Jump right in and watch my Peach Berry Crisp Video Recipe above! Or read on and listen to me gripe the ridiculously, over the top, serious state of the food and restaurant scene these days.
I recently read a Bon Appétit Magazine article called “The 23 Coolest Restaurant Trends We Spotted In 2016“. I am big fan of exploring new hot restaurants, food mags, food blogs and cooking shows and I’ve seen my fair share of flash in the pan food trends. One sentence in this article got me all fired up and has me questioning whether we are taking the food trends a bit too far: “Brined, air-dried, steamed, roasted at three escalating temperatures, and finally, paraded through the dining room on a bed of flaming hay, it’s the dish that secured chef Greg Proechel’s coveted spot in the whole-bird pecking order. (Sorry.)”
While I have nothing against the article, the writing or the enthusiasm, I could feel my eyes roll all the way down to my toes. It sounds like more of a production than a meal. It’s as if ordering this dish makes you part of the scene, and you play a role in the evenings’ production of “Bed of Flaming Hay”. Hay is for horses, isn’t it?
Hey, I run a food blog for shits sake, so I know how big of a role presentation plays into food. This ain’t my first roll in the hay. If it looks like horseshit, nobody is buying. I spend hours on each and every post selecting just the right props, gingerly tending to the food as if it were a baby bird in my hands, carefully selecting ingredients and strategically placing them in the shots so they look their absolute best. I totally get it and appreciate it like no other. But, there seems to have been a competitive shift in the food revolution as of late. Every Tom, Dick and Harry wants to be the next Tony (Bordain). And how to do you stand out from the crowd? You set shit ablaze and parade it through the dining room sending smoke signals to draw the attention of everyone for miles. It just seems like a whole lot of smoke and mirrors to me, which it is (apparently there are actual 2 way mirrors in the restaurant known for their flaming hay chicken dish).
While I enjoy dinner and show, I prefer my dinner not be the show. Sure, there is something to be said for adventurous eating, but there is something so beautifully intoxicating about a simple meal made with love and care using simple techniques and ingredients. No smoke. No mirrors. Just good food.
This simple recipe for Peach Berry Crisp isn’t some flaming new culinary hot shot taking over Instagram feeds with unfamiliar ingredients and wordy, hipster descriptions. It’s just that, a Peach Berry Crisp made with common ingredients and the freshest fruit at the peak of the season, baked in a $20 cast iron skillet that will outlive us all.
Now if you excuse me, I’ll be in my backyard listening to the song of the crickets and the rustle of a light summer breeze through the trees while enjoying a simple scoop of warm Peach Berry Crisp with melty ice cream under the light of the bright summer moon. Now that’s a show I’d like to see.
- butter - 1/2 cup cold and cut into 1/2" cubes + 2 tablespoons
- peaches - 4-5, pitted and sliced
- blackberries - 1 pint
- raspberries - 1 pint
- brown sugar - 1/2 cup (divided)
- cinnamon - 1 teaspoon
- sugar - 1/2 cup (divided)
- rolled oats - 3/4 cup
- all purpose flour - 1/2 cup
- sliced almonds - 1/2 cup
- coconut flake - 1/2 cup
- salt - 1/2 teaspoon
- tapioca startch - 2 tablespoons
- lemon - zest of 1 + 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- Place 2 tablespoons of butter in a cast iron skillet and heat over medium heat. Stir and swirl until the butter begins to foam up and brown bits start to form. Shut off the heat and add sliced peaches. Add 1/4 cup of the brown sugar, stir. Then stir in the cinnamon. Set aside.
- Add the oats, flour, coconut flakes, salt, 1/4 cup sugar and remaining brown sugar to a mixing bowl and mix together.
- Add the cold, cubed butter and squish with your hands to mash the butter into the dry ingredients until a crumbly texture forms.
- Add the almonds and squish until mixed.
- Chill the crisp topping in the fridge for 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Add the blackberries, raspberries, remaining sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice, and tapioca starch together in a mixing bowl, gently toss together and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
- Top the peaches evenly with the berry mix.
- Top the berries with the crisp mix.
- Bake for about 1 hour until the fruit softens and the crisp is a warm, golden color.
- Serve warm with a cold scoop of your favorite ice cream.
- This simple crisp pairs really well with a whiskey & pecan pralines ice cream and/or a nip of bourbon, neat.