Peach Crisp – vegan & gluten free

Every summer since sometime in high school, I’ve made this fruit crisp. When I’ve been asked for my favorite dessert, I’ve responded with this one. Now, not to knock chocolate cake, but this is so, so, so good partly because there’s only a small window each year during peach heyday when it’s doable.

You need a good number of fruits, and they should be quite ripe or even overripe. Any fruit will do, but I think summer stone fruits are best. Peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines, pluots mixed with berries, or not, and covered with a mixture of sugar, butter, and oats is summertime perfection. It’s a perfectly respectable dessert, but I like it best for breakfast, either room temperature or refrigerator-cool. In a rush in the morning? It’s completely acceptable to stand at the kitchen counter with a spoon.

Peach or Nectarine Crisp – vegan & gluten free

Any kind of fruit works here. It’s a great vehicle for using up a bunch of fruit that’s overripe and about to go bad.

peaches, or any other summer fruit(s)
1/2 C flour of any variety- all purpose, whole wheat, almond, gluten free, etc.
3/4 C brown sugar
pinch of salt
6 Tbsp chilled butter OR vegan butter (like Earth Balance), cut into half inch pieces
1 C quick or rolled oats

First, choose your baking dish, as that will affect how much fruit you’ll need. I regularly use either a 9-inch round glass dish or an 8×8-inch square glass dish. Ceramic will also work. For this week’s incarnation, I used 8 nectarines in my 8×8-inch square dish.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Peel and roughly chop fruit directly into your baking dish. I use a vegetable peeler and a paring knife, but you can also blanch stone fruits to get the skin off as I describe here.

In a food processor, blend the flour, sugar, salt, and butter with several on-off pulses or only until the mixture looks like a coarse meal. Add the oats and pulse a few more times to break them up.
Spread topping over fruit. I like to do it so that I don’t see any fruit peeking out. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until top is golden brown. Depending on the juiciness of the fruit and how full you filled your dish, you may want to put some foil below the pan in the oven to catch any overflow.