Saturday, August 13, 2016

Almond-Crisped Peaches

It's peach season and we've been eating fresh peaches for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Every year this happens and every year I look forward to it.  Allred Orchard's opens their fruit stand and boxes of Red Haven peaches (the first peach of the season) fill their store front and in turn fill my refrigerator.

Ever since I was a little girl, I have always loved peach cobbler.  I remember my mom making peach cobbler when I was growing up and stealing a bite from the corner of the pan as it emerged from of the oven, bubbling and golden brown.  That bite would be so hot that I'd puff out my cheeks and quickly tilt my head from side to side to keep the burning hot peach from settling on my tongue and burning the daylights out of it. I remember my mom filling bowls with that steaming hot cobbler and topping it with a rather large spoonful of sweetened whipped cream that quickly melted into all the nooks and crannies of the cobbler.  It was so good and so comforting.

These almond-crisped peaches quickly brought back all those peach cobbler memories as I pulled the baking sheet from the oven and couldn't resist immediately topping the corner peach with lightly sweetened whipped cream and taking a bite that made me puff my cheeks and quickly tilt my head from side to side.  Oh man, it was so good and so comforting!

Almond-Crisped Peaches

4 ripe peaches, halved and pits removed
1/3 cup whole almonds
14 cup turbinado (raw) sugar
3 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Heat oven to 350°.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place fruit cut side up on baking sheet.  In a food processor, pulse almonds and sugar together until coarsely ground (with a few pebble sized pieces left).  Add cinnamon, salt, and butter, pulsing the food processor until the ingredients are just blended.

Spoon a heaping tablespoon into the center of each peach, then press the mixture flat, as if you were icing the tops of the peaches.  (If there is extra almond mixture just add a little more to the top of each peach.)

Bake for 45 minutes (baking time varies with peach size), or until the top is brown and crisp and you can slice through the peach with ease using a fork or spoon.

Serve warm with a large spoonful of lightly sweetened whipped cream.  (For breakfast the next morning I ate the leftover peaches with lightly sweetened plain yogurt.)

Recipe slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen