Garam Masala & Rye Peach Crisp

Peaches are ripe and at their peak in July and August. Found just about everywhere at this time of year, the heady perfume of locally ripened warm weather stone fruit is intoxicating. Sweet, tree ripe peaches are perfect on their own. “Enriched” with sugar, spice and butter, they’re sublime.

This garam masala scented crisp is sweet, crunchy and complex. Flavors of cinnamon, clove, cardamom, nutmeg, cumin, and black pepper, pair beautifully with the floral, honeyed flavors of ripe peaches. The crispy topping has a terrific bite and adds texture to the soft stewed fruit. Add a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of Three Twins dad’s cardamom ice cream for an easy, laid-back summer dessert.

We’re in the peak of Summer’s hot weather, and now’s the time to get those peach crisps and cobblers into the oven, or grill, before the best of them disappear from the market. That is, if you can stand the heat!

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Garam Masala Peach Crisp
Adapted from: epicurious

Ingredients

Filling:
1 1/2 cups pecans
3 pounds peaches (about 8 medium)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Topping:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup rye flour
1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Ice Cream, for serving

Preheat oven to 350°F. Toast pecans on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing once, until slightly darkened in color, 8–10 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop. Set aside.

To peel the peaches. Prepare an icebath in a medium bowl. Fill a medium sauce pan half way with water and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Score the bottom of each peach with an x. Drop a couple of peaches in the water for about 30 seconds. Scoop out with a spoon and immediately place into ice bath. When the peaches are cool enough to handle peel with a knife or fingers. Repeat with the remaining peaches. Once all the peaches are peeled, slice in half and remove the pits. Cut each peach half into thirds, and then half or thirds again. About 1/2″ pieces.

Smear bottom and sides of a 10″ round baking dish with butter. Toss pecans, brown sugar, granulated sugar, garam masala, flour, and salt in a large bowl. Add the peaches and lemon juice, toss some more until incorporated. Transfer to baking dish. Set aside.

To make the topping, whisk flours, brown sugar, garam masala, and salt in a medium bowl. Rub in butter with your fingers until no clumps form and no dry spots remain, like coarse sand.

Bake crisp until topping is golden brown and juices are thick and bubbling around the edges, 25–35 minutes. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or to increase the spice add a scoop of Three Twins dad’s cardamom ice cream.

Do Ahead:
Crisp can be made 1 day ahead. Store lightly covered at room temperature.

Food for thought.

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