You know how sometimes, you have crazy, inexplicable food cravings? Not the ice cream and pickles kind. I have not had the "pleasure" of encountering those yet, much to the chagrin of my mom and mother-in-law. I mean, the kind that are triggered when you see a picture on a food blog or even when you read a recipe that doesn't have pictures. And then for days afterward, all you can think about is making that recipe. You see someone's red patent heels and your mind immediately jumps to bright red cherries in a divine cherry pie. You hear someone's British accent and all of a sudden, you stop listening to what they're saying because you're contemplating the perfect Shepherd's Pie. Well you should know those food cravings are about a million times more intense during Ramadan. I mean, you can't eat all day so what do you do? Think about food. All day. It's a perverse pleasure, I know.
A few days ago, I saw a recipe for peach crumble. And for every second after that fleeting glimpse on the internet, I thought about peach crumble. So I brazenly tweeted, "Gonna' make myself some peach crumble tonight. 'Cause I'm fasting, and darn it, I deserve it." It didn't matter that we didn't have any peaches. Oh, and we'd run out of butter, after my foray into brown butter territory (or in my case, burned butter territory). Ok, it did matter a bit since well, peach crumble needs peaches. And butter.
So that night, I dragged the hubster to the nearest 24-hour grocery store. While wearing my SpongeBob SquarePants pajama bottoms. And as I was feeling up the peaches in the produce section, I ran into HER. My nemesis. See, my nemesis is this perfectly coiffed, Heidi Klum look alike. I seem to run into her at the most inopportune moments. Like the time I was talking to myself in the aisles of Barnes & Noble. Or the time I was freaking out at Starbucks because they gave me vanilla scented coffee. I mean really, vanilla scented? I'm planning on drinking this coffee pal, not taking a bubble bath in it.
So there she is, wearing five-inch Christian Louboutins, looking like she's just come back from Palm Springs, at 10 p.m. at the friggin' grocery store. And what does she say? "Oh, are you buying peaches?" No, I'm climbing Machu Picchu, Einstein. I bit the inside of my lip and grinned, forcing myself to not say that out loud. Yup, for a peach crumble, I said with my crazy grin. "Peach crumbles make you fat," she said and flounced away. I resisted the urge to pitch a peach at the back of her head. Instead, I took a deep breath and finished selecting my peaches. Then, I stealthily walked to the refrigerated aisle, humming the Mission Impossible theme song under my breath and successfully avoiding the Nemesis. I grabbed my butter and paid for my purchase in a covert operation that would've made the CIA proud.
Then, I went home and made my peach crumble. I ate two ramekins of the most delicious, comforting dessert ever. Because I was fasting and I deserved it. And because I'm sure I'll run into my Nemesis again and I gotta bulk up in case I need to take her on.
Yield: 8 ramekin servings
For the peaches:
3 tbsp lightly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour
healthy dash of pumpkin spice
dash of lemon juice
5 peaches, peeled and cut
For the topping:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 egg, beaten well
7 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
Position a rack in the center of your oven, and preheat the oven to 375°F.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the seasoning for the peaches: the brown sugar, flour, and pumpkin pie spice. The original recipe calls for 2 tbsp. sugar but my peaches didn't seem that ripe so I bumped up the sugar. Also, the original recipe calls for cinnamon and crystallized ginger which I substituted with pumpkin pie spice. Add the peaches and lemon juice, and gently stir to coat. Arrange peaches in individual ramikins (or pie plate if you trust yourself with an entire pie plate of peach crumble).
In another medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients for the topping: the granulated sugar, flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to blend well. Add the egg. Using your hands, mix thoroughly, squeezing and tossing and pinching handfuls of the mixture, to produce moist little particles. Sprinkle evenly over the peaches.
Spoon the butter evenly over the topping, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is browned and the peaches yield easily when pricked with toothpick. Cool.
Serve crumble warm or at room temperature, with vanilla ice cream, crème fraîche, thick yogurt, or unsweetened whipped cream.
Adapted from Orangette and The Kitchen.