We have a peach tree in our backyard. It’s in the very, far back corner, which borders a church. The branches of the tree hang over the church’s parking lot and backyard. This sad little peach tree has been neglected. I couldn’t even guess when that tree was last pruned. Kris has been living in this house for four years and never trimmed the peach tree, and who knows when it was last pruned before that. Despite being a scrawny peach tree, it produces the sweetest, juiciest peaches.
The peaches on this tree hit their ideal ripeness the second week of September. I have an irrational suspicion that the church people are going to pick all of our peaches when they are at their peak on a Sunday and steal them from us! So starting the first week of September, I go out to the peach tree everyday to check the peaches and as soon are they are ready, we pick all the peaches on a Saturday. This last summer, I went to check the peaches on a Thursday and discovered that the church people had ruthlessly chopped all the branches that hung over their yard and sacrificed half our peach crop! So angry! I mean, I guess I can understand that our tree branches were hanging over their property but, seriously, they couldn’t have waited one more week to cut those branches and deprive us of our peaches! We still managed to pick over 50 pounds of peaches, but still….
I ate most of the peaches with plain, nonfat Greek yogurt, cinnamon, and almonds. We made a few smoothies too. But the best thing to do with fresh peaches make peach crisp. I found a recipe to make crisp bars and you can substitute in any kind of fruit or berry. I’ve successfully made it with apricots and blackberries, and now with peaches. I took these bars to work because if they were left unattended in our house, I would eat the whole pan, no problem. The peach crisp bars were gone in less than three hours.
This isn’t exactly a healthy recipe because of all the sugar, but it does have some redeeming qualities, okay, two redeeming qualities; it has four cups of fruit and oats. Justified! But a fruit crisp is made with lots of butter and sugar, that’s just how it is. If you cut the crisp into 24 bars, each bar is just under 200 calories, again, justifying sweets. I have a horrible sweet tooth; it’s my weakness, so when I do have a treat, portion control and moderation is key, which mean I usually have a few and give the rest away.
I based the recipe for the peach crisp bars from Barefeet in the Kitchen’s apricot bars.
- 4 cups fresh, peeled, chopped peaches
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp real vanilla
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks), melted
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Generously grease a 9" x 13" pan with butter.
- Mix peaches with sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, cornstarch, salt, and vanilla.
- Mix flour, oats, brown sugar, and melted butter. Press half of flour mixture into the bottom of the pan. Pour peaches into pan.
- Sprinkle with the remaining flour mixture.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm or let cool completely.