Peaches, peaches everywhere!

I’m pretty much stuffing myself with as much summer fruit as I can before we’re back to citrus, bananas and apples flown in from God knows where.

Palisade, CO produces some of the best peaches ever. Currently their peaches are all over the state for insanely low prices. I’m buying them up with reckless abadon so I can peel them, slice them, freeze them and use them in this recipe throughout winter to remind me of warm days.

Peach & Basil Crumbles:

From Martha Steward Living

4 ripe peaches, pitted, peeled (if desired), each sliced into 8 wedges*
1 Tbs. granulated sugar
1 Tbs. fresh basil (3-4 leaves torn if large)
1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp. coarse salt

1/3 cup chopped almonds
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. flour*
1/4 tsp. coarse salt
3 Tbs. cold butter*

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Make the filling mixing all ingredients to combine.*
2. Make the topping: combine all ingredients rubbing in butter with your fingers until mixture is crumbly.
3. Divide filling among four 5 1/2-inch round baking dishes and sprinkle with topping. Transfer to a baking sheet. Bake until bubbling and golden brown (25-27 minutes). Let cool slightly.

Notes: I do a few things differently.

* I use at least 5-6 peaches depending on size and then adjust the topping accordingly.
* You can use any flour. I use rice so as to make this gluten-free.
* I use Earth’s Balance butter (dairy free) or you could use Spectrum Organic Shortening to make this a vegan or dairy free dessert.
* Before I the basil, lemon zest and salt, I saute the peaches in the sugar and a little bit of Triple Sec (any fruity alcohol will do, or just use water so they don’t burn). Not cooking them a bit beforehand results in peaches that are too crisp. I then let the peaches cool before I add the other ingredients.

I know the use of basil seems odd, but it really adds a nice flavor. It’s not overpowering and you just get a hint of it now and then. It seems to really brighten the dish.

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    My mother is an encyclopedia of useless information (sorry, ma, but it's true) - no one can beat her at Trivial Pursuit. As I age, I become more like dear old mom everyday. I routinely tell people about resources, recipes, tips, tricks, or websites I've heard about, tried, live by, etc. until one of my clients urged me to start a blog. So here it is! My perpetual ramblings. I hope you find them useful and amusing. If you don't, you can either keep it to yourself or leave me a well constructed critique.

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