Category Archives: Peach

Vegan, Gluten-Free Peachy Berry Crisp

Our annual trip to Maine is coming up in just five weeks. In addition spending my days dreaming about what treasures I’m going to pick up at Iverstudio and tiptoeing into the ocean at Fine Sand Beach, I’m diving deep into menu planning.

Vegan, Gluten-Free Peachy Berry Crisp

I cook a primarily vegan, gluten-free menu up there to accommodate all of our various dietary needs. It works for us, and even the guests we’ve had who don’t regularly eat that way seem to enjoy it. We have a list of staple meals—vegan Everyday Cassoulet is always the #1 request—but I am constantly on the lookout for new things to add to our repertoire. Beyond three square meals a day (plus a lot of guacamole), I most look forward to making a vegan, gluten-free dessert for my friends and my blog.

Last year’s offering was an easy Vegan, Gluten-Free Apple Crisp. It was fall on the island, so going with apples made perfect sense. Now in the heat of summer, I’m giving that recipe a peachy berry spin!

Vegan, Gluten-Free Peachy Berry Crisp

I punched up the original recipe with loads of fresh peaches, brown sugar and lemon, and just a hint of spice—enough so you know it’s there, but not enough to overwhelm the fruit. Once the peaches are prepared and tossed with all that goodness, a cup of fresh blueberries are added to the mix. You could add any berry you like here and it would work, but keep in mind that some may leach color more easily than others.

The crisp topping is made primarily with almond flour, gluten-free rolled oats, brown sugar and vegan butter (or coconut oil). A thick layer is scattered over the filling, and then the whole thing is baked until golden, piping hot, and screaming for a scoop (or two or three) of your favorite vegan vanilla ice cream. I’m an oat milk vanilla girl myself.

Vegan, Gluten-Free Peachy Berry Crisp

Vegan, Gluten-Free Peachy Berry Crisp is super summery and wildly quick and simple to make. It’s perfect for cookouts and dinner parties, but if you can swing it, it’ll really hit the spot on vacation with two of your favorite people.

Vegan, Gluten-Free Peachy Berry Crisp
Vegan, Gluten-Free Peachy Berry Crisp
makes one 9-10 inch dish, about 6 servings

Filling:
5 cups sliced ripe peaches (about 7-8 medium peaches)
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup fresh blueberries

Crisp Topping:
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup vegan butter (or refined coconut oil), melted

For serving:
dairy-free vanilla ice cream

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9-inch casserole dish or cast iron pan with vegan butter (or refined coconut oil). Set aside.

Place peach slices in a medium mixing bowl and toss with lemon juice, brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Add blueberries and gently fold together. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.

Make the topping. In a medium mixing bowl (I just wipe out the one I used for the fruit), whisk together oats, almond flour, sugar, and salt. Add melted butter (or coconut oil) and stir until everything is saturated. It may seem sandy; this is okay. Scatter topping onto the fruit.

Bake 28-30 minutes, until topping is browned and peaches are tender. Let cool 10 minutes before serving in bowls with dairy-free vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Cover and refrigerate any leftovers for up to 4 days. Reheat before serving.

Cornmeal Summer Shortcakes

Cornmeal Summer Shortcakes

Like so many of my favorite recipes, these Cornmeal Summer Shortcakes came to be on a whim. There were no plans; I was just playing around with cornmeal leftover from making Blueberry Corn Muffins on a Wednesday morning when shortcake inspiration struck.

Cornmeal Summer Shortcakes

I set to work making a batch of my trusty Cornmeal Biscuits, which are somewhere between a buttermilk biscuit and cornbread. They’re tender and a touch crumbly, but still pretty sturdy—perfect for shortcakes. I added a little extra sugar and cut them larger than I normally would for maximum surface area.

Cornmeal Summer Shortcakes

I baked them up and let them cool, spending the lag time digging through my fridge for seasonal fruit. I sliced up a couple of perfect nectarines and tossed in some blueberries, then added a few tablespoons of sugar and let them macerate. I also whipped some cream.

Cornmeal Summer Shortcakes

Then I assembled the whole lot. The cooled biscuits were sliced into two thin disks and piled high with whipped cream and fruit, only to be quickly demolished with forks and fingers.

Cornmeal Summer Shortcakes

Oh my goodness, y’all, these Cornmeal Summer Shortcakes are so good. Sweet, but not too sweet. Fluffy, tender, just corny enough. Creamy, fruit-forward. Full-on late summer vibes. Not bad for Wednesday morning baking improv.

Cornmeal Summer Shortcakes
Cornmeal Summer Shortcakes
makes about 10 shortcakes

2-3 ripe nectarines (or peaches or other stone fruit), thinly sliced
1 cup blueberries
5 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 batch Cornmeal Biscuits for Shortcakes (recipe below)

In a small-medium mixing bowl, toss together nectarines, berries and 3 tablespoons of sugar. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit (macerate) at room temperature for up to an hour.

