I was at the Farmer’s Market recently, and the buzz going around the market was that Red Haven peaches were available. Not being familiar with this variety of peach, I asked one vendor just what made these peaches special. Apparently, Red Haven peaches are a freestone peach with red-blushed yellow skin and firm, sweet yellow flesh. These peaches are delicious for eating fresh, canning and freezing. Of course, I had to buy a bunch to take home with me to try.
After further reading once I returned home, I found out that the Red Haven peach originated in South Haven, Michigan in 1930. There is actually a historical marker in South Haven that describes the history of the peach. It is now the most widely planted freestone peach variety in the world. Red Haven peaches are also a particularly unique variety as they offer an extended harvest lasting over a seven-week period making them a favorite of farmers in the Midwest. Other types of peaches have a restricted crop of just three weeks or so.
The peaches were delicious though on the small size, but after buying two bags full, I needed a plan to use them. Although we love fresh fruit in my house, eating twelve peaches at their peak is a tall order. I had friends for dinner, so I decided to use up some of my peaches in a crisp combined with some of my frozen Michigan blueberries. A fruit crisp is always an easy dessert to put together as consists of fresh or frozen fruit on the bottom with a crisp crumb top. Served warm with a dollop of whipped cream or gelato, it is both delicious and comforting.
Deborah Mele 2018
- 6 Cups Peeled & Sliced Peaches
- 2 Cups Fresh or Frozen Blueberries
- 1 1/3 Cup Sugar
- Zest & Juice of 1 Lemon
- 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
- 1 1/2 Cups All-purpose Flour (See Notes Above)
- 1 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
- Pinch of Salt
- 1 1/2 Cup Quick Cooking Oats
- 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- 3/4 Cup Sliced Almonds
- 12 Tablespoons Softened Butter or Coconut Oil
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a medium sized bowl, toss the fruit with the sugar and lemon zest.
- Dissolve the cornstarch in the lemon juice, then stir this mixture into the fruit.
- Dump the fruit into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish or oven-proof casserole dish.
- In another bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, salt, oats, cinnamon, and nuts if using.
- Add the butter or coconut oil, and using your fingertips, rub it into the flour/oat mixture until crumbly.
- Sprinkle the topping evenly over the fruit to cover, then bake for 50 minutes until lightly browned and bubbly.
- Cool briefly, then serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.