23 June 2011

White Peach Crisp with Cardamom and Orange Blossom Water

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We welcomed summer with a picnic in the park marked with cheap Prosecco and homemade sourdough and stinky cheese, cute babies on blankets, a game of wiffle ball, and everyone dashing home just before the thunderclouds broke. My cooking recently has been much the same - impromptu, simple, easy. Sliced summer tomatoes. A bowl of peaches. Summer squash tossed in a crust with eggs, cream, cheese, and breadcrumbs. Nothing measured. Crusts made by the feel of the dough, the crumbliness of butter. Ratatouille made with the end of the week's vegetables.

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It makes for good eating but it certainly doesn't make for good blogging. There was one thing though - a white peach crisp. I have a thing for white peaches. They are delicate and floral, and they blush pink. They are almost too precious, but when baked they develop a bit of uumph, topped with a crumbly crust of brown sugar and accented with cardamom and orange blossom water. Those last two ingredients add an extra touch to this dish, but it would be perfectly delicious without them.

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White Peach Crisp with Cardamom and Orange Blossom Water

Ripe peaches are sweet enough that I don't think they need extra sugar. You can peel the peaches with a knife or blanch them to remove the skin.

12 white peaches
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon orange blossom water
1/8 teaspoon cardamom

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup oats
1 pinch salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter

1. Preheat oven to 415 F. Combine the crisp topping dry ingredients. Cut in the cold butter with a pastry blender until small crumbs form. Refrigerate crumble topping.
2. Peel and slice peaches into a bowl. Add the 3 tablespoons flour, cardamom, and orange blossom water. Toss together and place in a baking dish. Scatter the crumble over top. Bake 20 minutes, turn the temperature down to 375F and bake another 15-20 minutes, until peaches are soft and topping crisp.

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