A quintessentially summer, amazingly easy and super delicious dessert!
Have you ever noticed that sometimes life doesn’t go as planned?
We most definitely had that experience this past weekend.
If you are a regular follower of The Café, you know from my post last Saturday, that our daughter and her family were arriving from London that afternoon, for a summer visit.
And wow, were we pumped! When we left to pick them up at the airport, the house was shiny clean, there was a pretty table set for six, (anticipating a fun adult dinner after the children were fed and tucked into bed), dinner was prepped, dessert in the pantry and gifts for the little ones all lined up in pretty bags with matching tissue. Yes, and my Toffee Cowboy Cookies were piled high under the cake dome – to say it mildly, we were ready for “the herd”!
Suddenly, I heard a text message arrive. Excitedly I check my phone. Yup, it was my daughter texting to say they had landed. It had been a great flight. UNTIL the last two hours… it seemed that Lilly had developed a tummy bug and Elle, who had a cough when they left England, had gotten worse.
Oh my goodness, when we arrived at the airport, it was a pitiful looking herd that greeted our eyes: Lilly pale as a ghost and Ellie feverish and weak as a little dish rag, with only a whisper of a voice.
To make a long story short, nothing was like we had anticipated. Not as we planned, and certainly not as our little family from London planned. Elle was taken to Urgent Care that afternoon as her situation was deteriorating quickly. We made a bed for Lilly in the bathroom so she could be near the facilities, if needed. Scott and Josh packed up the two well children and drove them about an hour north, to Cait and Josh’s lake home, in hopes of keeping the germs from spreading.
By morning, Lilly was doing better, but poor Elle was even worse. Her temperature was ridiculously high and she couldn’t eat or drink. Cait whisked her off to the hospital Emergency Room where they pumped her with fluids, antibiotics and ended up keeping overnight. Yikes!
I’m happy to say that everyone is MUCH better, and that we were able to joyfully reunite on Monday afternoon at the lake house. Definitely not the way we planned things to go, and definitely not in any way, shape or form the kind of thing we would have wished for.
But you know what? These are the kind of situations that make families draw close together. It’s stressful, often scary and usually quite chaotic at the time, but memories and bonds are created that will never be forgotten or broken. And when the difficult situation has passed and things are looking brighter, there are always parts of the story that will bring laughs and smiles as they are reminisced about.
To us, that’s what being a family is all about. Appreciating everyday life, riding the highs together, clinging fiercely to each other through the lows and, in every situation, seeking God to help us, carry us and lead us through it all.
Okay, so that’s our crazy story. But I know you come to The Café for delicious recipes and, despite this tale of woe, I’ve got a great one for you today. This Fresh Peach and Sweet Cherry Crisp is actually the dessert that I had prepared for our welcome home dinner last Saturday. The recipe can be prepared in advance and rewarmed, if desired. I love to serve them warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It’s a super summery dessert that no one can seem to resist.
I love to make this delicious sweet treat in individual oven-safe ramekins (which are also great for little tarts, quiches, soufflés, breakfast dishes and pots de crème) but it can also be made in a larger oven-safe pan/serving dish. I really like these classy white baking pans made by Pillivuyt.
The fun thing about this summer dessert, is that it’s super versatile. No peaches? Just sub nectarines. Don’t like cherries? Raspberries or blueberries would also be delicious. You could even use the recipe with sliced, peeled apples in the fall. I adapted this recipe from Bon Appetit and they used a bit of garam masala mixed in with the peaches. That sounded a bit odd to me, but it’s amazingly delicious. You could omit that though, and add an equal amount of cinnamon, cloves or cardamon in the fruit mixture or in the crumbly topping.
When I saw that things were not going as planned last weekend, I popped my Fresh Peach and Sweet Cherry Crisp ramekins right into the freezer. That’s the other great thing about this dessert – it can be prepared well in advance and frozen – you’ll be thanking yourself when you’re having your next family get together or a dinner party with friends.
We’ll be enjoying ours sometime soon, “Lord willing, and the creek don’t rise.”!
P.S. Wanna know a summer culinary lifesaver? It’s this inexpensive OXO Cherry Pitter. I love this thing – it makes a salad, sauce or dessert with cherries a breeze! It can also be used with olives. There are lots of kitchen gadgets I can do easily without, but this one is essential in my kitchen!
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- For the topping:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ⅔ cup (packed) light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- For the filling:
- 1 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons flour
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 medium peaches or nectarines, pitted and cut in slices
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup pitted, sweet cherries
- Preheat oven to 350˚F. Smear the bottoms of 6 individual ramekins or baking dishes (with approximately ½ cup capacity) with the 1 tablespoon of butter
- For the crumbly topping, combine flour, brown sugar, and salt in a medium-size bowl. Rub butter into flour with your fingers until clumps form and no dry spots remain..
- Combine peaches and lemon juice in a medium size bowl and toss to coat. Sprinkle with the brown sugar, granulated sugar, garam masala, and salt and stir gently to combine.
- Divide the peach mixture between the prepared ramekins. Tuck pitted cherries around the peaches.
- Sprinkle with the crumble topping, breaking up into large pieces. I like to allow some of the peaches and cherries to show through the crumbly topping. Bake crisps until topping is golden brown and juices are thick and bubbling around the edges, 20–30 minutes.
- Serve warm. If desired make up to 1 day in advance. Store in refrigerator, covered. Warm in oven for 10-15 minutes at 325˚F just before serving.
- Crisps can also be made in advance and frozen. Remove from freezer several hours in advance to thaw, then warm as directed above.