I was raised in south Florida. The retirement tropical paradise. Where the sun shines nearly everyday and I learned how to predict hurricane trajectories with 88% accuracy. Despite being raised in south Florida, I don’t like the heat. I HATE the heat. North Carolina isn’t as terrible as year round humidity that hovers somewhere near ninety. We have what are called mild seasons here. I don’t know how a summer that lasts from May to October is considered mild.
Summer is my least favorite season. I dread when spring comes because I know the oppressive heat will be right around the corner. I don’t enjoy the unbearably looong sunny days or the pool days. Summer bucket lists make me irritable. All I want to do in the summer is sit naked in front of my air conditioner. I hate that turning on my oven turns into a hassle. And the bug spray. I hate wearing big spray. But wear it, I must. I do use a DEET free spray on myself and the kids but it’s unpleasant. I can’t forgo the bug spray because mosquitoes love me. If there are people gathered, the mosquitoes ignore others in favor of me. I guess I should be flattered. Maybe I’m part fairy and that’s why my blood is so delicious. I’ve had them bite me through my jeans!
JEANS, you guys.
The only time I like summer is right now, near the end. The unbearable heat has lifted. The sticky thick air is making way for the windy cool days of autumn. Autumn is the very best season. If you disagree you’re a communist and you probably kick puppies too. The leaves change and heat stops trying to kill you with kindness. The days get shorter and I can break out my cuddle-gear- cozy robes, booties, blankets. I can’t wait till autumn gets here full force.
It’s just getting cool enough to turn the oven on and bake. And you guys know how I feel about baking- I LOVE baking almost as much as I HATE summer. Fruit crumbles are typically thought of as summer desserts. Fresh fruit, oats, sugar, dump and bake. This fruit crumble is my way of saying goodbye and good riddance to summer. This peach raspberry vanilla bean fruit crumble will confuse your sense of time. It has wonderfully fresh (late season) peaches and raspberries mixed with the spices that make me think of fall- cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg. The vanilla bean just makes the flavors sing.
Make it. You’ll love it and pray for shorter daylight hours too.
Vanilla Peach Raspberry Crumble
Adapted from Joy the Baker
makes 1 9×17-inch baking dish
6 large ripe peaches, sliced
2 pints fresh raspberries
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup old fashioned oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 vanilla beans, split
Pinch of salt
1 stick unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes
Preheat to 350 degrees. Toss sliced peaches and raspberries together in the baking dish. Scrape the split beans and toss the vanilla goodness in there too. Use a spoon or you’ll run the risk of having your hands covered in vanilla bean seeds, and that’s not where you want them!
In a medium bowl, whisk flour, sugar, oats, spices, and salt. Add the butter and break it up in the flour mixture until the butter is the size of fishtank gravel and the mixture looks kind of sandy.
Toss about a cup of crumble topping into the peach and raspberry mixture. Mix loosely. Spread fruit evenly in the pan and top with the rest of the crumble mixture. Bake 30-45 minutes. You’ll know it’s done because the fruit will be all juicy and your house will smell like summer and autumn had a delicious baby.
This best eaten warm with two scoops of vanilla ice cream. Store it in the fridge and heat up on demand.