I’m not sure what I did to anger peaches, but they are pissed at me. So are nectarines, cherries, and plums. They reveal their animosity whenever I nibble at their deliciously fat selves by making my lips and tongue swell up. I can handle the Barbara Hershey-in-Beaches lips, the unbearable itchiness less so.
My doctor tells me that I’m not allergic to stone fruit, per se, but to the trees they grow on. I’m not sure why this difference is even worth the breath to point it out, since the result is that in the summer months I just have to find my fruity goodness elsewhere. But when the farmer’s markets are teeming with plump stone fruit and the general public is gaily dabbing at their peach juice-dabbled chins, I am ridden with jealousy, driven crazy with desire. Must. Eat. Peaches.
Alas, all is not lost. Once cooked, I can gorge myself silly on summer’s finest. The aforementioned doctor says that cooking the fruit kills whatever enzyme I’m allergic to. So, I’m resigned to a life eating drippy peaches and cherries poached and grilled and sautéed, or in crisps and cobblers and pies. There are worse fates.
As a result, I’ve become quite the exceptional Cobbler and Crisper, if I do say so myself (bring it on Bobby Flay!). This variation was inspired by some rosemary shortbread I made last year; I was a little shocked at how amazing the rosemary + butter + sugar combo is, and adding peaches just furthered the deliciousness quotient. I find peeling the peaches unnecessary, but if you’re in the mood for excessive, useless work, then feel free to add that step. The pine-y rosemary adds a light, herbal note to the crisp, making this fabulously easy dessert kind of impressive and pretty unbeatable.
The peaches, they may be angry. But I will make them love me.
Peach Rosemary Crisp
8-10 ripe peaches, depending on your topping-to-fruit ratio preference
2 Tbsp. creme de cassis (optional)
5 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into bits
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup flour
1 Tbsp. fresh, minced rosemary
1. Preheat oven to 400-degrees. Cut peaches in half and remove pits (the riper they are, the easier this will be. but the firmer they are, the better they'll hold their shape.) Cut peach halves into bite-size 1" pieces.
2. Spray an 8"x8" pan with nonstick cooking spray. Toss the peaches and the creme de cassis together, in the pan, and pat them down to a relatively even layer.
3. Put the butter, brown sugar, flour, oatmeal, and rosemary into a medium bowl and, using your hands, pinch the butter into the other ingredients, until it's all evenly combined and has a crumbly texture. Top the peaches with the delicious crumbly-ness.
4. Bake for 30 minutes. Serve hot or warm, topped with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream or gelato.