The local fruit this year continues to amaze me. The cantaloupes have been out of this world and, so plentiful, they are selling two for $3 at the local market. The peaches are the first I taste this year and they are also outstanding; although I have to admit these were from South Carolina and not Georgia. They were sweet and so juicy I had to eat them over the sink.
I was caught empty handed this weekend when I went to make a crumble and there was no oatmeal in the pantry. Although I don't like the taste of oatmeal on crisps or crumbles, I do like the consistency it gives the topping, so a substitute had to be found. Enter some sliced almonds AND a packet of Quaker Instant Maple And Brown Sugar Oatmeal that I keep around for emergencies when my stomach is too sick to handle anything else.
I have to confess I gave this a lot of thought. Six luscious ripe peaches were not something you risk on a whim. When all was said and done, this crumble was outstanding. So much so, I will make it again exactly as I made it this time. It will be my secret recipe for peach crumble. Seriously, in order to make it a secret recipe there has to be something unusual in it. Like a pear in the pumpkin soup, right? Well here it is a packet of instant oatmeal, but make sure it is the one I used. I think it was the hint of maple sugar that gave it that "Je ne sais quoi:" taste. Whatever it was, it was gobbled up in no time...need I say more?
I had planned to share half the recipe with my sick neighbor but when I opened the fridge the next morning, this is what was left. My daughter and some friends came back after a party late that night and the crumble was history.
..and the moral of the story. Don't hesitate to experiment in the kitchen. It might turn out to be your next "secret" recipe."
Do you have a secret recipe? I would love to hear about it!
Peach And Almond Crumble
5 to 6 peaches (Georgia or South Carolina)
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
3/4 cups plus 2 to 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour,
pinch of salt
1/2 cup quick-cooking oatmeal*
1 stick unsalted butter, diced
3/4 cup sliced almonds
1 cup whipping cream
2 tsps sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the inside of a square baking pan.
Immerse the peaches in boiling water for 30 seconds, then place them in cold water. Peel the peaches and slice them into thick wedges and place them into a large bowl together with the juice. Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons of flour. Toss well. Allow the mixture to sit for at least 5 minutes. If there is a lot of liquid, add 1 more tablespoon of flour. Pour the peaches into the baking dish and gently smooth the top.
Combine 3/4 cup flour, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup crushed almonds, the oatmeal, salt and the diced butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix at low speed until the butter is pea size and the mixture is crumbly.
Sprinkle evenly on top of the peaches.
Cook at 350 for 1/2 hour. Take out, sprinkle the rest of the almonds and continue cooking for another 1/2 hour. Let it rest for 1/2 hour.
I highly recommend that you skip the ice cream and serve with freshly made whipped cream. (Add 2 tsps of sugar)
This can be made ahead and reheated at 350 for about 20 minutes. Cover with foil if the almonds begin to darken
This recipe can be doubled and cooked in a 9x13 Pyrex.