I am such a sucker for a fresh peach. Normally, I’d advocate eating one right over the sink to catch the drips—unless you’d rather be messy and get it all over your face (your call!).
According to my farmer friend Ben Scholl, whose peaches I so adore, those are called “sink peaches.” Aptly named.
But sometimes, you buy more peaches than you can rightly consume in a reasonable amount of time, and you need to do something with them. You need to make this Skillet Peach Crisp with Ginger and Pecans.
And you need to share it, because otherwise you might consume more of it than you rightly should in a reasonable amount of time. (I didn’t really solve any problems here, did I? Hmm.)
Buy Fresh, Local Peaches
I cannot stress how important it is to use the best, most local peaches for this recipe. It is not worth making this with anything but fresh and seasonal peaches. (By the way, the local peaches I used, which are a little more red-hued than you might be accustomed to seeing, are a variety called "Rich May.")
It is rare that peaches arrive at supermarkets at their most floral, aromatic finest. That's because local peaches are usually picked when they are ripe, and travel shorter distances without excessive refrigeration, which can alter their taste and consistency.
This said, if peaches don't grow in your area, look for peaches that come from as close to you as possible. Pick ones that smell fragrant and without a lot of visible bruising. If they're still hard when you buy them, set them on your counter for a few days until they soften.
Oat Flour and Where to Find It
Although you could rightly make your own oat flour by pulverizing rolled oats in a food processor, most supermarkets carry oat flour as well. One of my favorite brands is Bob’s Red Mill.
I often combine it with regular all-purpose flour, and it adds a nuttiness that is often welcome in baked goods.
I would not substitute rolled oats for this—it will affect the topping. If you can't find oat flour or don't want to make your own, go ahead and substitute the same amount of all-purpose flour instead.
How to Make This Peach Crisp
For the assembly here, I don’t bother peeling the peaches, and there are a few reasons for this. I apply this rule in general toward produce with skins: If I know where it's coming from and how the farmer grows them and/or have bought organic, I don’t worry about pesticides on the skin.
I am also a bit lazy, so that weighs into it, too. I also think we American humans are too quick, in general, to rip the skin off fruits and veggies that would be of benefit to us. (Don’t worry, I’m not going to advocate eating banana peels anytime soon.)
I used pink Himalayan sea salt because I like the way it interacts in recipes—it seems to be more flavorful in addition to whatever benefits that regularly consuming it imparts to the body (it contains lots of trace elements such as calcium, magnesium and so forth).
But don’t sweat it if you don’t have it. Straight up table salt would work just fine, too.
Cool Before Serving!
After you make this, it’s crucial to let it sit for at least an hour before you scoop it out of the cast iron pan. If you don't, the crisp will get all ooey gooey and the juices will run around the pan. Trust me; I’m usually impatient about these things, too, but this one is worth the wait.
Also, if you don’t have a cast iron pan that’s about 10 inches in diameter, I’d advise a 9-inch round cake pan, or possibly an 8-inch square one, and check the time after 25-30 minutes.
Serve With a Scoop of Ice Cream
I’m of the firm belief that baked fruit desserts always require a scoop of ice cream, preferably vanilla (the best foil to dessert, ever, hands down). Try Elise’s French vanilla ice cream.
More Peach Desserts
Skillet Peach Crisp with Ginger and Pecans
- For the crisp topping:
- 1/2 cup (66 grams) oat flour (See recipe note)
- 1/2 cup (78 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt or table salt
- 3/4 cups pecans, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter cut into small pieces, well chilled
- For the peaches:
- 2 pounds peaches, sliced 1/2-inch thick (about 6 medium, or 6 cups sliced)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/3 cup crystallized candied ginger, diced small
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, for the pan
Preheat oven to 350°F
Make the crisp topping:
In a small bowl, combine the two flours with a fork—sometimes oat flour clumps together more than all-purpose. Add the rolled oats, brown sugar, and sea salt. Add the pecans and stir to combine.
Finally, rub the butter until topping is buttery and crumbly. It should clump together easily between your fingers.
Prepare the peaches:
In a medium bowl, combine the sliced peaches, ground ginger, crystalized ginger, and sugar, along with the lemon juice. Stir together gently with a spatula.
Prepare the pan:
Put the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter into the cast iron pan and place into the oven for about 5 minutes, just until the butter melts.
Assemble the crisp:
Remove the pan from the oven and add the peach-ginger combination, spreading it out evenly. Add little dabs of the crisp topping as evenly as you can across the top of the peaches.
Bake the crisp:
Bake in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and the top is golden brown.
Cool and serve:
This is going to be hard, but you need to wait at least an hour before you scoop into this. Otherwise the juices will run everywhere, and you may burn your mouth.
Once it’s made, this keeps best covered, in the refrigerator, for 3 to 4 days. Simply reheat it in a low oven for about 10 minutes.