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Basic recipe for fruit crisp is ripe for tweaks and twists

Posted: August 6, 2014 at 2:29 a.m.

Warm fruit desserts are one of my favorite ways to end a meal or dress up a weekend breakfast. I'm always tinkering with combinations of fruits, spices and toppings. Here, a classic peach crisp is spiced like a gingerbread cookie.

To really indulge, serve with a scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt or ice cream.

Spiced Peach, Graham Cracker and Oat Crisp

For the fruit:

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

2 pounds fresh or frozen peaches, cut into 3/4-inch chunks

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the topping:

1/4 cup quick-cooking or regular rolled oats (not instant)

1/2 cup finely crushed graham cracker crumbs

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

3 tablespoons chilled butter

Position oven rack in lower third of oven. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

For the fruit: Whisk together the brown sugar, cornstarch, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg in a mixing bowl. Add the peach chunks and vanilla extract; toss to evenly distribute. Let the mixture rest for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the topping: Combine the oats, graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg in a separate bowl. Add the butter and use your fingers to thoroughly work it into the dry ingredients to create a crumbly mixture.

Lightly grease a 2 1/2 quart baking dish.

Pour the fruit mixture into the baking dish, distributing the peaches evenly. Scatter the crumb topping over the fruit, covering the surface as much as possible. Bake (on the lower oven rack) 45 to 50 minutes, until the fruit is bubbling up the sides of the dish and the fruit at the center is tender when pierced with a fork or skewer.

Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 8 servings.

Food on 08/06/2014

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