Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Peach and Cherry Chocolate-Studded Crisp

What I love about fruit crisps is that I can pretty much make them year-round and still feel like I am keeping in line with the season. In the fall, I make many versions of apple crisp. In the spring, I like incorporating rhubarb into my crisps. I've made pear versions during the winter months and now that it is summer, my mind immediately turned to cherries. The inclusion of peaches, as well, was pretty much a given since they are one of our favorite fruits in the JD household and I figured that they would pair well with the cherries.

I spent a couple of days testing some versions of a peach and cherry crisp. I purchased both fresh cherries and frozen for recipe testing, but knew that I wanted to stick with fresh peaches since they are easy to work with and are pretty fabulous this time of year. When all was said and done, I much preferred using the frozen cherries, however. First, using frozen cherries is an easy time-saver compared to pitting and handling fresh ones. But, I actually liked how the frozen cherries came together with the fresh peaches upon baking. I don't like crisps that are too runny, so the texture and consistency was perfect for my preference. And, the frozen cherries seem to have a sweeter, fuller flavor in the end.

Since I don't think I had ever tried incorporating chocolate into a crisp, I decided to toss on some dark chocolate towards the end of baking. It totally elevated the crisp and added another flavor element that I just loved.

This is a recipe that comes together in a matter of a few minutes. Then, it bakes off for about thirty minutes in the oven. Of course, a crisp must be topped off with either ice cream, whipped cream or a little yogurt at the time of service. And, as a bonus ... if you have any leftovers, I give permission for you to enjoy them the following day for breakfast.

Serves 4 - 5.



2 1/2 cups frozen pitted cherries, thawed
3 cups sliced fresh peaches {skin on or off per your preference}
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt {only if using unsalted butter}
1 heaping teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 ounce of a good-quality bittersweet chocolate bar, roughly chopped

Non-stick spray


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat large cast iron skillet {or large, round baking dish} with non-stick spray. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, gently combine the cherries and peaches. Sprinkle in sugar and flour. Add vanilla. Gently stir to coat. Pour fruit mixture into skillet. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon with a spoon. Using a pastry blender tool or fork, cut in the butter until well-incorporated and crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over fruit filling. Bake until bubbly and fruit is cooked - about thirty minutes. Halfway through baking, dot the topping with chocolate chunks.

Allow to cool 5 - 10 minutes prior to serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or yogurt.

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