Arsip Tag: peaches
I hope, if we are going to continue to be good friends, that we can have an implicit understanding that there is no such thing as too many peach recipes. Not in July, not in August, not in New York, which grows surprisingly good peaches for a Yankee. And I know that as a writer and food person, I’m supposed to be on the lookout for my crutches, my overused ingredients. I should probably lay off the tomatoes, the caramelized onions, the feta, Dijon, strawberries, green beans, white beans and butternut squash. Sheesh, I should show some range! Maybe I will, you know, after peach season is over. Because I’m not done with them yet. I’m not done with summer yet. Maybe it’s this mild August we’ve been having or, I confess, the not-supposed-to-be-but-kinda-has-been fun of having a husband out of a job for the last few months, but once you become a summer person, it’s hard to react with anything but venom when you spy apples and butternut squash at the farmer’s market before Labor Day, as I did this week. How gauche!
But, you know, September’s not going to be too terrible. School resumes, which is pretty awesome if you’re three-going-on-four, we’ll all be back to the grind (sigh/yay) and oh, there’s this little trip I’m taking across the pond for a UK book tour.
Okay, it’s not little. It’s going to be epic. The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook came out in the UK in February, but at the time, I was still book tour-ing over here so it took some time to schedule it. I think it will be worth the wait. I so hope we finally get to meet. I’ve listed the dates and towns that have been scheduled thus far on the Events page but more are still being added. (Sadly, the first London event sold out before I got to tell you about it, which was really rude, I know. But we are in the process of nailing down the details for another! Please don’t be mad.) [The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook UK Book Tour]
Anyway, it seems only fitting to usher in this announcement with a little keeper of a recipe from the incredible UK food writer, Nigel Slater, who knows his way around baked fruit. This recipe hails from his 2012 book, Ripe, and just about everyone made it before I finally came around it to as I’d been suspicious of its short ingredient list. It’s my loss. I mean, does it involve peaches? Does it involve a crisp topping? I should have been all over that. But wait, this isn’t just another peach crisp. You see, the peaches are the crisp. A mound of crumbly buttery almond and sugar topping is patted into halved peach bellies, then spread out over their cut sides. Maybe you brush the peaches with bourbon or rum first, if that’s your thing? It can be our little secret. This crisp, so unlike our last one, is insanely simple. There’s no brown sugar, no flour, no cinnamon or salt. There isn’t supposed to be any oats either, but I just can’t leave well enough alone. Nevertheless, what you need to do is get this recipe in your back pocket right this second. It should be easy enough to memorize and although the baking time is slightly longer than it would be with a chopped fruit crisp, in that longer time magical things happen, like the sugar melts against the almonds and bubbles into the peach juices to form an almost chewy peach almond caramel brittle on top. Chewy peach almond caramel brittle. What are you still doing reading this?
Three years ago: Sweet Corn Pancakes
Four years ago: Summer Pea and Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Salad
Five years ago: Napa Cabbage Salad with Buttermilk Dressing (this is still such a favorite) and Key Lime Meltaways
Six years ago: Plum-Almond Tarts
Adapted from Ripe: A Cook in the Orchard
Nigel Slater’s recipe is incredibly simple: almonds, sugar and butter. I came so close to following it exactly, and then couldn’t resist adding 1/4 cup rolled oats, a pinch of cinnamon and a pinch of sea salt, because I love all three so much in crisps. Consider it optional; the recipe works with or without them. Without them, the topping is more butter and brittle-like after baking; with them, it is still buttery and brittle-like, but with a little more of a traditional crisp texture and flavor. Both are magical; the peaches are barely sweet and taste fantastic with a dollop of creme fraiche or softly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream on top. As for fruit, you could use peaches or nectarines with roughly the same cooking time, or try it with plums or apricots, or all soon, apples and pears. Feel free to try other nuts, too, any kind that you enjoy with baked fruit.
Slater recommends bakers sugar, which is sold in the U.S. as superfine sugar. I couldn’t resist going in the opposite direction, using coarse raw sugar (turbinado, often sold as Sugar in the Raw here) instead. Regular granulated sugar works as well. I didn’t try it with brown sugar, and suspect it may be delicious, but will not be certain until one of you report back (hint) how it holds up in the long baking time, hopefully not over-browning.
4 ripe peaches
1/3 cup (55 grams) whole almonds
1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar
3 tablespoons (45 grams) cold unsalted butter, cubed
Optional extras: 1/4 cup (20 grams) rolled oats, 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon, pinch of sea salt
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Halve peaches and remove pits. Place fruit cut side up in baking dish. In a food processor, grind almonds and sugar together until coarsely ground (with a few pebbles left). Add oats and other flavorings, if using, then butter, pulsing the machine until the ingredients are just blended. Spoon the almond mixture into the center of each peach, then press it flat, as if icing the tops of the peaches with it. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour (baking time varies with peach size), until the top is brown and crisp and you can easily slice through the fruit with a fork or spoon.
Serve warm or at room temperature, with creme fraiche, lightly sweetened whipped cream or even plain yogurt, cold, for breakfast.
