Peach Pecan Crunch

Peaches are, hands down, my favorite fruit. I need to rephrase that:  GOOD peaches are, hands down, my favorite fruit. Juicy, sweet, perfectly ripe peaches are hard to beat with any food, for that matter, in my opinion. Now, I don’t know about you, but peaches are one fresh fruit that I will only buy when they are in season. I can get by eating an apple in the spring, knowing it’s not the ideal time for them, and will occasionally buy fresh asparagus in the fall or winter (very occasionally, I will add, when I long for a fresh spring day and want my meal to reflect what I wish it was like outside, right?).

I just can’t enjoy a peach unless it is near perfection, and I am willing to wait until the right time of year to eat them in order to truly satisfy my peach craving. And when it is the right time of year? I can’t wait to sink my teeth into these prized possessions. My daughter, who’s 2, must have my taste buds because she loves them too, which is great, but also a bit hard for me since now I have to share! Just kidding, I just buy them by the case now. Ha!

There are many great ways to enjoy peaches, and I think that’s one thing I really like about them: their versatility. Make me a peach pie, peach malt, or peach cobbler and I’ll be a happy woman. But the great thing is that peaches work really well with savory foods too. Make a simple peach bourbon glaze to brush on a grilled pork tenderloin, or add fresh peach slices to a salad topped with sliced chicken, pistachio nuts, feta cheese and a simple vinaigrette. I’d also be happy with those!

Today I’m going to stick with something sweet, but in my quest to lower my overall “added sugar” intake, I’m going to healthify it a bit. Peach crisp is my inspiration, but because I’m using more nuts and less oats/flour than what a typical peach crisp (or any other fruit crisp) would have, I’m calling it Peach Crunch, and because I’m using pecans, it’s Peach Pecan Crunch. If you don’t care for pecans, which, by the way, go really well with peaches if you’ve never tried the combo, you can substitute any nut you like (although I’d save peanuts for another time – that combo doesn’t sound the best!).

If you’re buying good peaches, they are plenty sweet on their own, so I feel like I’m cheating a little bit by calling this a “lower-sugar” dessert. While it’s certainly lower in sugar than some other peach dessert recipes I’ve seen, it’s not that difficult to get a delicious result when using good peaches, even with less sugar than normal. But, at the end of the day, I’m just happy it’s peach season!

Peach Pecan Crunch How-To Photos:

First, slice the peaches and mix with water, flour, and salt.

Nothing says summer like Peach Pecan Crunch, my version of peach crisp. Crunchy, sweet topping and fresh peaches are a match made in heaven.

While the peaches bake a bit, mix the topping ingredients.

Nothing says summer like Peach Pecan Crunch, my version of peach crisp. Crunchy, sweet topping and fresh peaches are a match made in heaven.

 

Nothing says summer like Peach Pecan Crunch, my version of peach crisp. Crunchy, sweet topping and fresh peaches are a match made in heaven.

This is what the peaches look like after the first bake.

Nothing says summer like Peach Pecan Crunch, my version of peach crisp. Crunchy, sweet topping and fresh peaches are a match made in heaven.

Spread on the topping.

Nothing says summer like Peach Pecan Crunch, my version of peach crisp. Crunchy, sweet topping and fresh peaches are a match made in heaven.

Just out of the oven!

Nothing says summer like Peach Pecan Crunch, my version of peach crisp. Crunchy, sweet topping and fresh peaches are a match made in heaven.

Mmm, best served warm. Serve with ice cream or not. Either way, it’s good!

Nothing says summer like Peach Pecan Crunch, my version of peach crisp. Crunchy, sweet topping and fresh peaches are a match made in heaven.

 

Peach Pecan Crunch

Yield:  8 servings

Nutrition Info (per serving):  204 cals, 3 g pro, 26 g carb, 11 g fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 4 g sat fat, 3 g fiber, 120 mg sodium

Ingredients:

2 1/2 pounds fresh peaches (6 to 7 medium)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup quick-cooking or regular rolled oats
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 cups vanilla ice cream (optional)

Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Halve, pit, and thinly slice the peaches; place in a large bowl. Sprinkle with flour, water, and salt. Toss to coat. Transfer to a 2-quart square baking dish. Cover with foil. Bake for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl combine pecans, oats, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Add butter and stir until well coated. Uncover partially baked peaches. Spoon pecan topper even over peaches.
  3. Bake, uncovered, for 25 to 30 minutes more or until peach mixture is bubbly and topping is golden brown. If topping starts to get too brown before the peaches are done, cover the top loosely with foil to prevent further browning.
  4. Cool 20 to 30 minutes on a wire rack. Serve warm.