Happy (belated) Fourth of July! For the past couple of years, Alex and I have been celebrating America's Independence Day by taking a road trip to Scottsdale, Arizona and staying at my dad's boss's house. We try to visit Scottsdale at least twice a year because the house there is simply amazing and we have the best time when we're there. We relax and BBQ by the pool, go on beautiful hikes on Camelback Mountain when the weather permits it, and go out for dinner and drinks at our favorite restaurants that we don't have back at home (pizza from Pizzeria Bianco is a given). Sadly, we weren't able to venture to the desert this year for the Fourth, but instead we kept it easy in Orange County with family, tons of food, and frosé (not a bad alternative at all).
Our main meal for the holiday was pretty normal by Fourth of July standards: we feasted on chips and guacamole, hamburger and hotdogs, and freshly cut french fries. It was perfect. As for the dessert, we were all too stuffed to even think about any more food, but I did make the recipe that I giving you today and it was AMAZING when we finally did have a chance to eat it.
I am a huge fan of all stone fruits (nectarines, plums, apricots, peaches, etc.) and just about any dish that involves them, I will happily eat and love. Since I've already given you a recipe for a galette and a cobbler, I thought I would switch it up and share my favorite stone fruit crisp recipe.
A crisp is a dessert in which fresh fruit is topped with a buttery, streusel-like topping that is baked until browned and the fruit juices are bubbling. One main component of a crisp is that the "streusel" topping contains oats, and it is actually the oats that crisp up when it bakes, hence the name. Sidenote: These days, a crisp and a crumble are pretty much interchangeable when researching recipes, but the main difference is that a crisp has oats in the topping, whereas a crumble doesn't.
This stone fruit crisp is perfect for any celebration with a crowd due to it's size (made in a 13x9 baking dish), how easy it is to transfer to a party, and how delicious it is when finished with melty vanilla ice cream. When it's hot outside and I'm wearing nothing more than a bathing suit, the last thing I would want to eat is a slice of a heavy chocolate cake... ripe peaches and nectarines sounds perfect to me.
I chose to use yellow nectarines and yellow peaches for this recipe, but you can use whichever stone fruit looks best at your local grocery store. If you want to use only peaches, or only nectarines, or half apricots and half white peaches, or even add in some blueberries or blackberries - it's totally fine! Yellow peaches and nectarines are my forever favorites and this is why I will be using them today. As long as you get 5 pounds worth of fruit, you're good.
Cinnamon-Pecan Peach and Nectarine Crisp
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit
5 lb. of medium peaches and nectarines, about 10 (or any other stone fruit of your choosing)
2/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp. plus 1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups old-fashioned oats
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup unsalted pecans, chopped
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
Vanilla ice cream, for serving
To peel the peaches/nectarines: Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add the fruit for 30-60 seconds. Fish the fruit out with a strainer and immediately place them into an ice bath to stop the cooking. The skins should now come off easily by using your hands or a paring knife.
Cut each stone fruit into 1/2" thick slices and toss in a large bowl with the sugar and 2 tbsp. of the all-purpose flour. Let the mixture sit for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Preheat oven to 350°F. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and remaining 1 cup of all-purpose flour. On low speed, gradually add the small pieces of butter. When all has been added, increase speed to medium-high and mix until fully incorporated. You don't want there to be any dry ingredients left unmixed in the bowl. Stir in the chopped pecans.
Transfer the peaches and nectarines (and all the leftover juices) into a lightly greased 13x9 baking dish. Evenly sprinkle the oat/pecan topping over the fruit, and bake for 60-70 minutes, or until the crisp is bubbling and the topping is a deep golden brown. Let the crisp cool on a wire rack for as long as your stomach will allow you to, or, at least 30 minutes (just don't burn your mouth please!).
Top with scoops of vanilla ice cream, and dig in!