I spent last weekend with my family on a lake in rural Pennsylvania. We stayed in the same cottage where my mother and my aunt spent the summers of their childhoods. It smells now as it did then: Of varnish, sunscreen and musty beach towels faded from the sun. It echoes with the sound of crickets at night. We attended a pig roast and drank red wine while sitting on the dock. Canoeing around the murky waters, we didn't put on sunscreen until a bit too late in the day. On Sunday night, we lit sparklers and read the Declaration of Independence out loud. I made a peach-blackberry crisp. It came out of the oven bronzed and crunchy with tiny shards of pecans. We ate it with vanilla ice cream.
Loosely adapted from Alice Waters
5 ripe peaches, pitted and sliced
1 cup blackberries
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon amaretto liqueur
3 cups crisp topping
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a mixing bowl, toss together the fruit, sugar and flour. Add zest and amaretto. Mix. Transfer to a large ovenproof dish. Cover with crisp topping. Pressing down lightly, leave no fruit exposed. Place on aluminum foil or a baking dish to catch bubbling juices. Bake 50 - 60 minutes, turning after a half hour for even bronzing. Serve warm, with ice cream.
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 (heaping) teaspoon cinnamon
2/3 cup pecans, toasted, and then ground in a Cuisinart
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter, unsalted, chilled, cut into small pieces
Stir together flour, sugars, salt, cinnamon and pecans in a large bowl. Work the butter into the flour mixture with tips of fingers, or an electric mixer, until crumbly in texture. Can be made ahead, or frozen.