When I realized last weekend that the lovely farm stand peaches I’d bought needed to be used up sooner rather than later, I started thinking through my options and what I had on-hand. As I’ve mentioned before, my peach crisp is one of my go-to recipes, a lightly sweet, super summery dessert that checks all my major boxes. Healthy? Check. Perfect mix of spices? Check. Fiber & fruit? Check.
But I wanted to do something a little special, tweak my same-old recipe and try something different. And that’s when I landed on cardamom. The more I use it, the more I think that cardamom is a criminally underutilized spice in our cuisine. It’s most often found in Indian recipes (which I haven’t tried yet) and chai tea, but it’s also great combined with certain sweeter flavors—particularly pears, peaches, and chocolate. It’s fairly expensive (similar to saffron and vanilla), but a little goes a long way and so you can buy it once and have it on-hand for a long time.
So I added some cardamom to the crisp to give it a kick, as well as some almond extract which pairs wonderfully with both peaches and cardamom. Result? Delish!
I can’t wait to experiment with cardamom more, particularly with chocolate, as it’s so unusual—kind of like a mix between pumpkin pie spices and pepper.
Preheat oven to 375 F and spray a 9×13 pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Remove the pits and cut up the peaches, then put in the pan.
Sprinkle the cornstarch, lemon juice, water, almond extract, honey, cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger on the peaches, then stir everything together. It’ll be a little messy, that’s totally fine. Spread everything out evenly in the pan.
In a small bowl, stir together the topping dry ingredients, then drizzle with oil and stir together until it clumps up somewhat. I use a fork to stir it, kind of like pie crust dough. You don’t need everything to be moistened by the oil, some dryness is okay.
Sprinkle the topping over the peaches mixture evenly.
Bake at 375 F for 20-30 minutes, until the bottom mixture is bubbling and the topping (where you can see the oil) is browned.
It’s great fresh, but also awesome leftover for a few days. I prefer it chilled (we’ve discussed my feelings on hot fruit or pudding), and it makes the perfect dessert to have on hand when you’re craving something sweet but are trying to be good.
Healthy Cardamom-Almond Peach Crisp
- Peaches, cut in pieces (4-8 peaches, depending on size & how much you want; I typically use 4-5)
- 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
- 1-2 tablespoons of water
- 1 teaspoon of almond extract
- 1-2 tablespoons of honey
- 1/2 tablespoon each of cinnamon, cardamom, ground ginger
- 1/2 cup of brown sugar
- 1/2 cup of flour (I use whole wheat)
- 1/2 cup of quick oats
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Olive oil or vegetable oil to necessary texture (generally around 1/4 cup)
Preheat oven to 375 F and spray a 9×13 pan with non-stick cooking spray. Dice up peaches and throw in the pan. Add the cornstarch, lemon juice, water, almond extract, honey, cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger, then stir everything together. Spread evenly in the pan.
Mix topping ingredients in a small bowl, I usually use a fork to break up the brown sugar clumps and get the oil evenly distributed (kind of like pie crust). Sprinkle topping over peach mixture. Bake at 375 F for 20-30 minutes or until the bottom is bubbling and the topping (where you can see the oil) is browned.