Peach Crumble

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The last month of summer break is upon me! I know what you’re thinking—she’s still on summer break? Yes, yes I am.

Last week, a few days after the last of Jonji’s family members had left, Naveen came to stay with us on his way back from San Diego. We spent most of our time drinking iced coffee from Blue Bottle, window shopping on Abbott Kinney, and eating delicious sandwiches from Gjelina Take Away. I stubbornly insisted that we go to sushi for dinner one night, which was a good call (if I do say so myself)—the food was superb. The place we went to is very close to our apartment, and it looks like a total hole-in-the-wall sort of place. But the sashimi is delightful, and they even serve real wasabi. I couldn’t stop talking about the excellent salmon sashimi the entire rest of the weekend.

The best part about Naveen staying with us was his ability to get us outside our apartment. On Saturday we journeyed all the way to LACMA. While I may be an artist, I am not artsy-fartsy at all—I actually don’t like galleries or museums that much. I am also a very harsh critic. I respect all of the thought that people bring to making and viewing art. But, as I walked through LACMA, I realized that what bothers me about such places is that every piece of artwork is set on a pedestal. Even the ugliest piece of art will then be revered by museum-goers. However, a high school student making the exact same thing might not even get a second glance. Therefore, it’s the location that makes the art important, not necessarily the art itself. Food for thought (get it? FOOD. As in, this is a food blog).

While I muttered under my breath about abstract art and its shortcomings, Naveen and Jonji admired the Dada exhibit. After that we got to see the James Turrell exhibit, which I actually really enjoyed. The exhibit consists of one room in which lights of different colors change and interact. Sometimes the light would enhance everyone’s freckles, and sometimes the room appeared full of mist. Sounds strange, I know, but it was pretty neat. The art-hater in me was impressed.

Veen left on Sunday, and I returned to my random projects. I finally finished our new comforter cover (double-sided, since I’m a big fat over-achiever), which was extremely satisfying. Since I had never sewn buttons or buttonholes onto anything, it was quite the challenge. I also got back to work on Feast Prints, which you can visit here. My newest print is called “Cook.” and it’s my favorite so far. I never thought I’d enjoy a fine art experience as much as printmaking but, hey, maybe I’m more artsy-fartsy than I thought.

Jonji went back to school on Monday, which means I’m now back to being a cave-dwelling hermit. Not that I mind that much, since I have plenty of prints to make and lots of recipes to try.

This peach crumble is the best thing I’ve tasted the entire year. I think. I bought a bunch of peaches from the Farmer’s Market this past Sunday and decided to try out a new crumble with them. And, let me tell you, I was not disappointed. I ate at least 1/3 of the crumble in one sitting. It’s essentially butter, peaches, and sugar—what’s not to love? I’m going to have to work very hard not to make this once a week. See for yourself!

Peach Crumble

serves 6–10

for the crumble topping:
150g (1 cup) brown sugar
200g (1 ⅓ cup) all-purpose flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp kosher salt
227g (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut into half-inch cubes

1 tsp molasses
65g (⅔ cup) oats
80g (1 cup) pecans or walnuts, chopped into pea-sized chunks (optional)

for the filling:
2.5–3 lbs peaches, sliced into bite-sized chunks
3 tbsp sugar
zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 tsp cornstarch (optional, helps to thicken the filling)
generous pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

To make the topping: in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 150g brown sugar, 200g all-purpose flour, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ground nutmeg, 1 tsp salt, and 227g cubed butter. Mix on medium speed until everything starts to clump together. Add 1 tsp molasses, mix to combine, then pour in 65g oats and 80g chopped pecans (if using). Beat until the mixture resembles slightly crumbly cookie dough. Chill in the fridge or freezer until firm (you want it firm enough that you can crumble it easily).

Place the peach slices in a separate bowl. Mix briefly with the sugar, lemon zest and juice, cinnamon, cornstarch (if using), and salt. Scrape the peach mixture into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle the crumble topping over the peaches in as even a layer as possible. Bake in the oven for 40–50 minutes, until the whole thing is bubbling and the crumble is lightly browned.

Serve warm, with cold cream for drizzling or a scoop of vanilla ice cream for each scoop. Enjoy!

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