Celebrate the end of summer with a tasty peach and pecan crumble! This recipe is adapted from Smitten Kitchen and it has served as a summer dessert staple for us since it was first posted. We’ve made it on several occasions, and we’ve been making quite a few changes along the way, but it is not a fussy crisp and always turns out well. The only thing to watch out for is the ripeness and natural sweetness of the peaches, which determine the amount of sugar you’ll want to add to the filling. We always eat it with vanilla ice cream, so we make it tart to compensate for the sweetness of the ice cream and add very little sugar when the peaches are already very flavorful. See the tips section for modification suggestions.
Peach and Pecan Crumble à la Mode
Yields 8 generous servings or 10 to 12 smaller ones
- 2 cups (230g) raw pecan halves
- 1/2 cup and 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 pounds (1 kg) peaches, about 6
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons brown or granulated sugar (or more, see Tips below)
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 350. Bake the pecan halves until they begin to brown and are aromatic, about 7 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Prepare filling mixture
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Halve and pit the peaches. Slice them into larger sizes if they are ripe or into smaller sizes if they are firm.
- In a large bowl, combine the peach slices together with the lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg until evenly covered. Transfer the mixture to a large baking dish. I use a 9.25″ x 13.5″ porcelain baking dish (24 cm x 34 cm); a glass dish would also work well.
- Coarsely chop about a fourth of the cooled pecans, and temporarily set these chopped pecans aside.
- In a food processor, grind the remaining pecan halves until powdery. Transfer the powdered pecans to a medium-sized bowl and combine with the flour, powdered sugar, and baking powder. Pour in the melted butter and vanilla extract and stir to combine until both small and large clumps form. Stir in the chopped pecan pieces.
- Cover the fruit mixture with the topping mixture evenly. Bake the crumble until the topping is browned in places and the fruit mixture is bubbling, about 40 to 50 minutes.
- Allow to cool slightly before cutting. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
Sources of sodium
- Vanilla ice cream
Approximate sodium intake per serving: 20mg
- 20mg from the ice cream, which has 50mg per 1/2 cup serving
- These values are calculated from the nutritional labels of the ingredients I used
The peaches I used in this recipe were in season and flavorful but not very soft to the touch. By using 3 tablespoons of sugar, we ended up with a tart crumble which was lovely served with ice cream. I would use 4-5 tablespoons for a mostly sweet/slightly tart crumble. I would suspect that 7-8 tablespoons could be used for a sweet crumble.
For different levels of peach ripeness, I would use 2-2.5 tablespoons of sugar for overly ripe peaches and 4-5 tablespoons for out of season or unripened peaches to get the tartness we like.
Make it vegan
One commenter on the page from which this recipe is adapted was successful at making the crumble vegan by substituting the butter with coconut oil and adding extra flour to compensate. Search for ‘vegan’ on that page to find her comment (and any future comments, should they be posted).
Increase the sodium
The original crumble recipe calls for 3/4 teaspoon table salt to be added to the topping and a couple of pinches of salt to be added to the filling.
This crumble is intentionally heavy on the pecans. I’ve found that using less does not cover the crumble to my satisfaction, with a thick layer of topping that fully covers the crumble. It is nice also with just one cup of pecans; it results in a sandier texture.