From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...The bins at our local farmer's markets are nearly groaning from the weight of fruits that have already been harvested. Early apples, apricots and plums have made their appearance and peaches, though just starting to come to market, are also plentiful this year. The peaches, however delicious, present a problem, because they all seem to ripen at the same time. I've been looking for simple ways to prepare them before they become candidates for the compost pile. I found this recipe, which I have only slightly modified, in Beth Hensperger's Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker, and I use it a couple of times every summer to make a dent in my own overzealous fruit purchases. I think you'll like this dessert, but I want to point out that crumb toppings that are baked in a slow cooker will lack the crispy crunch of their oven-baked cousins. I've found the crumbs can be made less soggy if the lid of the slow cooker is lined with several layers of paper toweling that will catch the moisture that accumulates as the fruit cooks. As you skim through the recipe, you'll find that I do not peel the peaches I use to make the crumble. I find they better hold their shape when the skins are left intact. The skins seem to disappear as the peaches cook and leaving them in place certainly makes preparation of the crumble much easier for the cook. I am all for easy. This is a nice family dessert and it is a perfect way to end a summer barbecue. I do hope you'll give the recipe a try. Here is how the crumble is made.
Slow Cooker Peach and Blueberry Crumble...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann
4 to 5 (about 2-1/2 pounds ) firm-ripe peaches
1 cup blueberries
3/4 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon mace
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
1) Wash and pit peaches, but do not peel them. Cut each peach into 6 wedges. Coat crockery insert of slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Place peaches and blueberries in slow cooker, cover, and cook on HIGH for 30 minutes.
2) To make topping: Place oatmeal, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, mace, nutmeg and salt in bowl of a food processor. Add butter and pulse to form coarse crumbs.
3) After 30 minutes, set temperature of slow cooker to LOW and sprinkle crumb topping over fruit. Spread several layers of paper toweling over top of cooker before covering with lid. Cook for 2 to 2-1/2 hours. Crumble is done when fruit is tender.
4) Uncover slow cooker and let sit for 10 minutes before servings. Serve with ice cream, whipped cream or whipped topping. Yield: 8 servings.
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