When the biscuits are cool and the fruit is ready, make the whipped cream. In a large mixing bowl, combine heavy cream, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Use an electric mixer on medium-high speed to whip cream until stiff peaks form.

Assemble shortcakes. Use a fork to gently split biscuits in half equatorially (it’s okay if they’re not perfect). Gently move the bottom half of a biscuit to a plate. Top with whipped cream and fruit. Place the top half of the biscuit over the top. Garnish with more whipped cream and berries, if desired. Serve immediately.
Cornmeal Biscuits for Shortcakes
makes about 10 shortcakes

1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold, cut into cubes
2/3 cup buttermilk, very cold

For finishing:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add butter and use a pastry blender (or two forks or very clean fingertips) to break it down until the largest pieces are the size of small peas. Use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to stir in buttermilk until a dough forms.

Flour a surface and your fingertips. Turn dough onto the surface and pat until it’s 1/2-inch thick. Use a 2 3/4-inch biscuit cutter to cut biscuits. Make sure to cut directly down—do not twist. Place cut biscuits a couple of inches apart on prepared baking sheet. Chill dough/baking sheet if anything becomes too warm/sticky at anytime in this process.

Bake biscuits 12-15 minutes, or until puffy and golden. Remove from oven and brush tops with melted butter.

Let biscuits cool until you can handle them. Cool completely before using for shortcakes.

Cornmeal Biscuits are best the day they are made, but will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 48 hours.
Cornmeal Summer Shortcakes
Cornmeal Summer Shortcakes

Friday Favorites: Peaches

Friday Favorites: Peaches

Late summer means stone fruits are out in full force, and while I won’t turn my nose up at apricots, plums and nectarines, none is more iconic than peaches! Anywhere I go right now, I seem to run into them. Peach cakes, scones, cobblers, pies—they’re inescapable, even in my own kitchen. Not that I’m complaining. Here are some of my favorite peach desserts from the archives.

Friday Favorites: Peaches

Peach Pie

It doesn’t get much more classic than peach pie! Mine is made with a just the barest hint of spice and wrapped up in a delicious whole wheat crust.

Friday Favorites: Peaches

Peach Tart

What’s easier than pie? This Peach Tart! It’s a sheet of rough puff pastry topped with a fresh peach mosaic and the tiniest amounts of sugar and butter, assembled in no time and baked to golden peachy perfection.

Friday Favorites: Peaches

Peach Crisp

And what’s even easier than a Peach Tart? Peach Crisp! This classic dessert begins with sweetened fresh peaches, gets topped up with an oaty, nutty crumble and is baked until bubbly and begging for vanilla ice cream.

Friday Favorites: Peaches

Peach Upside-Down Cake

Here, a mosaic of ripe sliced peaches are baked underneath a brown sugar batter, then inverted to reveal a sweet, sticky, summery upside-down cake.

Friday Favorites: Peaches

Peachy Paleo Cheesecake

This delicious cheesecake is completely vegan and gluten-free, and sweetened with maple syrup. It’s chilled until firm, then crowned with sliced fresh peaches and another drizzle of maple syrup. It’s non-traditional, but delicious—a no-bake dessert for everyone.

What’s your favorite thing to make with peaches? Let me know in the comments or on social media!

Peach Crisp

Peach CrispAs far back as I can remember, I’ve hated cooked peach desserts. For years, I turned my nose up at every single peachy thing under the sun. But then I started baking, and…you know how it’s sometimes easier to get kids to try new foods if you involve them in the cooking? Well, the same goes for adults who have an aversion to cooked peaches. For every peach pie, peach tart or peach upside-down cake that comes out of my kitchen, I become a little less averse. Add this Peach Crisp to that list and I guess it’s time to just admit to myself (and all of you?) that I am a person who likes peach things now.

There, I said it. Now I (we?) can move forward.Peach CrispMy take on Peach Crisp is pretty classic. Ripe peaches are tossed with sugar and just the tiniest hint of spice, then sprinkled with an oat and almond topping and baked until brown and bubbly and begging for a scoop of ice cream.Peach CrispPeach CrispPeach CrispPeach CrispThis is probably the easiest of all the peach desserts I’ve made—no peeling of peaches, no pastry, nothing that has to stay cold or be ruined forever. Just lightly-sweetened and spiced ripe peaches and a crisp topping so simple I have it memorized.Peach CrispPeach Crisp is one of those desserts that can be made on the fly. Where pies and tarts require you to prep ahead, the assembly of this homestyle dessert takes all of twenty minutes and bakes in thirty. The most difficult part is waiting another ten or so before digging in. The only thing that could ruin this dessert is burning your mouth on piping hot filling!Peach CrispI really can’t get enough of this dessert, y’all. It’s sweet, tangy, crispy, crunchy and summery as all get-out! It keeps well for days, too. The crisp topping retains its texture remarkably well, even after your fourth day dipping into it in the fridge. It’s as good cold as it is hot, but either way, don’t skip the ice cream.Peach Crisp

Peach Crisp
makes one 8-inch dish, about 6 servings

Filling:
5-6 medium-large ripe yellow peaches (about 5 cups after slicing)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar)

Topping:
1/3 cup old-fashioned oats
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For Serving:
vanilla ice cream, optional

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8-inch casserole dish with butter. Set aside.

