I never had a good sense of timing, which is something you absolutely need if you’re going to be boiling things long enough for them to become tasty, but not so long that they spill over and cover your legs in molten flavor-lava.
Yes, I can usually manage to put something in the oven and stir a couple things on the stove, and get them out before the smoke alarm goes off. But actually getting things to the table, looking edible, and at the same time is tough. Because of that, I don’t always succeed. In my head, “get the damn food cooked” beats out “oh no, they’ll have to wait for the fucking radicchio for another 15 minutes” every time. The food’s going down your throat; who cares when you get it?
Unfortunately for me, this tends to screw me over in the recipe-writing department too. Which is why, on this gloriously crisp and other-fall-adjective-y day near the end of September, I’m doing a recipe that unequivocally belongs in the summer pantheon of desserts. And again, because I care more about what’s going in my mouth than when, you fine people are just gonna have to put on a straw hat and pretend it’s a different month. Guess I’d rather be a good chef than a good writer.
The timing’s also bad because my oven died on me and the only recipe I had was uncomfortably similar to last week’s, but I’m just gonna ignore that and hope you all really like things that resemble peaches. And crumble. Lots of crumble.
Here’s what you need:
- 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ cup sugar
- 5 nectarines
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 5 tablespoons butter (cold)
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup AP flour
- A pinch of salt
Here’s how you do it:
First, preheat your oven to 375.
Peel and slice your peaches so they’re about an inch thick, then heat up a grill or grill pan to medium high.
Heat up the vegetable oil until it starts to shimmer, then throw the peaches on just until you see those glorious grill marks; about 3-4 minutes per side. Grill them longer if you don’t see the marks; if you don’t have the marks you’re just making regular old peach cobbler, and that’s boring as shit unless you’re a woman named Mabel who makes 8 pitchers of sweet tea an hour and has antiquated views on race relations.
Put the peaches in a bowl and let them cool for five minutes, then toss with the sugar, cinnamon, and cornstarch.
Make the topping by mixing the dry ingredients together, then mixing the butter in with a pastry cutter until you have pebble-sized chunks. Or just remember what you did last week when I said to do pretty much the exact same fucking thing.
Put the peaches in your preferred pie-baking apparatus, then sprinkle the crumble on top.
Stick it in your oven for 35-40 minutes, and take it out when you have that nice, golden-brownness.
Let it cool, put it in a bowl with some ice cream and a little balsamic vinegar (trust me on this one), and eat.
This week’s golden-brown beats come directly from the mind-oven of Vince Guaraldi. Check out Peppermint Patty:
This recipe probably rated somewhere on the scale between cavalier and “not-giving-a-shit”-y, and it’s fine if you register that as laziness. Hell, some of it probably is. But I think more of it is just that I wanna live in a world where food’s so good it transcends time. Ok, so it’s not summer and you don’t get the nice image of eating cobbler next to a field of sunflowers…so what? It’s still good, isn’t it? And if it isn’t, just make something that is.
Cook with a damn cookbook, not a calendar.
I’ll see you next time.