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Peach Nectarine Skillet Crisp

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My friends! Are you seeing this? Did your eyes just pop out? I’ll tell you this recipe was a collective effort over the span of three days. Where I’d normally knock this out in half  a day, I ended up making this three times, almost four. My partner in crime, the culprit and reason for my food addiction, could not keep her spoon to herself. I employed my precious mother to help me with this skillet full of summer goodness, all to gently fight her off every time she went in for a spoonful.

This is a far cry from anything Latin or Cuban. It’s not part of our repertoire and certainly not something we’d ever default to even considering offering to guests for an all out summer bash. But as I steer away my mother from our Cuban classics for the most festive summer events, I sneak in a variety of some of my favourite Americana treats I’ve enjoyed since childhood.

Peach cobbler fell in love with me and I with it while in high school. But I never got into it so much to make it. Not even to play around with it. I’d defer to its glory on depressive days where I desperately needed comfort food to pacify my emotions. All that dough and sugar are just too much to keep me focused. Eating more than a fair share was inviting a sugar coma of sinful levels.

And so I found a friendly alternative: the skillet crisp. Similar in concept, but much easier, much faster and much more forgiving on the ever-expanding hips and thighs, this bottom drawer sister to the popular cobbler is perfect for satisfying the sweet tooth and rollercoster feelings.

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Peaches aren’t in full harvest anymore but you can still grab a good bunch. Pick them up while you can. Nectarines are still in full harvest but are best between now and late August/early September. My idea was simply to make a peach dessert but I had recently come across some succulent nectatrines.  They’re related anyway and dance so well, especially when lead by a tremendous harmony of spices and herbs. This peach nectarine skillet may look like any others you’ve scoured the internet for. But I have secrets. Many of them. And I injected in them here.

INDIAN SPICES 

Behold, my first ever scratch made garam marsala. Hallelujah! Let me tell you what!  I was so happy to use spices and herbs I’ve smuggled back into the country whilst on many of my global jaunts to make this incredibly perfumed blend; like some butter-smooth cinnamon and over-the-top potent black peppercorn from Australia. Or really fresh nutmeg from Fiji. I used my mortar and pestle to really open up the essence of each spice. I’ll share that recipe in a separate post. I’m now obsessed. What else can I put it in? If you use it regularly, by all means, please let me know!

Chopped hazelnuts in my doughy mix was also a beautiful addition. I’m all about salty crunchy, with a hint of dulce.

THE ESSENCE OF CITRUS

I kept getting playful with this dish, you know. It was coming together so lovely, but after the first batch din’t last more than 30 minutes and I couldn’t even get an IG pic in, I decided to tweak it a bit for the second go-round.

A nice helping of orange zest and a generous splash of orange liqueur and we.were.in.business.

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ISLAND COCONUT

Yes, you totally read right. These cobbler and skillet dishes are so, so sweet, I’m afraid for my teeth. Light brown sugar is perfect and necessary, but there was no way I could justify another cup of regular azúcar. My organic coconut sugar was divine. It was the perfect solution to finding a balancing. It added sweetness, but kept my teeth in place. A top sprinkle at the very end brought it all together. But the marriage of all of these ingredients was fully locked with a Hawaiian-inspired granola with chunks of pineapple, slithers of pistachio, and coconut shavings. This really could not get any better…. until it could.

Coconut gelato made this dessert the creme de la creme in skillet desserts. It was sexy to say the least as it seeped thought the warm  and highly browned fruits skins. Helado de vainilla could work, sure, but why not think outside the box and round out your efforts with complementary ingredients that just make sense.

This coconut gelato was the red on the bottom of my fave shoes. Sure was.

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Bren-Herrera-Peach-Apricot-Skillet-Crisp-Single-Bowl

Breaking away from my roots, even if for just a bit, produces scream-worthy results. There’s nothing more satisfying than playing around with and succeeding in combing flavors and techniques that yield amazing goodness. This skillet wasn’t really planned. I just wanted something really tasty and out of the ordinary of what I make at home or for my clients. After perusing over 10 crisp recipes, all having a myriad of ingredients and cooking methods, I finally settled on a technique with a cocktail of ingredients that worked exceptionally well for my palate. Turns out, it’s a bona fide go-to version! I invite you to make it, eat it, share it, bake it for a friend and archive it for those days when you want something so good, you don’t care about the added calories. Every bite of this is worth it.

There’s still time to make and enjoy it this summer. Go for it, kids!

“This coconut gelato was the red on the bottom of my fave shoes. Sure was.”

{All photography on this website is copyrighted to Bren Herrera, unless noted otherwise. Please do not share or copy my images. I work really hard to make them enjoyable}

 

Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.

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Enjoy

Peach Nectarine Skillet Crisp 

Ingredients

  • 4 fresh peaches
  • 4 fresh nectarines
  • 1 -1/4 c. tropical granola
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. light brown sugar
  • 1/2 – 1/8 c. organic coconut sugar, divided
  • 1 c. chopped hazelnut
  • 7 Tbsp. butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 c. Grand Marnier
  • 2 tsp. orange zest
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 heaping tsp. garam marsala
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1 pint coconut gelato

Method

Turn oven on to 500F. Wash and cut fruits, lengthwise. Set aside. In large mixing bowl, mix all dry ingredients except granola and reserving 1/8 cup of the coconut sugar. Mix well. Add butter and vanilla. I like my butter to be a bit melted. Toss in peaches and blend well all ingredients, covering the fruit. Add Grand Marnier or your preferred orange liqueur. Toss a bit more.

Even spread mixture in 10″ cast iron skillet. I like to smear a very thin layer of butter to the bottom. Evenly sprinkle remaining coconut sugar and cover entire skillet with granola.

Lower heat to 350F. Cover skillet with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover skillet and bake an additional 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool, approximately 10 minutes. Serve warm and top with 3 -4 scoops of coconut gelato.

Serves 6-8.

2 thoughts on “Peach Nectarine Skillet Crisp

  1. @Jon: Thanks, buddy! So, so very nice to see your name pop here. Love it. Thanks for the love. Hope you make this for your wife 🙂

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