Basil Peach Crisp

Basil Peach Crisp

Peach crisp is an awesome mid-summer dessert when peaches are in season. I’m not a fantastic baker– too much precision is involved. I love to drift away from recipes, which usually ends in less than favourable results in baking.  My go-to dessert is a crisp.  They are pretty fool-proof and allow for that element of experimentation that I love about cooking.  I also making crisps seasonal, using the fruits and flavours of what every fruit is in season.

While you can get fresh peaches pretty much throughout the year from somewhere in the world, nothing beats fresh Ontario peaches in the middle of summer.  For this crips, you can combine the peaches with blueberries or raspberries, but I love the purity of a straight peach crisp.  To add a little twist I added fresh basil to it.  If you want to try a different herb, mint would be a great substitute. Basil is a common herb in savoury cooking, especially Italian cuisine. However, it’s a sweet herb which pairs really well with peaches, apricots or even blueberries.

If I were making this crisp totally to my liking I would use a heavier fruit to crisp ratio.  However, for some, the cookie-type topping is the best part.  I love to serve this dessert warm shortly after I take it out of the oven, (you will want to let it rest about 15 minutes).  It’s also delicious fridge cold with a little almond milk it.  I’m not quite sure if this is a common way to eat a crisp, but I grew up doing this (probably to make leftover dessert passable as a breakfast cereal).

Gluten Free Option

I made the crisp topping with spelt flour, instead of a traditional all-purpose flour. Spelt is an ancient grain, which is not gluten free, but is easier to digest than wheat flour. You could easily substitute your favourite gluten-free flour–just make sure you use gluten-free oats too. Alternatively, if you don’t have spelt flour in your pantry, or don’t want to give it a try, you can substitute it with the flour you have on hand.

Basil Peach Crisp
  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. In a 9x13 glass baking dish mix the peaches, 4 tablespoon portion of maple syrup and basil.
  3. Sprinkle the arrowroot powder over the peach mixture and stir to combine well.
  4. In a large mixing bowl combine the rolled oats, flour and salt. Add in the maple syrup and coconut oil and stir with a wooden spoon. When it is well combined, use your hands to ensure it is well incorporated.
  5. With your hands crumble the topping mixture evenly over the surface of the peaches.
  6. Bake in oven for 30-40 minutes.

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