Every year around this time we get loads of requests for Peach Cobbler. And after some questioning, people always explain that they like their peach cobbler with a crispy crumbly topping (as opposed to a cakey style biscuit one.) So I gather that in reality, most of the requests coming in are for Peach Crisp and not Peach Cobbler. Which is great for me, because I’m a crisp girl myself. In fact, I’d say that’s one of my favorite (and most made) desserts in the summer and fall months, especially. With a good crumb topping, you can take just about any fruit and create a rustic dessert that’s very open to interpretation and adaptation and tastes heavenly piled on top of a cool bowl of ice cream. This time of year, you can usually find peaches in abundance, and for a great price. In my local stores right now, the peaches are much less expensive than apples!
While I say any fruit can be used in a crisp, one specific problem that comes with peaches in particular, is that in dishes like this they produce so much moisture that you almost always end up with a soupy, watery mess. That is unless you add high amounts of thickeners, like flour, and then instead of a soupy watery mess, you have a goopy gloppy mess. Most recipes also call for a ridiculous amount of sugar, which makes it nearly impossible to taste the fresh sweet tang of the actual fruit. You’ll see this recipe calls for a very small amount of sugar; just enough to heighten the flavor of the natural fruit-letting those peaches be the star of the show.
This recipe combats the soupy juice problem by macerating the peaches first. Just like you toss strawberries with sugar to create the sweet syrupy sauce for strawberry shortcake, tossing peaches with sugar draws out their juices. That way we can use just what we need and leave out the rest, producing a crisp that’s not watery at all, but instead has a light sauce and holds together nicely.
Start by peeling those peaches. Click Here for a tutorial on the easiest way to do that. After pitting and slicing, toss them with a little sugar.
Let the peaches sit in a bowl for about 30 minutes, giving them a gentle toss a few times during that process.
You’ll see they leach out quite a bit of peach juice. Place the peaches in a colander over a large bowl and drain off all the juice. Mine produced about a cup and a half of juice!
We’re only going to use 1/4 cup of those juices. You can use the rest in a smoothie or toss them down the drain. Or let your kid drink it right out of bowl.
Mix the peach juice with a little corn starch, some fresh lemon juice, and a pinch of salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Toss the peaches with that mixture and place it in a baking dish. I like to use a 9×9-ish pan, but anything close to that is fine. If you want to make this in a 9×13, I’d double or at least 1 1/2 the recipe as written.
For the crumbly crisp topping, combine some oats, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Either cut in chunks of cold butter, or use a large-holed cheese grater to grate it right in. I know, it looks like shredded mozzarella. It’s not. I swear.
Then use clean hands to crumble the mixture together so you have little pebbles of butter.
Pour it right over the peach mixture and then bake the pan in the oven.
I watch for the topping to become golden brown and toasted looking, and for some of the peach mixture to start bubbling through the edges.
You’ll want to let it sit and cool off till it’s just warm. Fruit gets super hot when cooked, and besides burning your mouth, it will melt your ice cream if you serve it piping hot!
When it’s just warm, spoon it over vanilla ice cream.
Notice how after being spooned out of the pan, there’s not a pool of juices there.
And it’s not too sweet; just the perfect flavor of ripe peaches, balanced by the warm crunch of the topping and a hit of cool, creamy vanilla.
Trust me, you need this in your life.
Note: Hover over the above image to Pin it!
Fresh Peach Crisp
Topping by Our Best Bites, Filling by ATK
3 1/2 lbs ripe but firm peaches (6-8), peeled, pitted, and sliced into 3/4″ wedges.
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
6 tablespoons cold butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350.
For peach filling, gently combine peaches and sugar in a large bowl and let stand for 30 minutes, tossing occasionally. Drain peaches in a colander set over a large bowl, reserving the peach juices. Whisk 1/4 cup of the drained peach juice, cornstarch, lemon juice, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in small bowl. (You can discard the rest of the excess peach juice or toss it in a smoothie!) Toss juice mixture with peaches and transfer to an 8 or 9 inch square pan that’s been sprayed with cooking spray. Any size pan that’s close to that is fine, it doesn’t need to be exact. As long as it all fits, it’s good 🙂
For topping, combine oats, brown sugar, flour, nutmeg, and cinnamon and either grate the cold butter with a large-hole cheese grater, or cut it into small cubes and use your fingers to crumble the mixture together. Sprinkle topping evenly over pan.
Bake for about 30 minutes. The topping should look golden brown and crisp, and I always watch for little bubbles of peach liquid to start popping though the outside corners. Let cool to luke warm before serving. Spoon over ice cream.
Feeling Peachy? Check out some of these other recipes featuring this in-season beauty!
1. Fresh Peach Shakes
2. Slushy Peach Punch
3. Spicy Peach BBQ Sauce (can be canned!)
4. Peach Kissed Turkey Burgers from Savoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites
5. Peach-Watermelon Salsa from Savoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites
And speaking of both fruit crisps and our cook book, here’s another favorite exclusive to our book. If you have it, check this one out!
PS Check out the “Timeless Originals” tab on our sidebar for a new Bonus Dinner Recipe today!
We whipped this up last night, and it came out absolutely gorgeous. I love that there isn’t cups upon cups of sugar – it really lets the peaches shine on their own. Thanks for the recipe!
Can you add in some apples for some textural contrast? how would you adjust ingredients/cooking time?
