Peaches – Skin and All – Give These Crumb Bars Color, Flavor and Texture
I was thinking about my Nana and how she never measured when she made her piecrust, or how she diligently picked over and cleaned her blueberries for the filling. She worked with intuition and used her sense of touch. On humid days, for instance, the piecrust needed less water. The baked goods that came out of her kitchen were simple and homey and highlighted the main ingredients. For today’s Throwback Thursday (#TBT) I bring you a Peach Crumb Bar that would have been right at home on her table. No fancy ingredients, no difficult technique. A pat in crust – and – as an added bonus – I decided not to peel the peaches. It’s not that that is a hard step, but it is time consuming, and Nana would have been also making the chicken-in-the-pot and keeping an eye on us cousins and getting ready to watch Jeopardy. My tasters loved the skin-on. They added flavor, color and texture.
- 5 cups peaches, pitted and diced (about 5 large, ripe peaches)
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon cardamom
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- ¼ cup cold heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- For the Peach Filling: Position rack in center of oven. Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a 13x9-inch baking pan with nonstick spray; set aside.
- Toss the peaches, sugar, cinnamon and cardamom together in a bowl and allow t sit while you make crust. (You can substitute nutmeg for the cardamom, if you like).
- For the Crust: Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Cut butter into flour mixture with a fork or pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a small bowl whisk together egg, cream and vanilla extract and pour into dry mixture; gently stir until just combined.
- Scatter half of the crumb mixture the prepared pan and use fingers to press into an even layer. Scrape peach mixture and any juice evenly over bottom crust, then use fingers to make small clumps with the crumb topping and scatter it evenly over the top.
- Bake for about 40 to 45 minutes or until top crumbs have just begin to color light brown. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes, then cut into bars. These are best served warm and really should be eaten the same day. (They get a bit soggy after that).
Images: Dédé Wilson
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