Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Spiced Peach Crisp: Using What's Been Put Up

The more I can, the more I realize that there are some things that my family really eats and other things that we can live without (or at least with less of).  As much as I love jam, we really have a difficult time going through it all.  Sweet pickles, on the other hand, were gone before winter even hit, telling me that I need to make twice as many pints this summer.  When I look in my cabinet, my jars of pasta sauce are dwindling while plenty of jars of spiced pickled pears (as tasty as they may be) are still patiently on the shelf awaiting their turn at the table.  One of the things that has turned out to be a real hit around here are the quart jars of Cardamom Peach Pie Filling that I put up using a recipe on Sweet Preservation. 

Over the summer, as I was blanching, peeling and slicing peaches to freeze, I decided to can four quarts of this filling to try.  Not sure that we would go through even that much, I put the jars in the cabinet where they sat until a couple of months ago.  One night, in the mood for something sweet, I decided to whip out a jar and sprinkle it with a crisp oat topping.  It was a hit, and since then, I have used up two more jars leaving me only one in the cabinet.  I am guarding that last jar, saving it until just the right moment.  The filling is lightly spiced, very tasty, and the peaches offer a burst of summertime flavor.  Most of all, it makes the easiest dessert ever.  Simply dump the contents from the jar, top it, and bake.  It literally takes 15 minutes to put together max and is ready for a big scoop of vanilla ice cream in under an hour. 

The crisp in these pictures was taken to a lunch at work which is why there are no pictures of the inside.  I thought people at work may think me a little strange if they saw me taking photos of my food before eating it.  You can see the filling bubbling up on the sides of the dish around the crispy, crunchy topping.  The topping, by the way, is made a little differently than most.  It is usually standard to cut the butter into the flour mixture while it is in solid form, but, in this case, the butter is melted and then mixed with the other ingredients.  I find that it gets crunchier this way and browns more evenly (your arm will also thank you as it is much easier to mix this way).    

The recipe that follows is for the topping and baking of the crisp only.  If you wish to make the filling, click on the link at the top of the post.  I will definitely be making this filling again this summer and will try to remember to take pictures of the process to post then.  For now, you will just have to make this dessert for yourself to see the results.  You could easily make one quart to try if you have frozen peaches on hand or make it with another fruit such as apples. 

Peach Crisp Topping (and baking directions): 
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 stick of butter
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 tsp kosher salt

Melt the butter.  Gently stir the sugar into the butter until combined.  Add the flour, salt and oats and stir until all ingredients are just moistened.  Crumble the topping over the filling in a small baking dish (8 inch square or small oval gratin dish).  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes until the topping is nicely browned and crisp.  Sometimes I find it necessary to lightly spray the top with cooking spray during the last five minutes of baking to get it as brown as I like, but this is not necessary from a taste standpoint.

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