Baked Peaches with Walnut Caramel Crumble Recipe

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“One day I would have all the books in the world, shelves and shelves of them. I would live my life in a tower of books. I would read all day long and eat peaches. And if any young knights in armor dared to come calling on their white chargers and plead with me to let down my hair, I would pelt them with peach pits until they went home.” 
~ Jacqueline Kelly, The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

 

I arrived home at my farm yesterday to an almost empty fridge, and an almost empty pantry. That’s okay. I shall go to the Farmers’ Markets in Bangalow this morning to stock up.

Even so, I managed a rustic dinner for Ben and I and some friends last night, based on a handful of simple ingredients. I love my friends. They are the kind of people who turn up in their filthy end-of-day workclothes because they were in the area and thought they’d say hi, drop in some surplus produce, and see if we needed anything.

These friends had been picking fruit all day at a neighbour’s farm, and they came bearing fresh eggs and a box of white peach and nectarine ‘seconds’ – fruit which was too ripe, or had blemishes that made them unsuitable for market. Perfect for us though!

Dinner was a humble offering of soft boiled eggs and toast soldiers. The sourdough I found at the back of the fridge was old and stale-ish, but perfect toasted. And farm fresh eggs need little adornment – just a grind or two of pepper and a little salt.

For dessert I picked through the seconds box and whipped up some baked peaches with a lovely crumble topping that only took a minute to make. We splodged on a dash of yoghurt and the result was completely delicious. Farm-style food at its best!

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Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients to serve four: 4 large peaches, 1/2 cup of oats, 1/2 cup of plain flour, 1/2 cup of soft brown sugar, 1/2 cup softened butter, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, 1/4 cup coconut

Note: Vegans, use a butter alternative. For gluten-free use a good gluten-free flour mix, and substitute the oats for the same volume of your favourite gluten-free breakfast cereal.

Method:

Preheat oven to moderate (160 degree celcius fan-forced or 180 degree oven – 350 degrees fahrenheit).

Wash the peaches and pat dry. Halve and discard stones.

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Place peach halves cut side up into a heat-proof dish or tray.

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Measure dry ingredients into a bowl and mix to combine.

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Rub through softened butter with your fingertips until the mixture is moist and crumbly.

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Heap the crumble mixture onto the top of each peach half. Press down softly. Don’t squeeze crumble into a hard mass or it will be hard to cut with a spoon when it has baked. It’s okay if a bit of crumble ends up in the bottom of your tray. Those bits will bake extra crunchy and taste delicious! Anyway, this is a rustic meal!

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Place peaches into oven for 30 minutes, or until the crumble is golden. Serve with cream, yoghurt, custard or ice-cream.

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Can be eaten hot or cold. Words cannot express how scrumptious this simple little treat tastes.  My pictures do not do them justice, and honestly, we were all too busy eating to get arty with food shots. The brown sugar gives a rich caramelly taste, the walnuts give an oily crunch and the peaches are sweet with a slight tang. Heaven!

Any kind of fresh peaches will do for this recipe, but you could just as easily use nectarines, large apricots or pears. If stone fruit is out of season, use well-drained bottled or canned fruit to substitute. Enjoy 🙂

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