Without a food processor: Use an equivalent weight of almond meal or finely chopped almonds, stir in sugar and any other ingredients, then the same volume of butter, melted. It will be less clumpy, but the oven won’t know the difference.
There are parents that sew their kids’ clothes, carry them in an Ergo until kindergarten and take them to Disney World at least twice before they even reach 2nd grade, but if you don’t mind, please don’t tell my kids that such people are options, at, like, the Parent Store. I, in turn, will not tell yours that while I am decidedly none of the above types I insist upon making all our birthday cakes from scratch. It’s not completely selfless though; clearly I love baking them, challenging myself to get maximum excitement from minimal amounts of efforts (i.e. one-bowl cakes, regular ingredients, no special pan sizes, no fondant and ftlog stay away from Pinterest, Deb, or you’re going to be elbows deep in food dye at 2am again) and I love coming up with new flavors for them, especially fun as our family birthdays fall in June, July, August and September, prime time for fresh ingredients.
For my son, there was a chocolate banana monkey cake (1st birthday), a s’more cake (2nd birthday, in the cookbook), a roasted apple spice sheet cake (3rd) and then, on the precipice of my peach-loving son’s fourth birthday I told him all peaches and cream cake with brown sugar and the faintest trace of nutmeg we were going to make and he said, with the soundtrack of a needle scratching off a record, “No. Tchocola. Tchocola with tchocola.” I immediately realized that my husband and his “if it’s not chocolate, why does it even need to exist” mindset had infiltrated and correctly assessed that my free range in birthday cake baking was lost forever so I did the only rational thing: I had another baby. And she also loves peaches. And she has not yet been tampered with by our family’s chocolate-or-bust lobby. And last weekend, she turned one and I finally got to make that cake.
I’m sorry chocolate, you know I love you, but this cake is wonderful. Brown sugar, vanilla, a lot of peaches, sour cream and then the frosting, it’s the really easy kind that’s just butter and sugar that’s always despicably sweet, but I added sour cream to it instead of the usual milk and it was unbelievable, sweet but fluffier and nuanced. Like, I just remembered that I have a cup of frosting left in the fridge and wish I hadn’t.
I could say a lot of weepy, sappy things to say about babies and birthdays, but all I could really think about over the last week is how crazy it is that she almost wasn’t here. That there was this point, we’ll call it July 2014, when she wasn’t and we were bummed and then there’s this other point, we’ll call it July 2015, when we announced her arrival, and it wasn’t, like, divine intervention. Having help brings a whole extra layer of intentionality to it and also the awareness of how easily it could have gone another way, making us feel extra lucky to have this boing-boing-haired wild thing in our lives.
Thank you: For such a warm welcome to this new design, years in the planning, fretting, revising and then some. I have read every one of your comments and concerns (and please, feel free to leave more on the post at any time) and will be addressing them individually and letting the design/developer team know as the day goes on — do not feel ignored. I simply didn’t want to keep you from bigger things — CAAAKE! — while I did. There are many kinks that we are still working out but within a few days, most will be a thing of the past. It’s so fun to share this with you. I hope it makes the site easier for everyone to use, while (hopefully) keeping the clear/clean/easy-to-navigate/frill-free thing I’ve always liked.
One year ago: Chocolate Chunk Granola Bars, Oven Ribs, Even Better and Green Beans with Almond Pesto
Two years ago: Cherry Almond Dutch Baby, Blue and Red Berry Ricotta Galette and Sticky Sesame Chicken Wings
Three years ago: Pickled Vegetable Sandwich Slaw, Peach and Pecan Sandy Crumble and Slow and Low Dry-Rub Oven Chicken
Four years ago: Cold Rice Noodles with Peanut-Lime Chicken, Triple Berry Summer Buttermilk Bundt, Chopped Salad with Feta Lime and Mint, Flag Cake and Blackberry Gin Fizz
Five years ago: Blueberry Yogurt Multigrain Pancakes, Skirt Steak and Bloody Mary Tomato Salad
Six years ago: Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie, Improved, Zucchini and Ricotta Galette, Sour Cherry Pie with Almond Crumble and Porch Swing
Seven years ago: Horseradish Potato Salad, Chocolate Yogurt Snack Cakes, Mediterranean Pepper Salads and Cherry Brown Butter Bars
Eight years ago: Sweet Cherry Pie, Project Wedding Cake
Nine years ago: Lemon Risotto, Strawberry Chiffon Shortcake, Everyday Yellow Dal, Classic Madeleines and Roseanne Cash’s Potato Salad
And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Gingerbread Layer Cake, Feta Tapenade Tarte Soleil, Fudgy Bourbon Balls and My Ultimate Chicken Noodle Soup
1.5 Years Ago: Fairytale of New York Roasted Grape and Olive Crostini, Popcorn Party Mix, Parmesan Broth with Kale and White Beans and Coconut Tapioca Pudding with Mango
2.5 Years Ago: Gingerbread Snacking Cake, Rum Campari Punch, Carrot Soup with Tahini and Crisped Chickpeas and Ethereally Smooth Hummus
3.5 Years Ago: Fromage Forte
4.5 Years Ago: Cinnamon Brown Sugar Breakfast Puffs and Scallion Meatballs with Soy Ginger Glaze