The Challenge of Eating Seasonally

OK, don't scold me, but I made a peach crisp this weekend. I know, it's the first week in October and peaches are way out of season, particularly in Texas where our peach crop was completely obliterated by the late April freeze.

But, the truth is, Don, a farmer friend of mine got peaches trucked to him from Colorado this year (because there were none in Texas) and, while I am not proud of eating food that has traveled so far to reach me—these peaches have been very good.

I have so enjoyed eating them for the last two months. And although Don has been saying for the last two weeks that this was the "last of the peaches," this time he really meant it—so I bought two bags and decided to make a peach crisp.

It was good. In fact, this is all that's left...

By the time I realized I should share the recipe with you, it was a little too late...we dug into it and...well, yes, we dug into it, but it was literally too late at night to take a picture—you get the idea. It was really that yummy. Not much can come between me and my desserts...not even a blog.

The beautiful thing about this recipe is that you can use whatever fruit you want, adjusting the sugar based on the the sweetness of the fruit and the cooking time based on the texture of the fruit. For example, you might not need to add as much sugar to the peaches as you would pears, and a pear or apple crisp will likely need a little more cooking time.

Using whatever fruit is in season, this is a great "go-to" dessert. It's easy and requires little prep time. Plus, it's utter simplicity and deliciousness will impress even the most difficult guest or family member.

Buen provecho!

Fruit Crisp
Adapted by The Cowgirl Gourmet from an old Food Network recipe by Nicole Aloni

(Print Recipe)

Serves 6 to 8

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
5 T. unsalted butter, and another 1 T. for placing on top of the fruit
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, optional—but this does combine well with most fruit except berries

2 pounds fruit, sliced if needed (peaches, pears, apples, mixed berries, a combination of fruit or whatever is in season)
1/4 cup sugar, or to taste (depending on the sweetness of the fruit)
2 teaspoons flour

Note: If using pears or apples, toss them with the juice of 1/2 a lemon to keep them from turning brown—although the acidity of the lemon can be a good addition to whatever fruit you use.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10 x 8-inch casserole dish.

Prepare the topping: In a food processor (or using a pastry wire or your fingers), pulse the flour and butter until the texture is like coarse cornmeal. Remove the butter and flour mixture and place in a bowl. Add in the oats, sugar, nuts and spices and stir.

Place fruit in a bowl and toss with lemon, if necessary, sprinkle the sugar and flour over the fruit and toss until combined.

To assemble: Place the fruit filling in the buttered dish and top with cubed pieces of 1 T. butter. Cover the fruit with the topping.

Place in the oven and bake until the fruit in the middle is tender, 30-40 minutes or so or until it's nice and bubbly. I like mine to get a little golden on top (and sometimes this means turning on the broiler). For best flavor, serve warm and top with a luscious scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

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