Friday, August 14, 2009

steeler country

There is nothing like coming home. For me, late summer is fresh cut grass and riding mowers, dew in the early morning, deer in the yard, car windows rolled down, my Mom grilling on the back patio and the clink of ice cubes in my Dad's iced tea glass. Being so far away and in the throws of big city summer (hot asphalt, steamy subways, a billion more tourists than usual, and 6am runs to beat the heat) takes its toll, and I never realize how much I miss it all until I come home -- in the case of this weekend, for a college friend's wedding.

I had one day at home before driving out to Ohio to see my friend Dave say his vows at our college chapel on Saturday, and I spent it like any other one-day home: shopping at the mall with my Mom, lunching at my favorite Mexican food joint, and spending the evening around my parents kitchen table. Unable to resist the lure of my Mom's ENORMOUS kitchen (compared to my city "kitchen-closet" it's the biggest kitchen on the planet) I decided to use up all of her farm market peaches for the most summery dessert I could think of: peach crisp.

My friend Ben and I grabbed a pint of Caramel Swirl ice cream to a-la-mode the crisp and O.M.G. It was gone in a flash and, embarassed that none of us could pull ourselves from the dessert coma to leave the table, we spent the next hour telling stories and laughing off some of the calories. Couldn't ask for a better summer night.

This is fantastic and all the credit goes to Heidi at 101 Cookbooks. I loved the texture of the crisp with the addition of the yogurt -- more like an amazing warm oatmeal -- and the cut-back on the butter was welcome (and reason enough to layer on the ice cream)! Don't miss this one before all those South Jersey peaches are gone -- it comes together in minutes and is a healthier twist to a summer classic.

P.S. My Steelers won their preseason opener on Thursday... it's gonna be a great fall :)

Plum and Peach Crisp

1 lb ripe peaches, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 lb ripe plums, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. cornstarch
3/4 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
big pinch of salt
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup plain yogurt (I wonder what Greek yogurt would do here)

Preheat the oven to 400F degrees.

Place chopped fruit into a medium-sized bowl. Whisk together the 1/4 cup sugar and cornstarch. Sprinkle over the fruit, tossing gently to cover. Transfer fruit to an 8-inch square baking dish.

Combine the oats, flour, sugar, and cinnamon together in a medium bowl. Stir in the butter, and then the yogurt and mix until everything comes together in a dough-like texture. Spread the crumble evenly over the plum and peach mixture.

Place the baking dish in the oven, middle rack, and bake for about 20-25 minutes, or ntil the topping is golden. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.

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