I play the piano.
It’s what I do to relax and enter a stress free zone.
It wasn’t always that way though. I had a fantastic teacher . . . but she was MEAN! She would stand behind me and when I made a mistake, she would reach over my left or right shoulder and tap the ends of my fingers with a ruler! No lie. Years and years of practice, Hanon finger exercises, arpeggios, scales, memorizing Sonata’s and hours of practice brought me there. I also give credit to a Mom, who would set a timer and require me to SIT on that piano bench and practice, until the bell went off!
As I advanced into difficult Classical pieces, much of that music was termed: Variations on a theme.
What the heck is that?
Basically . . . it’s repetition of a musical theme, which is then modified or embellished. This is exactly the theme of today’s post!
The theme: Peaches . . . embellished with Raspberries & Blueberries
You can however play the original version, and just use peaches . . . if you so desire.
Variations on a Peach theme are delicious, however!
Cornstarch, Lemon juice, sugar and cinnamon . . . thicken the plot!
As any good piece of music cooks slowly in the beginning, eventually it comes to a boil . . . for about 1 minute or so.
And the plot thickened!
Plop that Plot into a 9×13″ glass baking dish, or use a variation of the original. I played with ramekins instead.
Variations of the original theme include Crisp, Crumble or Cobbler. I prefer the Crisp or crumble, and my sweet half prefers me playing Cobbler! Note: Simply add 1/2 to 1 cup of quick Oatmeal to the Crumble recipe to make a traditional type crisp. The dough on the right, will make a traditional type Cobbler. (It’s not as sweet)
Trust me . . . you won’t hit any wrong notes . . . anyway you play it! Nobody will be reaching over your shoulder to smack you with a ruler! I also like to sprinkle extra cinnamon & sugar over the Cobbler type top, after baking. Use a cookie scoop for the Cobbler, and squeeze large chunks on top for the crumble or crisp.
Sweet, Sweet Music!
PEACH BERRY CRISP, COBBLER or CRUMBLE
You will need:
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch (see note below)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
4 cups sliced peaches
1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
*Note: The Berries are optional. If you are using frozen berries along with the peaches, add 1 teaspoon additional cornstarch. This will help the sauce thicken correctly due to the extra moisture from the frozen berries.
3 tablespoons shortening or butter
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
*add a bit more if dough is too stiff
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix 1/2 cup sugar, the cornstarch and cinnamon in 2 quart saucepan. Stir in peaches, lemon juice and vanilla. cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute. Pour into ungreased 2 quart casserole. Cut shortening or butter into flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, the baking powder and salt until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in the milk until mixture comes together and is blended. Drop dough by 6 spoonfuls onto hot peach – Strawberry mixture. Bake until topping is golden brown, 3o to 35 minutes, or until biscuit or crumble top is baked through and golden. Take from oven, and sprinkle a little more sugar over the top of biscuits topping. Serve warm with Vanilla ice cream or Whipped Cream or golden meringue.
CRISP CRUMBLE TOPPING
1 Cup All purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 lb (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
Combine the flour, sugars, salt, cinnamon and butter in a food processor. Pulse until the butter is the size of peas. Squeeze some of the mixture in the palm of your hand, and drop large pea size crumbles on top of the peach/berry mixture. Place 9×13 pan or ramekins on a sheet pan lined with parchment is desired, to catch any fruit over run. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the tops are browned and crisp and the juice is nice & bubbly.
Serve warm or at room temperature. Whipped Cream and ice cream are delicious over both types of cobbler or crumbles.
*Note: To quickly peel your peaches, immerse the peaches in boiling water for 1 minutes; then place them immediately in COLD water. The skin will easily slip off, so that you can slice them.