"I think Missouri food seems to have stronger ties to the cooking of the South than the upper Midwest," Paul Virant says. Here, he bakes his simple peach crisps—a classic Southern dessert—in individual ramekins, but the sweet summer fruit and crunchy, buttery topping could be prepared in a single baking dish as well.
Food & Wine JULY 2008
make the topping: In a food processor, combine the flour, sugars, oats, butter and salt and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
make the filling : Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the peaches and blanch for 1 minute to loosen their skins. Transfer the peaches to a large rimmed baking sheet. When cool enough to handle, peel off the skins and cut the peaches into 1/2-inch dice. Transfer the peaches to a large bowl and sprinkle with the cornstarch. Toss well to coat and let stand for a few minutes.
Preheat the oven to 325°. Butter and sugar twelve 5-ounce ramekins and arrange them on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Spoon the peaches into the ramekins and sprinkle with the topping.
Bake the crisps for about 1 hour, until the filling is bubbling. Remove the ramekins from the oven and increase the temperature to 400°. Bake the crisps on the upper rack for about 8 minutes, until the topping is browned. Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream, if desired.
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