Brown butter. Let’s talk about it. Hourie threw my world for a lil’ loop a few weeks ago when she was all like, “Oh and I burn my brown butter. Like, burn.” Up until that point, I always did it the way you were “supposed to”: cooked it until it reached that perfectly autumn, nutty brown, removed it from the heat and then stirred it vigorously until it cooled so it wouldn’t burn. She said that it never tastes like brown butter if you do that, there’s not enough depth. Burning it is the only way.
I was skeptical–I figured surely we’re going to taste the burnt flavor (not that that can’t be enjoyable either). But when we sat there eating the crisp, there wasn’t a trace of burnt flavor, just rich, delicious buttery depth in the crumble. I’m sold. You should try this. When I made this, I took the butter in this way too far, until it was a very, very dark brown, almost black and it was glorious.
This crisp couldn’t be easier, and in this instance I adapted the ingredients and ratios a bit so it could be made in a casserole dish. If you’d like to put this in individual little pie pans like Hourie did, then go for it! This recipe should make about eight small crisps.
Like all crisps, this thing comes together in the matter for like 20 minutes. The filling is mixed up. The crumble is made. They’re stacked and then the whole thing goes in the oven. While I looove making pie (you know this), this an easy and quick alternative. And since temperatures are rising even more (today is supposed to be 90 degrees, please help me), I know rolling out dough isn’t all that appealing.
This crisp is set apart by a whole vanilla bean being used. The walnuts add a whole lot of flavor and nice crunch factor. This crisp is simple in many ways, but it’s done right. If you have yellow peaches, use them in this–they’ll work wonderfully, though I might scale down the sugar just a tad.
I hope you enjoyed the Short Cake post! I’m excited to do more! And aren’t Jennifer’s photos super pretty?
White Peach Crisp with a Brown Butter Walnut Crumble
4-5 peaches, pitted and sliced
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons corn starch
1 vanilla bean, scraped
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Juice form 1/2 lemon (about 1 tablespoon lemon juice)
6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and diced, DIVIDED
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. To a large bowl, add the the peaches, brown sugar, corn starch, vanilla bean caviar, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg and lemon juice; toss all of the ingredients together until the peaches are thoroughly coated. Pour the peach filling into a 11 x 8 baking dish and set aside.
2. For the topping, start by making the brown butter. Add 2 ounces butter (1/2 stick) and place it in a saucepan and cook for 2-3 minutes, until butter has bubbled, crackled and turned a very, VERY dark – near black – hue. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. In a medium bowl, combine the cold butter, flour, walnuts, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Rub the mixture with your hands until the butter is broken up into bits, resembling the size of peas. Pour in the cooled brown butter and mix until thoroughly distributed. Sprinkle the topping mixture atop the filling mixture. Transfer the baking dish to the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the top is a light golden brown and the juices from the peaches are bubbling. Serve warm or room temperature; and definitely with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream.
Recipe adapted for the home from Short Cake