Monday 22 July 2013

JJ's Peach and huckleberry crisp!

Every June it happens-large bins of beautiful peaches arrive at the market. A lot of people in their haste to taste summer, grab a bagful of the pretty rock-hard fruit and take it home. And every year, they are disappointed. 

Deborah Madison (cookbook author) recently wrote about how to find the ripe fruit. “The art of using the nose to detect a fruit’s promise through scent has died in the supermarket,” she writes. Deborah takes her time sifting through the stone fruits, just to find the few that satisfy her. If you don’t already do so, try using your nose when you shop for fruit. Bring a fruit to it and inhale deeply. There should be something there. If not, the fruit you’re holding has been picked way too early and will probably just shrivel up without ripening. “People stare and think you’re nuts, but if you succeed, you get the prize.” And the prize, of course, is that incomparable flavor of summer. 

I’ve been eating my fill of these stone fruits — cherries, peaches, plums, nectarines — but I know that all too soon the fresh ones will be gone for another year.

As you know, I go to Socios at the Seattle Pike Street Market. I have yet to be disappointed. My fruit is fresh, ripe and delicious! I love the "OMG Peaches" otherwise known as the "Holy Shit Peaches.

It’s hard to find an excellent crisp because when most people think of crisp they think of sweetened fruit topped off by some kind of biscuit, even though that’s not at all what a crisp is.  I prefer this sugary topping to biscuits, so I don’t like those imposter crisps that are actually cobblers.  Crisp is all about amazing fruit in a sweet syrup with that sometimes crunchy, sometimes soft topping full of sugar and oatmeal.  Together, the soft fruit and firm topping are a match made in heaven.  Finding the perfect bite, which is different for everyone, and you have found the best part of eating a crisp.  Maybe it’s just fruit or fruit with the topping that has softened from absorbing the syrup.  Perhaps it’s the crunchy topping all by itself (Wee Bear style) or with a perfectly toasted pecan.  Regardless, all the bites are superb!

 There is a lot of topping on this crisp, but I love a thick layer of topping.  Feel free to save some for another use if it’s too much for you, but I’m not sure there’s such a thing as too much topping, especially in Wee Bear's case! It’s best eaten warm out of the oven.  Even though this is a warm dessert, it screams summer to me, as it features the fruit that makes me think of summer, that makes me certain many of the days to come are to be filled with sunshine and warm temperatures.  So, whip up one of these crisps for a warm weather treat or a family picnic, this one is delicious!

JJ's Peach and huckleberry crisp


5 peaches
1 1/2 c. huckleberries ( you could substitute raspberries)
1/3 c. toasted and chopped pecans
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. all purpose flour 
1 tsp. chia seed (optional)
1/2 tsp salt


  • 1 cup old fashioned oatmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Make the topping. In a medium bowl, combine oatmeal, flour, sugars, cinnamon, and salt until fully incorporated. Add the butter to the mixture and cut it in with a pastry cutter, or mix it in with forks or your fingers. Fingers tend to work best. Work with the mixture until there are about pea sized pieces of butter throughout. Set aside. 
  2. In a large bowl, combine the sliced peaches, huckleberries, brown sugar, salt, optional chia and flour. Make sure there are no lumps of dry ingredients. There should be a slightly thick juice coating the peaches.
    To make this gluten free you can opt for gluten free rolled oats. You can find this at Whole Foods, on line or most health food stores. I also put in a teaspoon or two of the chia seed. Read more about Chia seed below.
  3. Pour peach mixture evenly into an 8 inch square baking pan. Sprinkle the topping over. Smooth the topping to be sure all the peaches are completely covered. Bake for about 45-50 minutes, until the juices are bubbling and thickened. Serve hot out of the oven with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream if you like, though it is delicious alone. Store at room temperature for up to 2 days. May be eaten at room temperature or warmed in a 350 degree F oven for about 15 minutes until warmed through or microwave briefly. This, unfortunately, will not freeze well, but that’s just an excuse to make it again! 

~Those that do not live in an area to pick huckleberries, here is a vendor that will ship them to you! Click on this link! NW Wild Foods

~Chia seeds have recently gained attention as an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acid. They are also an excellent source of fiber at 10 grams per ounce (about 2 tablespoons), and contain protein and minerals including as iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc. Emerging research suggests that including chia seeds as part of a healthy diet may help improve cardiovascular risk factors such as lowering cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure. I started using them after my hiking retreat last Spring. I just sprinkle them on my yogurt, granola or just about anything I eat.

 This last weekend I was in the kitchen for one full day preparing freezer dinner's for my daughter, Holly and her husband, Nate. Also, I arranged a Mommy team, who have volunteered to make full dinner's and deliver after Madison arrives. Holly and Nate are due to have my Grand daughter! I am so excited to help! Holly asked me to decorate the nursery, so I have been busy with her girly safari theme. I will post more on that, with pictures after Madison is born. 

Three Lasagna dinners, 3 chicken pot pie dinners, 4 sheets JJ's Granola and todays Peach and Huckleberry crisp! For links to recipes, just click on the dish. My chicken pot pie recipe is yet to come, so stay tuned!!
 Today I am making my Speghetti Bolognese not only for Wee Bear and I, but, Nate is stopping by and picking up their dinner for tonight and one more to put in the freezer.

Amy and TT are back from their 10 day trip to New Jersey and New York! They had a great time! She will be posting again soon!

We had a great time yesterday on the water! This is the Montlake bridge in the University District in Seattle. The bridge opens for tall ships/boats. We all take turns at captain, I was first yesterday! It was a beautiful day for boating.  


  1. This looks delicious! I have huckleberry's as I live in Bend, Oregon. Great tips on peaches, it is so hard to get good ones. Susan B.

  2. What a great idea to make Mommy meals for the family. I want to do this too, for my sister. How lucky they are to have such a thoughtful Grandma. Thanks for continuing to write such a good blog, full of interesting recipes. Alice M- New York

  3. This looks so yummy! I can't wait to make this. Thank you for the peach buying tips. Julie

  4. Made this my boy friend gave it 5 stars! I'm giving it 10! Thanks? Jill


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