As a Culinary Director at the Redmond Whole Foods Market, I get to design and teach cooking classes. When I first started, I wanted to teach a monthly cooking class series called "Cooking with the Season." In the class, I teach my students how to utilize seasonal, and mostly local produce. This has been by far one of the most popular classes on the calendar.
A few days ago, I taught the class how to make a Peach & Apricot Crumble with Almonds and Crystalized Ginger. I got the idea for this dessert from the Peach, Blueberry and Pecan Crumble recipe on the Whole Foods Market website. Never one to follow the recipe exactly, I made a few changes. We used apricots and peaches, eliminated blueberries (I'm not a fan of cooked blueberries) and used almonds instead of pecans for extra crunch. The spicy, crystalized ginger is really fantastic, but be sure to dice it pretty finely to avoid biting into a large chunk of heat.
Peach and Apricot Crumble with Almonds and Crystalized Ginger
4 peaches, halved, pitted and chopped into 1/2"
4 apricots, halved, pitted and chopped into 1/2"
2 tablespoons plus 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup crystallized ginger, finely diced
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
5 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup roughly chopped almonds
Pinch of salt
Pinch of ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly butter a 9-inch square baking dish (alternatively, you can bake it in individual ramekins). Combine peaches, apricots and 2 tablespoons of the flour and spread evenly in the baking dish.
2. Combine remaining 3/4 cup flour, ginger, sugars, almonds, salt, cinnamon, lemon zest, lemon juice and butter in a large bowl and mix together well with your hands, breaking up the butter with your fingers. Make sure the butter doesn't break down completely. Sprinkle the mixture on top of apricots and peaches.
3. Cover the baking dish with with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for additional 20 minutes more, or until golden on top and fruit is soft and bubbling.
4. If you are patient, allow the crumble to cool slightly. If not, spoon it up and serve with vanilla ice cream.
To quote one of my students "this was the best crumble I've ever had." Can you imagine how great this would be once the local markets start carrying juicy peaches and aromatic, sweet apricots?
This recipe is very easy to switch up for any season - I'm already thinking of apple and cranberry for the fall.
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