This is a great year for peaches and nectarines. The fruit is juicy and full of flavor and when you slice them, the pieces slide away from the pits almost by themselves. I’ve had to restrain myself from buying more than I can use, but invariably, I’m overstocked. That’s why, although it’s a steamy day, almost too hot to put on an apron, I’m not thinking twice about turning on the oven for a peach and nectarine crisp.
The recipe is a variation of one I make all the time and is “tinkerer-friendly.” In the fall and winter, I use it for apples and pears, and in late summer, when local blueberries are ready, I use it for berry crisps. Sometimes, I toss dried fruit —golden raisins, cranberries, whatever, with the fruit. Occasionally I spoon dollops of marmalade or jam on top of the fruit before adding the crumbs or add nuts or sweet spices to the streusel. I would like to say that it’s best when it’s warm, but the truth is, it’s good anytime. So if you happen to get up hungry in the middle of the night, grab a spoon, open the refrigerator and help yourself to some crisp.
Peach-Nectarine Crisp with Ginger
To make the crumble, into a blender put 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1/4 cup packed brown sugar. Pulse to combine. Add 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) ice-cold butter cut into small pieces and process until crumbly. It’s no problem if you overprocess and end up with big clumps — separate them with your fingers as you crumble them over the fruit.
To make the fruit filling, slice about 2 1/2 pounds of peaches or nectarines or some of both (you’ll have about 8 cups) into a large bowl. Add 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon flour and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. In a cup or small bowl, stir together 1/3 cup orange juice and 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger and pour over fruit. Mix gently with a large spoon and turn into a 2-quart baking dish or casserole. Sprinkle the crumbs over the top and bake at 375F about 40 minutes or until the fruit is bubbly and the crumbs are golden brown. Makes at least 6 to 8 servings.
—By Jean Kressy