Are you an Ontario Peach?


Ontario Peach Photo-Op. I'd look a lot more wholesome if not for that wayward pink strap on my left shoulder.
I may be a Northerner, through and through, but there's something about Southern food culture that has always attracted me.  I love the idea of a lazy day spent on a veranda, with a peach pie in the oven and a cool libation in my hand.  While I can never  be a true Southern belle (for starters, I'm a left-leaning Canuck)  I pride myself on being a hybrid of sorts, an "Ontario Peach", so to speak. 

In my mind, an Ontario Peach is a woman who is learning how to feel comfortable in her own skin.  Who sometimes dons her pink apron on the weekends, not because she wants to set her entire gender back some 50 + odd years, but because it just so happens to be a get-up that makes her feel powerful, artistic,  and wouldn't you know it, serene.  I don't expect everyone to get it.  It's not a one size fits all kind of thing.  I just happen to think that you can rock your oven mitts, and still identify with feminism.

So in the spirit of the South, and in the spirit of a woman's right to choose her own particular brand of girl power, let me tell you about the perfect peach crumble I made a few weeks back.

First off, there's an art to peeling peaches, and it's actually a lot of fun.  You boil water in a large pot on your stove. You also prepare a big bowl of ice water in your sink.  Once your stove water is boiling, toss in a few peaches and let them bob for about a minute or so.  Then toss them into the ice water and do your next batch.  Once you're done all your peaches, the skin should effortlessly slide off when you tug at it (see below).  Now you're ready to make a crumble so sweet it'll melt your heart.

Peeling peaches tops my list of fun prep work. It certainly beats de-seeding a pomegranate, or chopping onions.

You now have peaches, minus the fuzz.   

Peaches getting ready to become debutantes, in the crumble that is.

Perfect Peach Crumble
Adapted from a Martha Stewart Recipe. I know she's not Southern, but she makes a doggone good crumble.

Ingredients:

Filling: 

12 Ontario peaches, skinless and chopped into slices
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. lemon juice
4 tsp. flour 

Topping:

1/3 cup of unsalted, soft butter 
1 cup of flour
1/4 cup brown sugar 
1/2 tsp salt
 
Instructions: 

1- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, or if it's an inferno like mine, maybe keep it at 350 degrees.
   In a pie plate, combine your peaches, granulated sugar, salt and lemon juice.  Set aside.

2- In a big bowl, beat your butter and brown sugar until smooth, then add salt and flour. Dig your   
   hands in and mix everything together until big pieces are formed.  Sprinkle this topping over your 
   pie plate so that it's even. 

3- Bake for approx. 40 minutes, or even a bit longer.  You'll be able to tell if your crumble is ready by the delicious smell and whether the top is bubbling.  Let it cool for at least 20 minutes before serving.

Don't be shy to serve this crumble with ice cream.  They are practically made for each other.  I served up my peach crumble as dessert one night, after a dinner of wasabi-panko crusted chicken and green beans.  My libation was white-wine sangria with peach schnapps in it, of course.   Just peachy, don't you think?
 


An Ontario Peach dinner of wasabi panko-crusted chicken and green beans.  All the heavy carbs are on the chicken, y'all.


My libation of choice - a pitcher of Sangria (not pictured) with some extra kick.  Hiding behind the schnapps is my bourbon.