It’s the last hurrah of summer! Technically yes, I know it’s the second day of fall, but my garden is bursting with heirloom tomatoes, okra, peppers and many other little gems. This is the time of year I enjoy being in the kitchen the most. It’s the time I revel in the abundance of of all the colorful things I’ve grown, and all the beautiful little stone fruits on their last hurrah at the farmers market. Yesterday was the autumnal equinox, where the light and dark are equal, and here I find myself with a bowl full of the first rosy colored pears of the season (which I couldn’t resist,) writing about trying to hold onto summer in the form of tomatoes and okra and peaches, oh my!
And speaking of peaches, today I’m sharing my recipe for a peach crumble. Not just any peach crumble–it’s the peach crumble for the people. All the people. Whenever the Mister’s family gets together, it’s time to get creative. Recently we took a family trip to a mountain cabin near the Poudre river. One of my favorite parts (and also one of the most challenging parts) of our get-togethers is creating shared meals that everyone can eat.
Between my own intolerances and the allergies of those in our family, sometimes one is left thinking, what CAN we eat? The challenge at hand was to make a gluten-free, vegan, nut-free, oat-free, potato starch free peach crumble that actually tasted good. The only reason I bring up potato is that all of the gluten-free all purpose flours seem to contain it. And if you know me well, I’m not satisfied with just a passable dish that makes people say, “Well this is pretty good considering it’s adjusted for all these dietary needs.” It’s gotta be so good that people can’t help but to marvel at how tasty it is, and take a second helping even though they are more than the teensiest bit full.
Without nuts and oats, I was wondering about how to still achieve a little bit of that crunchy oat-like texture. I settled on flaked coconut, chopped up to resemble the size and texture of oats. As a kid, mine and my brothers’ favorite dessert treat was a concoction my mom used to make called throw-together cake. It was made with cherry pie filling and crushed pineapple with an addictive crumbly topping made with yellow cake mix and butter. This topping reminds me of the crumbly, almost buttery-tasting topping of yesteryear’s throw-together cake. It’s sweet, but not too sweet, and I always add a bit of salt to give it a bit of that salty-sweet thing I love so much. For the peaches, I’ve experimented with different amounts and types of spices, but really prefer to let the peaches shine without trying to spice them up too much with all the baking spices patiently waiting for apple pie and pumpkin bread season.
I have made this peach crumble for a few family occasions now, and have even assembled a couple batches to be frozen and enjoyed in the late winter when all that’s left are things not nearly as bright and happy as a summer peach. Future me will surely thank me for this. Eating intolerances or not, I hope you and your special people enjoy this “last hurrah of summer” peach crumble!
- 3 pounds ripe peaches
- ½ cup granulated cane sugar (more or less to taste)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice from 1 lemon (more or less to taste)
- A couple pinches ground cinnamon
- 2 ½ tablespoons arrowroot starch, or ¼ cup white rice flour for thickening
- 1 ½ cups brown rice flour
- 1 ½ cups white rice flour
- ½ cup buckwheat flour
- ¾ cups coconut flakes, chopped fine to imitate the texture of oats, plus extra to garnish if desired
- ¼ teaspoon fine grain salt
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 cup unrefined coconut oil
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water. To blanch the peaches, put them into the boiling water for about a minute, then remove to the bowl of ice water. Peel off the skin (if the skin doesn’t easily peel off, put them in the boiling water for 30 seconds longer. If your peaches are not completely ripe, the skin may not all come off--that’s okay.
- Cut the peaches in half, remove the pits, and cut into ½ inch slices. Put the peaches into the dish you plan to bake the crisp in ( I used an 8x13 deep baking dish). Stir in the cane sugar and lemon juice, tasting as you go to get a balance of sweetness and brightness. If your peaches are under-ripe, you will want to use more lemon juice and sugar. Stir in a couple pinches of cinnamon, and either the arrowroot starch or rice flour.
- In a large bowl, combine the rice flour, buckwheat flour, chopped coconut, salt, brown sugar and coconut oil. Use clean hands to mix and squeeze the mixture together, until it clumps together. Add 1-2 tablespoons additional coconut oil if it seems like it’s not clumping enough. Taste, and add more sugar or salt to taste.
- Spread the crumble topping over the peach mixture in a baking dish. Bake at 375˚ F for 35-45 minutes, or until the peaches are bubbly and the topping starts to look golden brown. Allow to cool at least 20 minutes before serving. If desired, toast ¼ cup coconut flakes in a frying pan over medium heat until golden and sprinkle over the top of the crumble.