Hello, friends! I’m back from California, my tote fully stocked with edible goodies and pictures galore. I’ll be spending some time this weekend sorting through the 1,171 pictures I took for highlights beautiful or mouthwatering enough to share with you all. My fuel for the picture-perusing is a generous helping of this crisp, and while the post on NorCal technically should come first, this can’t wait.
Within hours of landing in DC, I was at the supermarket, loading up on groceries. They say you shouldn’t shop while hungry. Not only was I ravenous, I was desperate to get back in the kitchen: having spent the weekend before our trip in New York, and the 3 days before that emptying out our fridge in preparation for the time away, I hadn’t cooked in nearly 2 weeks. Needless to say, I left the grocery store armed with more groceries than one gal can reasonably carry.
Among my haul was a bag of peaches so juicy and ripe, they practically begged to be eaten. A couple came with me as a work snack, but the weekend rolled around, the farmers’ market had gorgeous, jewel-like blackberries on special, and before you knew it, a plan was hatched for peach blackberry crumble. Also? The weather in DC right now is the winter of summer — a mere 80 degrees! — which means our house is cool enough that the oven may be turned on without igniting a (literal?metaphorical?) fire. Halleluyah.
Sweet, supple peaches and tart, bursting blackberries are meant for each other, whether in pie, in ice cream, or here, in a humble buckle. The topping can be made in countless different ways; I like adding oats (when we have them in the house) for a more rustic texture, and some chopped nuts in the filling can have the same effect. As long as you adhere to the basic ratio of dry ingredients to sugar to butter, you can vary the recipe as you like. In this version, I used some ground almonds in place of oats, and I added chopped pistachios for texture.
Small secret: I didn’t have quite enough peaches, so I used 2 frozen apricots in place of the peach I lacked. It won’t shock you that the result was, you know, delicious. The whole point of the buckle/crumble/crisp family is to not sweat the details. It’s summer, people. Don’t we sweat enough already?
If anyone’s looking for me, tell them I’ll be sitting cross-legged on the couch, computer on my lap, with a bowl of this buckle in one hand and a deep spoon in the other. Popeye needs his spinach, and I need my buckle. Vaca pictures coming soon.
Peach Blackberry Buckle
2 1/2 lbs. peaches, halved, pitted, and sliced
1 pint blackberries, rinsed
3 tablespoons flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, softened
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 1 cup flour, depending on other additions
Add any of the following to the flour, for a total of 1 1/4 cups dry ingredients:
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 cup chopped nuts
Preheat oven to 350.
In medium bowl, mix fruit, 3 tablespoons flour, 1/3 cup sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla until combined. Set aside.
In separate bowl, combine butter, salt, remaining sugar and flour, and other ingredients you wish to add, and use a fork to mash together until butter is fully incorporated. If you’re being nitpicky, you can mix the dry ingredients first and then add the butter, so everything is evenly distributed. I’d rather chance it; this is summer, prime time to be lazy.
Pour fruit and accumulated juices into a wide shallow serving dish (8×13 pan, 8, 9, or 10-inch round pan, or 8×8 square pan all work). Sprinkle crumb topping over fruit. Bake for 50 minutes, until juices are bubbling and topping is golden brown. Let cool for at least 20 minutes before serving; this is important because it lets the juices settle and thicken, so you won’t wind up with peach-blackberry soup (appealing as that sounds). Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, if desired.