Now in early September, we’re in the midst of a seasonal crossfire – the waning of summer and the stirring of autumn. This is a delicious time to play around with the serendipitous overlaps of crops from the two seasons. In August, I have been loading up on my favorite summer peaches. Meanwhile, you can’t ignore the widening selection of apples arriving in the local farmers’ market. Therefore, I decided on combining both fruits which you might not find together during the rest of the year. I made a peach apple crumble. Think of it as an extension of the cool summer peaches. Similarly, you might also think of it as jumpstarting the fall apple season.
The inspiration of the peach apple crumble came from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s apple and raspberry crumble tart. I substituted peach for raspberry and skipped the tart shell for the ease of preparation. As a result of streamlining the recipe, this becomes a quick weekday recipe. You could readily work it into a weekday dessert without too much fuss.
A fruit tart is a classic for good reasons. By all means, make the tart if you like. An peach apple crumble tart has an attractive structure that can’t be beat. However, if a healthier dessert is your thing, skip the tart shell altogether. Scatter the crumble, made with a few simple ingredients of flour, butter, sugar and almond meal, over the fruits. You are done; the crumble is ready for the oven. In the end, you’re getting a lighter, yet every bit as delicious, as any fruit tart. For a gluten-free alternative, substitute all-purpose flour with corn flour.
To make up for the lack of structure without the tart shell, consider using baking dishes of various sizes and shapes, depending on what you have — just for fun.
Some shortcuts to consider:
Make a cross cut at the bottom of the peaches. Put them into boiling water for 30 seconds. Then transfer them in an icewater bath. This procedure makes peeling off the skin a cinch.
Cut the peaches in chunks.
I cut the apple in 8 wedges. Then cut each wedge into thin slices crosswise. Thinner apple slices facilitate cooking at the same rate as the peaches. There’ll be no need to cook the apple pieces prior to baking if they are cut into very thin slices.
Using fresh ripe, but firm, peaches and sweet tasting apples is a must. (Less sugar to be added.) I used Honey Crisp apples for this dish.
For visual appeal, sprinkle slices of almond on top, like this cake.
I’m linking this post to IHCC for the “slide into September” challenge.
Peach Apple Crumble for Summer/Autumn CrossoverPrint Recipe
- 2-3 apples, sliced thinnly
- 2-3 peaches, cut into chunks
- 35g butter
- 2 tbsp soft brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- For the crumble
- 100g all-purpose flour (or corn flour to make the dessert gluten-free)
- 75g unsalted butter
- 50g light brown sugar
- 50g ground hazelnuts or almonds
Heat the oven to 190C/375F. Butter a round or rectangular pan.
Quarter and core the apples and peaches, then slice thinly for apples and bigger chunks for the peaches.
Optional: Heat the butter in a large frying pan until foaming, then add the apples. Fry gently for five minutes, tossing regularly, until they start to soften, then sprinkle on the sugar and stir so it dissolves into the buttery, appley juices.
Spread this fruit mixture into the greased pan.
For the crumble, sift the flour into a bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and ground nuts, squeeze into lumps, then break these up a bit and scatter over the tart to give it a rough topping. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm or cold with whipped cream.