Our friends were here for dinner Saturday night, and I had planned this dessert for them, but the peaches weren't quite ripe. Instead we had the ice-cream that was meant to accompany the peaches, with a dense dulce de leche sauce my daughter had brought back from a trip to Buenos Aires. By Monday however, the peaches were perfectly juicy and ripe and ready for prime time, so I made the crisp. Of course by then, the ice-cream, which would have made a luscious topping, was all gone. Still, the peach crisp was delicious in its own right. But if you want to gild the lily, you can't go wrong with a creamy vanilla ice cream on top.
Peach Crisp (serves 6 people)
6-7 large peaches 1 T. lemon juice 1/4 cup white sugar 1/8 tsp. cinnamon 1 T. flour
Topping: 1 cup flour 1 cup oatmeal (not instant) 1/2 cup brown sugar 1/4 tsp. cinnamon 6 T. unsalted butter
Peel and slice peaches and mix with the lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon and 1T. flour. Place into a buttered, 4-quart casserole.
For the topping, mix flour, oatmeal, brown sugar and cinnamon, then cut in the butter. Use your fingers to evenly distribute the butter. Place on top of the peaches. Bake at 350 degrees for 1/2 hour. Wait at least 15 minutes before eating or it will be very runny.
The device you see in the slides above is a "torchio," a hollow brass tube attached to a bench or a wall. Different metal "dies" can be inserted in the torchio for different shapes of pasta. The torchio belonged to my mother's family in Italy. After decades of collecting dust in my basement, the torchio was recently resurrected when my father offered to make a bench for it. The torchio is screwed to the bench, semolina pasta dough is fed into the tube, the crank is turned, (in this case by my son Michael) and with a lot of elbow grease, pasta is extruded through the die. What comes out below is a tubular pasta - anything from thin spaghetti to bucatini, similar to a hollow straw.
In my last life, I was a journalist in NYC, but left the rat race to live in Italy for a year. I created this blog upon my return to combine my interests of writing and photography with my love of food and travel. My mother was from the region of Emilia-Romagna, my father's family was from Calabria and my late husband's family is Abruzzese. Is it any wonder then, that Italian art, music, food and the country's beautiful landscape are among my passions? I hope you will try some of the recipes and post comments. Buon Appetito. Linda