So, I said I was going to make it up to you (the abandonment and all). That was a lie. Because I thought I was going to make you an awesome crisp and you’d be so excited about it and it would be just the thing for a summer night with vanilla ice cream. But instead I made you a kinda soggy and mediocre crisp. And you deserve better than that.
Let me qualify: this crisp probably COULD be awesome and crunchy and baked-fruity and lovely. I just screwed it up. Well I mean, my peaches screwed it up. They were a bit banged up. Turns out transporting peaches from Oakland to San Francisco in a bag along with about 20 lbs of clothes via BART results in severely bruised peaches. So they were all overripe and broken up and JUICY friends.
And I didn’t compensate, see? It told me to scoop the whole fruit mixture into the baking pan and I followed blindly, even though I could clearly see that there was enough liquid in there to drown Noah and his ark.
So then the crisp topping kinda got deluged and instead of being that sparkly crisp that flour+sugar+butter produces, it ended up looking more like steelcut oatmeal. And the poor almonds didn’t roast and become fragrant. They just sat in that bubbling peach liquid and got all soggy. There are few things worse than soggy almonds, friends (you see how I didn’t say soggy nuts and then kinda giggle? I’m 26 now).
But I needed to use those peaches asap because they were on their way south. So. Here we are. With mediocre crisp. NEXT TIME. Next time I’ma make it up to you. Promise for reals.
And also, next time, with this crisp, I think I’d add more topping. There is just not nearly enough. I want my butter, dammit. Give it to me. And, dudes, I totally didn’t read the part about the fresh ginger, and I was thinking to myself, hmm, peaches….these would be nice with some ginger. But then I didn’t want to deviate from the recipe because I wanted to try it straight up the first time I made it. But it’s in there! And I totally HAVE fresh ginger. It could’ve been done! Bah! What a fucking travesty. I need a beer.
from Cooks Illustrated, July 1998
To make a larger crisp that serves 10, double all the ingredients, use a 13 x 9-inch baking pan, and bake for 55 minutes at 375 degrees, without increasing the oven temperature. If making an apple crisp, we recommend equal quantities of Granny Smith and McIntosh apples. Peel, core, and cut apples and pears into one-inch chunks. Peel, pit, and cut nectarines, peaches, and plums into half-inch wedges. If using plums, add one tablespoon quick-cooking tapioca to the fruit mixture. Half a teaspoon of grated fresh ginger makes a nice flavor addition to all the fruits.
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 table salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter , cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
3/4 cup pecans or whole almonds, chopped coarse (or chopped fine if mixing topping by hand)
2 1/2 – 3 pounds apples, nectarines, peaches, pears or plums (6 cups cut)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest from 1 lemon
For the Topping: Place flour, brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in food processor workbowl fitted with steel blade. Add chilled butter and pulse until mixture moves from dry sand-like appearance with large lumps of butter to a coarse cornmeal texture, about three 4-second bursts. Add nuts and pulse until mixture resembles crumbly sand, about five 1-second bursts. Do not overprocess or mixture will take on a smooth, cookie-dough-like texture. (To mix by hand, allow butter pieces to sit at room temperature for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, mix flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in medium bowl. Add butter; toss to coat. Pinch butter chunks and dry mixture between fingertips until mixture looks like crumbly wet sand. Add nuts and toss to distribute evenly. Do not overmix.) Refrigerate mixture while preparing fruit, at least 15 minutes.
Toss cut fruit, sugar, lemon juice, and zest (along with 1 tablespoon quick-cooking tapioca if using plums as fruit) in medium bowl.
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Scrape fruit mixture with rubber spatula into 8-inch square (2 quart) baking pan or 9-inch round deep dish pie plate. Distribute chilled topping evenly over fruit; bake for 40 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees; bake until fruit is bubbling and topping is deep golden brown, about 5 minutes longer. Serve warm or at room temperature.