Thursday, August 23, 2007

Peach and Berry Crisp

One of my favorite summer treats is baked fresh fruit covered with a flour and oats topping. In the United States this is called a crisp, but in the United Kingdom it is known as a crumble. These desserts are often conflated with cobblers. In the U.S. a cobbler is baked fruit covered with a layer of pastry and in the U.K. it is usually a meat dish (often lamb casserole), covered with individual scones (the name derives from the word cobble, which is a round stone, as in cobblestone street).

These were invented as easy and inexpensive alternatives to fruit pies, which require a pie dish and carefully made pastry. Cobblers were created by pioneers in the American West and crumbles became popular in the U.K. during World War II because they required fewer rationed resources.

They are generally made with apples, peaches, plums, rhubarb and all types of berries. In the U.S. peach cobbler is a common and beloved dessert in the South and Apple Brown Betty (baked, spiced apples layered between buttered breadcrumbs) is popular in New England.

I made this crisp at my last bookclub session, and unfortunately, no one had a working camera to document it. Please forgive these stock photos from the web.

Serves 8 to 10


1 1/2 to 2 pounds fresh peaches (about 6 peaches), pitted and sliced
1 pound raspberries and/or blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1/4 cup tapioca
1 cup light brown sugar, packed

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup instant rolled oats
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), cut into small cubes


1. Preheat the oven to 425 F.
2. In a three quart bowl toss fruit with tapioca and sugar. Bake for 15 minutes.
3. In a separate bowl combine flour, oats and salt.
4. Toss in butter and use a pastry cutter or your hands to blend until it resembles coarse meal.
5. Once fruit is cooked, scatter flour mixture on top. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
6. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.


Anonymous said...

OK Aly,

You've finally sent me something remotely vegan. I was beginning to think you didn't love me. All I need to do is substitute soy margarine for the butter. Yes, you don't need to tell me how much that will alter the taste. I've been a vegan too long ... circa 1990, to not have heard that lament before.

It's good, nonetheless, to see something here I could play with.
I find it ironic a Puerto Rican would cry to an Indian about the paucity of his vegan recipes.
I'll let you know what I think about this one.


AKR said...

While I don't have a huge number of vegan recipes there are six. Check out the Vegan tag on the right hand side under Key Word Search. I have some vegan (or close to vegan) recipes in the works including one for chilled zucchini soup...

TBC said...

P&B crisp looks very tempting. Your pics are beautiful!

Saju said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

did we tell you that I won a 'best dessert' award for your peach and berry crumble at a department