Baking, Cooking & Eating, Sweet

Blackberry, Peach, and Rosemary Crisp

Thing one: I’d like to reassert my position that rosemary is a really excellent dessert flavor.  And that it’s a terrible shame that it is not more used in that capacity.

Blackberry, Peach, and Rosemary Crisp
Thing two: I’d like to revise my position on summer.  It’s still the most miserable time of the year here in Philadelphia, with the humidity, and the triple-digit temperatures, and the creeping, headache-inducing allergies.  But it’s pretty cool — I’ll admit — that peaches and blackberries are in season at the same time.  And it’s fantastically cool that the McCann Farm’s strains of both are so delightfully, exquisitely intense.

Blackberry, Peach, and Rosemary Crisp
Blackberry, Peach, and Rosemary Crisp

Thing three: a warning.  You want your fruit, for this recipe, to be ripe, but not so ripe that it’s falling apart.  Your peaches should have some firmness left to them.  And your blackberries should hold their shape well enough that they don’t turn into a mess when you toss them with flour and sugar.

Thing four: an admission.  My fruit was considerably more ripe than that.  One peach squirted me when I cut it. And the blackberries had a bit of a mushy thing going.  But …

Thing five: despite that, this crisp still turned out pretty darn good!  Which just goes to prove — flavorful fruit is always, most definitely, better than beautiful fruit for any kind of baking project.

Blackberry, Peach, and Rosemary Crisp

The Fruit:
8 Peaches (cut into chunks)
2 cups Blackberries
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Tapioca Flour
2 tsp Dried Rosemary (crushed fine)
1/2 tsp Powdered Ginger

The Topping (cribbed, with significant modification, from The Bittman):
1 stick Unsalted Butter, chilled (plus a little to grease the pan)
1/2 cup Rolled Oats
1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/4 cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
1/2 cup Pecan Pieces
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Nutmeg

Preheat your oven to 350F, and grease an 8×12 baking dish.  Mix all of the filling ingredients (peaches, blackberries, etc.) together, making sure that the fruit is all coated with the sugar and tapioca flour).  Then spread the mixture evenly out in the bottom of the dish.

Blackberry, Peach, and Rosemary Crisp

To make the topping, add the oats, flour, coconut, pecan pieces, spices, and salt to the work bowl of a food processor.  Cube the chilled butter, and add it as well.  Pulse the food processor a couple of times — until the nuts are chopped and the butter is more or less incorporated into the dry ingredients (you don’t want to pulse too much because you don’t want the mixture to become homogeneous).  Then spread the topping evenly over the fruit.

Bake for at least 45 minutes, or until the topping is brown and the fruit is bubbling up around the edges.  Serve immediately, or allow to cool on the counter and reheat in the oven before serving.

Blackberry, Peach, and Rosemary Crisp

Refrigerated and reheated, this crisp should be good for three or four days, at least.