Pit peaches and slice into 1/4-inch slices–you should have about 5 cups pf slices. Place them in a medium mixing bowl and toss with sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and lemon juice. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.

Make the topping. In a medium mixing bowl (I just wipe out the one I used for the peaches), whisk together oats, flour, light brown sugar, sliced almonds, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add melted butter and stir until everything is saturated and clumps form. Scatter topping onto the peaches.

Bake 28-30 minutes, until topping is browned and peaches are tender. Let cool 10 minutes before serving in bowls with vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Cover and refrigerate any leftovers for up to 4 days. Reheat before serving.Peach CrispPeach Crisp

Peach Upside-Down Cake

Peach Upside-Down CakeI have a long history of hating cooked peaches—something about the texture—but I am coming around. I mean, peach is never going to be my first-choice flavor for anything, but I’ve embraced a peach tart, so maybe miracles do happen.Peach Upside-Down CakeOne peach dessert that I am crazy about? This Peach Upside-Down Cake. Not only is it very delicious and very peachy, but it couldn’t be easier to make.Peach Upside-Down CakeMelt some butter and brown sugar together and lay some thin slices of peach on top in any design you like. I overlapped mine slightly because I didn’t want much “plain” cake peeking through. There’s no need to get too fussy with it, as the peaches release quite a bit of liquid during baking and lose some definition.Peach Upside-Down CakeNext up, spoon some cake batter over the top of your peaches. I’ve used a brown sugary version of my vanilla layer cake batter in past upside-down cakes, but changed it up with a simple vanilla-almond torte batter this time and…well, I don’t think I’m ever going back. The batter is a snap to make, and produces a thin, buttery layer of cake that nestles perfectly into the peaches.

You’ll notice that I left pie spices out of this cake completely. I tried the tiniest pinches of cinnamon and nutmeg in both the topping and cake batter, but they overwhelmed the fresh peach flavor. No, thanks—peaches or bust! The only flavor I added to this dessert is the tiniest bit of almond extract in the cake batter. Rest assured, it only enhances the fruit, rather than detracting from it.Peach Upside-Down CakePeach Upside-Down CakeThis cake bakes up in about 50 minutes and only needs to rest for fifteen before it’s flipped onto a serving plate. Again, don’t worry if your peach slices aren’t perfectly defined—mine certainly weren’t but they were still gorgeous and dang delicious.Peach Upside-Down CakeOnce your cake is out of the pan, it’s up to you whether you want to enjoy it warm, room temperature or cold. I personally like a warm room temperature slice, so that the cake slices cleanly and the brown sugar topping is pleasantly gooey. Whatever you do though, don’t skip the ice cream or whipped cream. I mean, I forgot them here and everything was still good, but there’s something about cold creamy anything and peach cake that is simply not to be missed.Peach Upside-Down Cake

Peach Upside-Down Cake
makes 1 9-inch round cake

For the peaches:
3-4 large ripe peaches (or 5-6 medium peaches)
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2/3 cup light or dark brown sugar, packed
pinch of Kosher or sea salt

Batter:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract

For serving (optional):
vanilla ice cream
whipped cream

Preheat oven to 350F. Heavily grease a 9-inch round cake pan. Set aside.

Slice peaches in 1/4-inch slices. No need to peel.

In a small saucepan, combine butter and dark brown sugar. Place over medium-low heat and stir constantly until butter and sugar are melted and fully homogeneous, 3-5 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Pour mixture into a 9-inch round cake pan, using a silicone spatula to spread it over the entire bottom of the pan.

Top the brown sugar mixture with single layer of sliced peaches, slightly overlapping them for the prettiest effect, in any design you like. Set aside.

In a small-medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to cream butter until very light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Beat in granulated sugar. Mix in eggs one at a time, followed by vanilla and almond extracts. With the mixer on low, mix in dry ingredients. Batter will be thick.

Drop batter in spoonfuls over the peaches. Use an offset icing knife or the back of a spoon to spread it in an even layer. Tap the pan on the counter 5 times to release any large air bubbles. Bake 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cake cool in the pan on a rack for 15 minutes before running a small, thin knife around the edge a couple of times. Place a cake stand or large serving plate upside down over the top of the pan. Holding on to the plate and pan with oven mitts, quickly invert them so that the plate is right-side-up and the pan is now upside-down. Tap the top of the pan a time or two to help the cake release. Lift off the empty pan. If any fruit sticks to the pan, just nudge it back onto the cake with your fingers or a spoon.

Serve cake warm, room temperature, or cold, with ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.

Cake is best the day it’s baked, but will keep in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Peach Upside-Down CakePeach Upside-Down Cake