
Peaches provide vitamin A as beta-carotene, some vitamin C, potassium and fiber plus many phytonutrients. Beta-carotene promotes eye health and a strong immune system and phytonutrients (nutrients from plants) contain antioxidants that help your body stay strong. Research has proven that phytonutrients may help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, arthritis and eye ailments. Buy organic if you can, as peaches top the latest list of fruits most contaminated with pesticides.

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