Growing up, I spent summers with my Grandmother and cousins. We called it “Camp Grandma” but more on that in another post.
Summer Thursdays were Farmer’s Market days. It was always fun. Tons of colorful vegetables, fruits and baked goods. We’d buy mini-loaves of fluffy, white bread. We’d snack on sweet strawberries and tart blueberries. Grandma would buy beans, onions, squash, zucchini and all sorts of other vegetables that were in season. And always tomatos. My Grandfather lived for tomatos. He would eat them like apples, taking huge bites out of them. He always tried to grow his own but was never able to cultivate them to his satisfaction. Grandpa also loved blueberry pie. It’s funny, I don’t think my grandmother made a lot of pie. Cookies, cakes, breads, yes. Pie? Not so much. So often we’d buy pie at the Farmer’s Market. My grandfather would grumble that it wasn’t as good as something my grandmother could make but the pie wouldn’t be around for long. He was fond of pie for breakfast.
I go to the Farmer’s Market now and I bring my 4 month old daughter with me. We look at all the colorful vegetables and fruits and I talk to her about what I might make with the things I buy. I’m hoping to instil in her the same love of fresh ingredients that I learned from my grandmother. Sometimes my husband comes too and it becomes a Family Outing. We went this week and there was just so much gorgeous stuff! What really caught my eye were the peaches.
There were so many. They smelled delicious. I couldn’t resist. So I bought some. Ok, ok, I bought a lot of them. I’m saving some for a salad later on in the week but with the majority of them, I made a peach/blueberry crumble based on one Ina Garten makes. What can I say? The blueberries were also plentiful. The crumble is delicious and I don’t generally like fruit desserts. But in making it, I am reminded of summer nights at Grandma’s, eating blueberry pie from the Farmer’s Market. I might even have some for breakfast.
Peach and Blueberry Crumble, Based on Ina Garten’s Peach and Blueberry Crumble
For the filling:
8-10 peaches, peeled* and cut into wedges
1/2 c. flour
3/4 c. – 1 c. sugar (depending on how ripe your peaches are and how sweet you like your fruit.)
1 pint of blueberries (I used more but ended up with more of a blueberry-peach crumble. So it’s your call.)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
*Don’t know how to easily peel peaches? Stick with me, more on that below.
For the topping:
1 c. flour
1/3 c. white sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar (I used more, probably 1/2 cup)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, coolish and cut into small pieces
Preheat over to 350 degrees.
Butter a baking dish. I’m partial to square shaped pyrex or sort of casserole type dish. Just don’t use a cake pan- you want something a bit larger and slightly more shallow.
To peel the peaches, boil a pot of water. Once it’s at a rolling boil put the washed peaches into it. Boil for about 1 minute or until the skins peel off easily (could be less/more than a minute depending on how ripe your peaches are).
Immediately place the peaches into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Peel the skins off and then slice the peaches into wedges. I mainly cut around the pit so had some great wedge shapes but also some more mushy, not-so-shapely pieces. I also didn’t peel all my skins- what can I say? I’m lazy.
In a medium bowl, place the sugar, flour, cinnamon, vanilla, peaches and blueberries. Combine them gently- you want the fruit to be coated but you don’t want to mash everything together. I find using my hands to be the best method- I tend to be no-holds-barred with a spoon and end up smushing the blueberries everywhere.
Once everything is nicely coated and there’s no white flour left just floating around, pour the fruit into your buttered dish and spread it around so that it’s even. It’ll be pretty and glossy and look a little bit like the inside of a fruit tart.
Put that dish aside and into another bowl (this is not a low-dishes endeavour) place all ingredients for the topping (white and brown sugar, cinnamon, flour and small pieces of butter). Here is where Ina and I differ- she says to use a stand mixer and a paddle and to mix until the pieces of butter resemble peas in shape. I say pulling out my big mixer is a pain in the tuchus and so I just use, once again, my hands.
I sort of mash and mix it all together so that it’s like a cookie dough. Just like before, your goal is to have it evenly combined, with no white flour showing.
Let it cool before you eat it (hot fruit with sugar is molten lava, trust me (and the roof of my mouth) on this one). Also delicious with vanilla ice cream. Even for breakfast.