I should win a prize. One of the best desserts (or things) I’ve ever made. And I mean that. I mean I’ve made great things before: my mac and cheese is famous, my mint brownies are divine and my Red Velvet Cake gets asked for time and time again, but this takes the cake.
I had a day off today from my wonderful job at Vimy Ridge (in fact, I had yesterday off too, but I did absolutely nothing), so this morning I was recipe browsing online (this is what I do for fun, it can be extremely dangerous and time consuming) and came across this one from the Pioneer Woman. I was actually looking for a cake to make for my roommate/colleague’s birthday on Sunday. (I never did find one online, but I did find one in my recipe book I have on my computer.) Well I rushed immediately out to the store and bought cream and peaches and set to cooking. The maple cream sauce was first.
Put 1-1/2 c. heavy cream in a small saucepan and add 5 Tbsp (1/4 c. plus one Tbsp) of real maple syrup. (The Pioneer Woman says that she thinks table syrup would do in a pinch; with all due respect to her, I wholeheartedly disagree. In any baking, real maple syrup should be used.) Add to that 3 Tbsp of light corn syrup. Stir constantly until it reduces about a third; there’s no need to stir vigorously, you’re not trying to whip the cream, just stop it from sticking to the sides and bottom of the pot. I did not use corn syrup because I am living in France and I was lucky enough to find real maple syrup here and I decided not to push my luck with the corn syrup. And so my sauce didn’t thicken quite the way it should have, but it was just fine nonetheless.
Once the sauce is thickened, it needs to be chilled. So after you’ve stirred and heated the cream mixture for about 15 minutes, but it in the fridge to chill and thicken properly.
After doing this, I took a break, all that stirring was hurting my wrists and fingers and so I went off with a few coworkers who also had the day off and we went to the Wellington Quarries and up the Befroi d’Arras. I then came home and read for a while and then started the next step which was the crumble.
Put 1 c. flour, 1/2 c. white sugar, 1/2 c. lightly packed brown sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg and 1/4 tsp salt in a medium bowl. I am notorious for not measuring salt, just shake some in there. Mix this up with a fork and then cut 1/2 c. cold butter (1/4 pound, 1 stick). Butter should be cold when you do this, it will work much better. Some people use a fork to do this, some people use two knives, other people use a pastry cutter, I don’t have any patience for any of these methods, just whip your hands in there and mix it around. It’ll work much better, it’ll be easier and faster, plus it’s fun. Once this is done it should resemble fine crumbs.
Set this aside and then start on the peaches. Peel and slice 5-7 peaches into a bowl. There are lots of methods for peeling peaches, I have found that the easiest method is just using a sharp paring knife. Add the zest and juice of half a lemon and 2 Tbsp maple syrup. Mix well.
Place the peach mixture in a fairly small glass pan. I actually used a 9-inch glass pie plate and it worked out fantastically. Put the crumble mixture on top and pop it in to a moderate oven (375) for 15 minutes covered with aluminum foil. After 15 minutes, take off the aluminum foil and continue baking for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly on top.
This really is the best dessert that I have ever made. My roommates gobbled it up and it was gone within an hour.
Here’s the recipe in actual recipe format so that you can figure it out better.
5 whole to 7 whole fresh peaches
1 c flour
1/2 c white sugar
1/2 c light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c butter
1/2 lemon, zest and juice
1-1/2 cup Whipping Cream
3 Tablespoons Light Corn Syrup
In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, light brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt using a fork or pastry cutter. Cut butter into small pieces and gradually add to flour mixture until evenly mixed.
Peel peaches into a bowl. Add the zest from half a lemon. Squeeze juice from lemon half and stir in with peaches and zest. Add 2 tablespoons real maple syrup to peaches, stir well.
Pour peach mixture into a small pan and cover evenly with crumb topping. Cover with foil and bake at 375ºF for 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 20 to 30 minutes or until crisp and brown on top.
Maple Cream Sauce:
Pour whipping cream into a saucepan. Add 5 tablespoons real maple syrup, 3 tablespoons corn syrup and stir over moderate heat until thickened and reduced by about one-third, approximately 15 minutes. Refrigerate mixture until it is cold and thick.. Drizzle sauce over peach crisp. Serve warm.