As you may have guessed from my posting habits, I am not really a dessert person. Not only do I much prefer salty to sweet flavours, but I’m also so impatient! I am not great at measuring things, which really posed as an issue in my organic chemistry labs- bless the poor TA that had to mark my questionable concoctions. I have so much respect for all of you bakers out there, I just have to admit that I am not one of you. That’s why when I cook dessert, it’s more of a “little pinch of this, little dash of that” situation. Don’t worry though! If you’re one of those Hermione sorts that follows recipes to a T, I’ve got all the measurements for this recipe figured out pretty well…I think.
Every so often I’ll come across a bit of inspiration, and I find myself switching in my chef’s knife for a whisk! Today’s inspiration came in the form of a giant peach. I love peaches, especially when they are in season! They are so naturally juicy and sweet, and really just the perfect star for a dessert. For tonight’s dessert, I whipped up a quick peach crumble and topped it with a little mascarpone whipped cream and fresh mint. And don’t feel too bad about eating this mid-week treat (unless you lick the whipped cream bowl like I did…). The crumble is made from oats, bran, and nuts- it’s basically health food! You’ve made it through this week’s hump day, and you deserve to treat yourself with the world’s easiest (but very delicious) treat! Buckle up, dig out the old measuring cups (just a few, I swear), and channel your inner Ms. Granger…and maybe a glass of wine too!
This really is the simplest dessert ever. Just peel the peaches (or any fruit that inspires you in the market), cut into fairly small pieces, and coat with a bit of nutmeg, cinnamon, and sugar. For the crumble, I simply mixed equal parts of oats, bran, and brown sugar, added a handful of chopped pecans, and mixed with a bit of butter. To assemble the dessert, I chose little ramekin dishes to make personal crumbles. If you don’t have little ramekins, that’s ok! Just make the dessert in a larger one. I do suggest you invest in some of these though. They are so handy to have around for your mise en place (prep work), for making dressings, or holding dipping sauces. Anyway, top the crumble with a simple mascarpone whipped cream. Mascarpone is a great ingredient for desserts! It’s a type of cheese, similar to cream cheese, but much lighter. It adds a bit of body to whipped creams so they stand up well, and also kicks up the creaminess level. When using this ingredient, don’t forget to add a bit of salt! I know, salt in dessert? Yes! Just a pinch of salt goes such a long way to help bring out the natural vibrant flavours of any ingredient, even sweet ones! Top with fresh mint and voila!
Peach Crumble with Whipped Mascarpone and Fresh Mint
Total time: 25 minutes
Hands-on time: 15 minutes
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup bran
1/4 cup oats
1/4 cup brown sugar + 1tsp.
1 tbsp. butter, melted
2 cups diced peaches (1/2 inch cubed), peeled
1 tsp. brown sugar + 1/4 cup
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of fresh nutmeg (not quite half a tsp.)
1/4 cup mascarpone
1/3 cup whipping cream
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. fresh mint, julienned
1. Preheat oven to 350°F
2. In bowl, combine pecans, bran, oats, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, and melted butter. Set aside
3. Combine peaches, cinnamon, nutmeg (just under a 1/2 teaspoon), and remaining brown sugar
4. Place peach mixture in baking dish, and top with a generous amount of crumble. Place in oven to bake until cooked, about 15 minutes, or until top starts to brown. Allow to cool 10 minutes before serving
5. In the meantime, beat together mascarpone, sugar, vanilla, and salt
6. Add in whipping cream and beat until it forms stiff peaks
7. Top the crumble with the whipped cream, about 10 minutes after it has been removed from oven. Garnish with mint. Enjoy!