NOTES: To speed prep time or when good fresh peaches are hard to find, substitute 4 pounds thawed frozen sliced peaches for fresh peaches. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
Prep and cook time: 1 1/2 hours
4 pounds ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced into 1/2-inch-thick wedges (about 12 cups; see notes)
About 1 cup sugar
1/4 cup quick-cooking tapioca
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2/3 cup (about 6 oz.) butter, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
2/3 cup whipping cream
How to Make It
In a large bowl, mix peaches, 2/3 cup sugar, and the tapioca, lemon peel, lemon juice, and vanilla. Let stand at least 15 minutes or up to 30 minutes to soften tapioca, stirring several times.
In another bowl, combine flour with remaining 1/3 cup sugar, the baking powder, and nutmeg. With a pastry blender or your fingers, incorporate butter into flour mixture until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add cream and stir just until dough holds together.
In a buttered shallow 2 1/2- to 3-quart baking dish, spread fruit level. Using your hands, crumble dough evenly over fruit.
Bake in a 350° oven until fruit mixture bubbles in center and topping is golden brown, 50 to 60 minutes.