When I first moved to western North Carolina it was August and I had just left steamy, hot, overcrowded Florida. I had always loved North Carolina and was over the moon about finally living here. But when I discovered the bounty of local summer vegetables and how easy it was to get fresh ripe South Carolina peaches, I thought I had died and gone to heaven.
A short drive east of the Brevard area you'll find yourself in apple country. More apples are grown in eastern Henderson County, around Hendersonville, NC than anywhere else in the state. You'll enjoy that crop this fall. But the summer crops, the ones that are in season now, are a real highlight. The other day I stopped at my favorite road side market and picked up yellow squash, zuchinni, white corn,and cucumbers that had just been picked from local fields that morning. And the tomatoes....oh my gosh...the tomatoes are like big red juicy bits of heaven. They will make you wonder what restaurants have been passing off as tomatoes in your salad.
But this is also peach season in South Carolina and since we're only an hour or so north of the NC/SC border, we get what I consider the best peaches on the planet. We're now into freestone season so after I got my veggies, I picked up a basket full of peaches that had also just arrived that morning.
I love peaches as they are or cut up with some vanilla ice cream. But one of my husband's favorite things is peach crisp. I admit to not being a baker so as much as I love good cobbler, I stick with crisps. My mother made the best cobbler so maybe I'll just cling to that memory. So, if you are pie crust challenged like I am, give this a whirl. I have some baking in my oven right now which I'll be taking to a friend's house tonight. The aroma is.....(((wuuunddderrrrful)))
Caveat: Like most of my cooking, I don't measure but this is pretty close. Feel free to adjust to your own tastes. This should make enough for 4-6 people.
About 3lbs +/- of good peaches. Slice them into sections (maybe about 1/2" or so) into a large bowl. This should be enough for a 6x9 pan. But, if you have a specific baking pan you want to use, adjust the amount of peaches accordingly. Just remember you'll need to reserve about an inch at the top for the topping.
About 3/4 cup of sugar
About 1 tsp cinnamon
Toss peaches with this mixture. Adjust sugar and cinnamon to your personal taste and how sweet the peaches are.
Then toss with about 1/4 cup flour. The sugar makes the peaches juicy and the flour will help it thicken as it cooks. The result at this stage should be slightly syrupy.
Fill the baking dish with the peaches, and press down slightly so the peaches are nice and cozy. Top with crisp mixture and bake at 375 for about an hour or until the crisp is slightly brown and the peaches are bubbly. NOTE: Put your baking dish on a cookie sheet or aluminum foil. It will probably bubble over on the edges. To die for with fresh whipped cream or ice cream...or both!
Approx. 1 cup of flour
Approx. 1 cup of old fashion oats - not instant oatmeal!
Approx. 1 cup of sugar (sometimes I'll use half white and half brown
About 1/2 tsp of cinnamon (If you have apple pie spice in your spice drawer, this works great, too)
1 stick of cold butter cut into small pieces
Using two knives, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until you get a nice, course texture. Spread evenly on top of the peaches. Tap the dish on the counter to settle the topping.
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