Tuesday, August 18, 2015


I tend to operate under the guideline that I can eat as much dessert if I want, as long as I make it myself. My laziness usually balances out my gluttony enough to maintain a healthy moderation, but this doesn’t work as well in the summer, when it takes only a few minutes to transform ripe fruit into a delicious treat. (And when you can fool yourself into believing that it’s perfectly good for you because it has fruit in it.) Thanks to recipes like this one, I’ve now had to switch to my other rule, which dictates skipping dessert on weekdays unless it’s a special occasion.

I did a lot of cooking experimentation while A was in Indiana on his annual July 4 visit. While he’s usually supportive of my incessant recipe testing, but it still feels extra freeing when there’s no one around to witness any potential food flops. This clever one-serving shortcut peach crisp recipe from Joy the Baker seemed like perfect single-lady fare, and indeed I ended up repeating it at least three times in the course of a couple of weeks (single ladies find themselves with a lot of extra ripe peaches sitting around).

I couldn’t manage to heap all of the topping on the two halves of a single peach without half of it sliding off, so in my view this can easily make two servings—bake both at once if you want to share with a friend, or store half of the topping mixture in the fridge overnight and bake yourself a second peach the next day. But if you were to go ahead and pile it high enough to eat it all in one sitting, no one would blame you. The fruit softens in the oven, the buttery oat-almond-coconut topping crisps and caramelizes, and just like that, you’ve treated yourself to a nice warm dessert.

This would be downright fantastic with vanilla ice cream on top, but I poured a little cold heavy cream over mine and that was lovely, too.

1 ripe peach (or 2 if you’re nice enough to share)
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons old-fashioned oats
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon shredded coconut
1 tablespoon sliced almonds
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Slice peach(es) in half and remove the pit. With a small spoon, scoop out the dark red pit center, creating just a bit more room for the crumble topping. (You can skip the scooping if you’re really lazy, or if you’re making two peaches.)
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, oats, cinnamon, salt, coconut, and almonds. Add butter and, with your fingers, work it into the dry ingredients, quickly breaking it up until it is well combined. Some of the butter bits will be the size of oat flakes; others will be the size of small peas.
  4. Place peach halves, cut side up, in a small, oven-safe dish. Top each peach half with a generous portion of topping.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, until topping is golden brown.
  6. Remove from the oven and serve warm with vanilla ice cream or a drizzle of heavy cream.
Serves: 1-2
Time: 30 minutes
Leftover potential: The peaches are best eaten warm from the oven; however, if you make one peach and have enough topping left over to make another one tomorrow, you can store the crisp topping overnight in a sealed container in the fridge.

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