Thursday, August 29, 2013

Southern Skillet Peach Crisp

Disclaimer: I'm not a southern girl. Not even close. In fact,  I come from a very, very long line of Massachusetts Yankees. But that being said, we've been living here in North Carolina for more than 3 months now, and I'd like to say I've learned a thing or two.

Thing learned #1: Peaches. Beautiful, juicy, CHEAP peaches. I've always loved peaches, but I never used them much given the price. We come from the land of strawberry producers, and so that would always be my go-to preserving and baking ingredient. In Alaska, it was blueberries. But this summer I was certainly in for a treat.

Back home in the West, I'd go nuts if they were less than $2.50 a pound. Down here, they're 98 CENTS A POUND! No self-respecting frugal gal could pass that one up.

Thing learned #2: Pecans. (Do you say "pea-cons" or "pea-cans"?) Again, never used them too much back home because they are so spendy. It was a very special day when I'd fork out $8 to make a pecan pie. But the price of pecans in the South is a very different story.

This recipe comes from my excitement about the beautiful produce they have available in the Carolinas, and my need for a quick and special dessert to make my hungry brood.

Are you ready? Here we go:

Southern Skillet Peach Crisp

Makes 6 servings

The ingredients:

The filling:                      
6 peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped
3 Tbs flour
1/2 c firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
a pinch of salt

The topping:
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 old-fashioned oats
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 chopped pecans
a pinch of salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) softened butter

The method:

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Make the filling. Toss peaches with flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
3. Take out your skillet. A cast iron would be ideal. I didn't have one, so any oven-safe skillet would work fine too. 
4. Cook your peach filling over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes. You'll know the filling is ready when you can make a "trail" with your spoon through the peaches and it doesn't fill in right away. Remove from heat.
The "trail" means the filling is done!

5. To make the topping, mix together  flour, oats, brown sugar, pecans, and salt in a large bowl. Rub in the butter using clean fingers, until the dough begins to just hold together. 
6. Evenly sprinkle the crisp topping over the top of your cooked peaches. Then put the whole thing into your preheated oven. Easy!
7. Bake for 55-60 minutes, until the crisp is bubbly and the topping is a deep golden brown. 
8. Serve with ice cream, and enjoy the deserving praise heaped upon you by your adoring family! :)
Just out of the oven

There she is, folks! Feel free to stuff yourself silly. 

Have a great day!