Loved this recipe, as I’m the main cook in the house and have been cooking and baking for most of my 53 years, it fit in great with our annual summer BBQ.
This is the best peach crisp I have EVER had! I want to make it again right now…but I need to get more peaches!
This is the PERFECT peach crisp recipe! It turned out wonderfully and was delicious! Thanks for the great tips, especially about not using all of the peach juice. This recipe is a keeper for me.
This looks delicious! Would this work if I froze it for a later date? Before or after baking? I have a huge box of ripe peaches that I don’t want to go bad (I already canned one box) so I thought maybe I could make ahead some peach desserts. I don’t know if that would work, though.
I’m not sure Lindsay- you’d have to try it!
Just made this recipe last week. I used peaches I had frozen earlier this summer. In my opinion, there was way too much topping and not enough peaches in this recipe. Next time I will double the peach part, and just make half the topping portion. Personal preference. Delicious flavor though!
Abby- you like yours just the opposite of how I like mine, haha! I prefer about twice as much topping as peaches 😉
Made this and loved it and confession – just had the leftover for dinner. It has fruit so I’m good, right?
Love your ratio of oats to flour. Most recipes have it the other way around, with too much flour. Making this today for a neighborhood BBQ in a black skillet. Thanks!
I made this the other night and enjoyed the last, sweet bites over vanilla ice cream for breakfast this morning. Best.Breakfast.Ever!!! I think the fresh lemon juice is what puts these over the edge delicious. Great recipe… I’m glad I still have peaches left to make more. Thanks!!
I just ordered 20 lbs. or peaches–thanks for these yummy ideas!
Yum! That looks good–and I need a dessert for Saturday night’s dinner! I froze quite a few peaches recently–would this work ok w/ frozen ones later in the winter when they’re not in season?
I made this last week and used peaches I had frozen earlier this summer. I simmered them in a saucepan with just a splash of water and the granulated sugar until they defrosted (but not letting them get mushy). Then I strained the juice out as directed in the recipe. Worked great!
I made this and it was a huge hit at our house. My hubby ate all the leftovers for breakfast this morning he liked it so much. Also, thanks for the tutorial on how to peel peaches, I was amazed with just how easy it was and how well it worked.
Sara and Kate,
Just wanted to send a long overdue thank you for your food inspiration. I have been tired of cooking but have had fun trying new recipes thanks to your blog and both cookbooks. My kids have enjoyed the change as well and have found some favorites as well.
Thank you for the sweet words, Tammy!
Mmm, I was wondering how soon you were going to post this. 🙂 It looks amazing and I can’t wait to try it!
Oh you are so right. I do need this in my life. I’ve never made a peach anything before, so I think this would be a great place to start!
Perfect way to use up those last summer peaches!
This looks amaaaaazing!
I’m a peach cobbler girl myself, but I’ll have to give this a try; it looks like heaven in a bowl!
How did you know this is exactly what I needed? I just bought a box of peaches at the farmer’s market on Saturday and this is the ticket! I’m also excited to use some of my 25-pound bag of 6 grain rolled cereal instead of the plain rolled oats. Look at me multitask!
Duh. It makes so much sense to macerate the fruit and drain it. I’m glad you thought of that, since I didn’t!
Yum! This looks great! Wish I had more than one peach left in my kitchen. A tip I learned from The Pie Bible in making apple pies was to let the juices drain off then to simmer that juice until it makes a concentrated syrup which you then add back into the fruit– I bet that would be great with peaches too. I might try that soon and let you know how it works out.
the quality of my kitchen/chef life increases every time I read a recipe from you ladies. Why had I never been taught to macerate my fruit before this?! honestly! thanks for the awesome tip!
Cant wait to try this!
You and Kate’s work has improved my cooking so much. So thanks! I love America test kitchen. This is funny but I grew up watching that with my family! We still watch it all the time together- when people watch movies, we watch cooking shows. Funny huh. I stay up
Late catching up on cooking shows. Nerdy. Anyway, you and Kate were fun to listen to at time out for women last year as well. I don’t know how you guys find time to fit everything in! Good work!!
You read my mind! I’ve been looking through my books for a peach crisp recipe. All I found was peach cobbler, which I like but wanted the crumble topping. I was about to use my Apple Betty recipe, but I wouldn’t have thought about the soupy mess all the juice would have made. Thanks Sara!!
Once again … Your timing is perfect, I’m up to my eyeballs in peaches!! And I needed a dessert type peach dish for tomorrow 🙂 thank you thank you … And also loving your recipe roundup at the end including the references to your cookbooks so I know which one to look in for more ideas. I’m not sure how you girls do it … But sure grateful that you do!!
You ladies are the best!!! I just searched your sight on Friday for a Peach Crisp recipe (crisp girl myself here 🙂 The peaches at the local grocer were divine and just begging to be eaten Just. Like. This!
Mmm! I love this! It looks perfect!
Loving this! I definitely need a new baked peach recipe so this is perfect!
Yum! My family loves crisps (apple, peach, blackberry, pretty much any kind 🙂 so they will be super happy that you have reminded me to make one! I love your books, I have hard copies that are more fun for my kiddos to flip through, as well as Kindle copies so I can use them easily on my iPad in the kitchen ~ I am grateful that you ladies take the time to do your thing for all of us who love you 🙂
Christine, you’re so sweet! Thank YOU for your kindness and support!