Bourbon Peach Praline Crisp
Bourbon Peach Praline Crisp combines ripe summer flavours in a harmony so out of this world it’s a ‘must try’ recipe. The peach filling is clean and sweet with the subtle hints of bourbon and honey. The praline topping is made with a touch of cream for a candy-like, firm texture you have to crack with a spoon. It’s down-home taste that’ll go a country mile!
Peach season calls for something special don’t you think?! Those soft, fuzzy fruits are completely irresistible when in season, you can smell them a hundred yards away. Ripe, sunny, juicy. Let’s be honest here peaches are a high maintenance fruit, the necessary blanching, peeling and pitting, they’re a bit of work — but so worth it.
This recipe for Bourbon Peach Praline Crisp is simple, just a few ingredients. It’s the peaches that take the effort. If you have the time, let your fruit stand in the bourbon overnight to marinade. (Oh Jesus they are good after a good soaking!) If not just let them rest for an hour or so, you’ll be glad you did.
When dreaming up new recipes I often group tastes geographically, or by season. It’s fair to say that things that ripen concurrently, or grow in the same region, frequently taste good together. Peaches and corn harvest about the same time, bourbon is made from corn – ergo bourbon and peach! Truly, one of those food pairings made in heaven.
Can you make Bourbon Peach Praline Crisp for the kids? Sure. The alcohol burns off in the oven anyway, then it’s just the flavour that remains. We like to add a splash of cream or scoop of good vanilla ice cream and a dash of bourbon to serve… that I would leave out for the kids. (The extra splash is just for the big kids.)
What kind of bourbon do you use? Bourbon is kind of (ahem…) a common ingredient around our house. I often cook with Jim Beam, Jim Beam has a lower price point so I find it particularly good for soups/stews when I need more bourbon to get the flavour I’m looking for. Jack Daniels is also a good, full flavoured bourbon, I often use Jack or Tennessee Honey Jack it in BBQ sauce. Even better, Elijah Craig in a killer Bourbon Ice Cream! Here I’ve used Bulleit Bourbon. Bulleit is a Kentucky whiskey that’s smooth and slightly sweet, the prefect accent to peaches. In the end it’s all about personal taste.
- 8 ripe peaches (about 4 pounds)
- ¼ - ½ cup bourbon
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 - 3 tablespoons cornstarch (more bourbon = more cornstarch)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ cup butter, partially melted
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream (35% MF)
- 1 cup pecans, lightly roasted, loosely chopped
- ¾ cup quick oats (or other grain flakes)
- ¼ cup spelt flour (or All Purpose)
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- finish with coarse sugar & salt
- Blanche peaches dunking them into a boiling water bath for 1 - 2 minutes then directly into ice water, so that you can quickly an effectively peel the skin. (Score each peach with an 'X' on the bottom with a sharp paring knife before the hot water bath, this makes them easier to peel.) Then pit and slice.
- In a large glass or stainless steel bowl marinade sliced peaches in bourbon for minimum of one hour (preferably overnight in the refrigerator). Then, using a spatula and a soft hand, toss peaches with liquid/warm honey and cornstarch to coat. Spray 8' baking dish (or cast iron pan) well with non-stick spray. Pre-heat oven to 350°F (175°C).
- While oven heats prepare praline top; roast pecans lightly in the oven then cool before adding to a medium sized mixing bowl. With a wooden spoon cream together partially melted butter, brown sugar and cream until smooth. Add toasted pecans, oats, spelt flour and nutmeg and mix by hand, until combined.
- Add peach base to prepared baking dish. Spread praline crisp top evenly over peaches, patting lightly with spatula or fingertips to create a loose top. Bake at 350°F (175°C) for 30 - 45 minutes or until amber peach juice bubbles up the sides and gently trough the crisp topping.
Gypsy Note: Word to the wise, if you’re cooking in cast iron, short your timing by 10 – 15 minutes. The pan retains heat so it will keep cooking those peaches for an extra 15 – 20 minutes. To ensure your fruit is cooked but not mushy, cook to about the 35 minute mark and then let it rest. Also, it’s WAY better the next day. All the best stuff is!