Anyways, back to the crumble. I found this recipe in Cook's Illustrated (July/August 2006) and I decided to make it for the Fourth of July. The vanilla in the topping was a delicious counterpart to the acidic peaches, but during the hour and a half between the moment when I took it out of the oven and the moment I served it, the topping had dissolved a little into the peaches.
- 3 1/2 lbs ripe but firm peaches
- 0-1/3 cup sugar (depending on how sweet the peaches are)
- 1 1/4 tsp cornstarch
- 3-5 tsp lemon juice (depending on how acidic the peaches are)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeng
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt (exclude if using salted butter)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 6 tbsp butter: soft and cut into small pieces
- 1/2 c sliced almonds
- Slice the peaches into 4-6 slices (about 3/4 inch width at the fattest part)
- Toss the peaches with the the sugar (if using) and lemon juice, and let sit while you are making the topping.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees (325 if convection)
- Combine flour, sugars, 1/4 cup of almonds, vanilla, and salt in a medium bowl and rub the butter into the flour (this is called cutting the butter into flour)either using your fingertips, a food processor, or a pastry cutter until the mixture forms clumps.
- Stir in the remaining almonds.
- Transfer mixture to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and spread into a flat, even layer. Bake for 20 minutes.
- While the topping is baking, drain some of the peach juice into a small bowl with the cornstarch and spices. Mix the liquid back into the peaches and toss them like a salad.
- Transfer the peaches to a 9" pie plat or an 8x8" nonreactive dish (glass is best.)
- When topping is baked use a knife or spoon to break it into 1" pieces.
- Pick up the parchment paper and pour the topping on top of the peaches. Even out the layer.
- Bake for 25-35 minutes, until the fruit is bubbling around the edges.
- Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.