8.23.2012

seriously simple.

As in the cookbook, Seriously Simple, by noted food writer and expert cook Diane Rossen Worthington. My mom gifted it to me way back when, and it was our springtime trip to the desert that reminded me of this beautiful - and simple - book. If you're like me, you have loads of books, and it's easy to forget about them, isn't it? Especially when there are blogs and pins claiming 'the best chocolate chip cookies in the world' (for the record, these are my favorites). A recipe is just a click away, these days.
I am happy to report that Rossen Worthington's book has reminded me that instead of cooking from cyberspace, to return to my stack of books, starting with this one.

You might recall my peach obsession. It resurfaces every summer. This year, I'm addicted to white peaches, thanks to my parents who bring us loads of them weekly. We used them for Seriously Simple's Summer Fruit Crisp with Creme Fraiche Filling.

Yes, you read that right. Creme Fraiche Filling.

It's a crisp with luxury, and it was so simple. It's filled with peaches and raspberries with a middle layer of creme fraiche and then topped with a crumble mixture of melted butter, brown sugar, flour, vanilla and lemon zest. And it's a keeper topping, in the crisp/crumble/pie department.

Rossen Worthington's recipes all seem to be this way; not a lot of fuss, and as a bonus, she offers 'advance preparation' notes when possible, plus sub-notes on what the 'clever cook could' do. It's like she's cooking in your kitchen, right beside you. In this case, she suggests subbing peaches for nectarines and blackberries for the raspberries. I like having options, don't you?

The only thing I'll say is that the white peaches cooked up a little tart, compared to the yellow peach, which tastes sweeter, in my opinion. Maybe one of you experts can tell me why. Next time, I'll try yellow peaches with blueberries. Like I did back in 2010.

Follow the link for the recipe.

Diane Rossen Worthington's Summer Fruit Crisp with Creme Fraiche Filling
from Seriously Simple, page 151
Serves 6 to 8

3 cups fresh raspberries
6 peaches, peeled, pitted and cut into 2-inch pieces (follow this recipe for easy peach peeling)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup creme fraiche
6 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon finely chopped or grated lemon zest
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9x12-inch baking dish.

In a large bowl, mix the fruit, 1/2 cup of the flour and the granulated sugar together until the fruit is well coated. To take care of the delicate raspberries, my hands worked well for this. Transfer to baking dish.

With a spatula, spread the creme fraiche evenly over the fruit mixture.

In a medium bowl, combine the remaining 1 cup flour, brown sugar, salt and lemon zest. Stir to blend. Add the vanilla and melted butter and stir to make a soft dough.

With your fingers, crumble the mixture evenly over the fruit. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the fruit is cooked through. I like to over bake crisps slightly to really brown the topping, closer to about 50 to 55 minutes.

This was made and baked four hours before we devoured it, which gave it plenty of time to sit, rest and gel perfectly. I'd add vanilla bean ice cream, if you have some.

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