Back from a long hiatus – and married at that!
Stone fruit season is finally here again! I’ve been waiting a long time to post this recipe until peaches were in season again. I made these for Kevin and his mom’s family birthday celebration last September and they were a delicious hit. Shortbread is absolutely delicious, but I generally find it a bit too rich and heavy during hot months. The peach in this really livened up the shortbread flavor, as did the crumbly topping. Loved these – and they looked pretty too!
Here is the recipe, as adapted from the ever-faithful Smitten Kitchen:
- 1 C sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 3/4 C plus 2 T all-purpose flour (or you can measure 3 C and remove 2 T flour)
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 C (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
- 1 large egg
- 2 ripe but firm peaches, pitted and thinly sliced (between 1/8 and 1/4-inch thick)
- Brown the butter: Melt butter in a small/medium saucepan over medium-low heat. It will melt, foam, and then turn clear golden and finally start to turn brown and smell nutty. Stir frequently, scraping up any bits from the bottom as you do. Keep your eyes on it; it burns very quickly after it browns and the very second that you turn around to do something else. Set it in the freezer until solid (about 30 minutes). Note that once you freeze the butter, the brown bits will sink to the bottom. That’s totally fine since they’ll be thoroughly creamed together with the flour mixture!
[Side note: You don’t HAVE to brown the butter, but it does make a big difference in taste! If you don’t have time for this, just add two more tablespoons of flour (making 3 cups flour total) and cut softened butter into the flour with a pastry blender.]
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter a 9×13 inch pan, or spray it with a nonstick spray. In a medium bowl, stir together sugar, baking powder, flour, salt and spices with a whisk. Use a pastry blender to blend the solidified brown butter and egg into the flour mixture. It will be crumbly.
- Pat 3/4 of the crumbs into the bottom of the prepared pan, pressing firmly. Tile peach slices over crumb base in a single layer. Scatter remaining crumbs evenly over peaches and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, until top is slightly brown and you can see a little color around the edges. Cool completely in pan before cutting into squares.
According to Smitten Kitchen, these hold up really well in the fridge. She also reckons these would freeze well, between layers of waxed paper, with the container sealed well in plastic wrap. I can’t vouch for any of that because there were no leftovers from the birthday gathering to test this out with!
Now go take advantage while peaches are still in season!