Tomatoes get the lion’s share of attention this time of year, and rightly so, but let’s not forget how insanely delicious blueberries and peaches are right now.  I’ve been a tad obsessed with blueberries in particular, eating half a pint every morning with Greek yogurt and my own granola and pulling up all my favorite blueberry-centric recipes.  Such is my mania that I bought a 5-lb. box at the farmers’ market and when the sweet, unsuspecting fruit monger told me I could stick the whole box directly in the freezer (assuming I could not possibly eat them before they went bad) I gave him what I hoped was some “Jeremy-Irons-you-have-no-idea” side-eye and said “These won’t make it through the week, sustainable farmer.”

A crisp may not excite you unduly.  It doesn’t use mezcal or cold-brew or sous-vide or man buns anything on-trend.  Rather, it lets the fleeting glory of the seasonal fruit shine, enhanced only with a little lemon zest and juice which adds the perfect amount of acid against all the fatty lusciousness of the butter and sugar and nuts.

Although the recipe tells you that 5 peaches will yield 5 cups of wedges I used 6 and only got 4 cups, so I threw in an extra cup of blueberries.  Of course it was terrific but it was uniformly purple – no cheeky bits of peach showing anywhere.

CI tested “everything from Grape-Nuts to cookie crumbs” for the topping, settling on nuts and butter and flour and sugar and it’s spot on.  It wasn’t until I typed the recipe below that I noticed the instruction to increase the oven temp to 400 for the last five minutes of cooking so I’m going to call that optional.

Peach-Blueberry Crisp, Cook's Illustrated, July 1998

Ingredients

  • Topping:
  • 6 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" pieces and chilled
  • 3/4 cups pecans or whole almonds, chopped coarse
  • Fruit:
  • 5 cups peaches, peeled, pitted and cut into 1/2" wedges (about 6-7 medium peaches)
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon quick-cooking tapioca
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Instructions

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees
    For the topping:
  1. Pulse the flour, brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and butter in a food processor until it goes from dry sand to coarse cornmeal texture, about 3 pulses. Add nuts and pulse until mixture resembles crumbly sand, about 5 pulses (do not overprocess). Refrigerate at least 15 minutes.
    For Fruit
  1. Toss peaches, blueberries, tapioca, sugar, lemon juice and zest in a medium bowl.
  2. Scrape fruit mixture into an 8" square baking pan or a 9" deep dish pie plate. Distribute chilled topping evenly over fruit. Bake for 40 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees and bake until fruit is bubbling and topping is deep brown, about 5 additional minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature (I made mine earlier in the day and then re-heated briefly before serving).

 

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