I try to post recipes on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, but after a busy week of prepping our house for the big move on top of working every day, I’ve come to terms with not having time to cook many new recipes in the coming weeks. Don’t forget me, friends! I’ll post as often as I can, and once I’m settled in the house, I’ll be back to a normal schedule.
Before I packed up all my baking supplies, I put together a big batch of peach crumble bars for friends at work. Several of us had bought half-bushel boxes of tree-ripened peaches from an attorney in our office who grew up on one of the peach orchards famous for its Palisades peaches. Tree-ripened fruit is a special treat since most fruit is picked weeks before it’s ripe in order to meet supermarket shopper demands.
As you might remember from an earlier post, I had a hard time believing Colorado peaches could be better than the Chilton County variety I ate while growing up in Alabama. While I’ll never forsake Chilton County peaches, tree-ripened Palisade peaches can’t be dismissed. Sweet and juicy, ripe Colorado peaches are delicious straight from the box, no extra sugar needed to cut the skin’s usual bitterness. If you live in Colorado, get your hands on a bag of these sweet treats and chow down. With Labor Day right around the corner, peach season is winding down in the Rockies.
Below you’ll find a very easy recipe for crowd-pleasing crumble bars. Blanch the peaches to remove their skin, and get baking. It’s almost Labor Day! Bring a tray of these bars to your picnic or BBQ, and let them do the socializing work for you this weekend.
Peach Crumb Bars (adapted from an Annie Eats recipe)
Makes 1 9″x13″ pan
1½ cups sugar, divided
1 tsp. baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. salt
Zest of half a lemon
16 tbsp. cold, unsalted butter cut into small pieces
1 large egg
5 cups peeled, chopped peaches (about 5 peaches)
5 tsp. cornstarch
Juice of 1 lemon
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg and pinch of cinnamon
1. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Grease a 9″ x 13″ pan; set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup of the sugar, the baking powder, and flour. Mix in the salt and the lemon zest, and stir together with a fork. Cut in the butter and egg with a pastry blender until the largest chunks are about pea-sized. (I used my hands and worked quickly.) The mixture should be crumbly without much loose flour.
3. Spread about half of the dough mixture in an even layer over the bottom of the prepared pan and press down firmly to form the bottom crust.
4. In another bowl, stir together the remaining sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and nutmeg. Gently mix in the peaches with a rubber spatula until combined. Sprinkle the fruit mixture evenly over the crust. (Note: Because my peaches were very ripe, they were floating in a bowl of juice. I used a slotted spoon to transfer the fruit to the baking dish, discarding most of the excess juice, to prevent the crust from getting soggy.) Crumble the remaining dough over the top of the peaches.
5. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the top is slightly golden brown. (Mine baked up in 35 minutes.) Cool completely before cutting into squares and serving.