En français ici.
Despite having fun cooking in front of the ocean and in my parents spacious kitchen in PA with my mom, I'm happy to be back in my very own kitchen. The cherry on top of the cake (as the French would say) is that I managed to bring back my set of kitchen knives from storage in the US, and I'm so excited to have tools that are sharp and appropriate for lots more tasks than the three basic IKEA ones we were using!
I was eager to get back to my Sunday baking, which I've been unable to post practically all summer since I didn't do much baking at all. As I've been thinking a lot about this local/seasonal foods thing, I decided to head off to the local fruit and veggie shop to see what looked good. When I arrived early afternoon, they were just closing (it is Sunday in France after all) and I made a quick selection : white peaches and mirabelles (small yellow plums) both labeled "grown in France". I decided to be brave about the white peaches because I have memories of being allergic to the skin when I was little and not having eaten them since, but I thought it might more have been whatever pesticides they put on the peaches, rather than the fruit itself that gave me a reaction. I also picked up a small box of raspberries, which should be in their 2nd season, but are clearly not a common crop in France given the price. (Raspberry bushes on my window sill? -- what do you guys think?)
I decided (although D. was skeptical) to throw all these fruits together into a summery fruit crumble. The topping that I used came from D.'s mother whose specialty is apple crumble. Unfortunately, I have seem to have an issue with crumble toppings and it came out a bit stickier than crumbly, still yummy though!
5 white peaches
1 cup (pitted) mirabelles/or plums
1/2-1 cup raspberries
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 cloves (yes, I put in whole cloves because that's what I had on hand. It makes for a fun treasure hunt! Ahem...if you prefer, you could put in 1/4 tsp ground cloves)
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch or flour
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup flour
There is some argument as to whether or not you should peel peaches for a crumble or not. They add a nice color if you don't and take less work so I'm not sure why you would, although given my feelings about white peaches, I decided to peel a couple. If you don't want to peel the peaches, wash them well and move on to the next step. If you want to peel them, score them first and plunge them in boiling water for 2 minutes. Scoop them out, the skin should come off easily at this point, and plunge them in cold water to keep them from cooking.
Once you've figured out what to do with your peaches, pit, cut them into slices and place them in a mixing bowl. Wash and pit the mirabelles, wash the raspberries and add them to the peaches. Add the lemon juice, cinnamon, clove, sugar, cornstarch or flour and mix together. Pour into a square baking dish and let stand while you prepare the crumble topping.
For the topping, cream together the butter and sugar with the cinnamon. Then, using your fingers, incorporate the flour until the mixture is crumbly (I know this doesn't sound like rocket science, but I'm a crumbling dunce!). Sprinkle the topping over the fruit mixture and give the pan a tap on the counter to help the topping settle over the fruit. Don't pat it down because it'll soak up too much of the juice and get soggy!
Cook at 375F for about 45 minutes, until the topping is golden brown and the fruit juices are bubbling. Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream! (Or, if you're lucky enough to know someone who makes it well, after a yummy dinner of chili verdi!)