Every spring, I count down the days until summer the way a little kid eagerly eats chocolate out of an Advent calendar to cross off the nights until Christmas Eve. No, I’m not waiting to grill dinner on the 4th of July, and I’m not even drooling over chocolate desserts to celebrate my birthday. Instead, I turn giddy with excitement over…
As soon as grocery stores advertize peaches as $0.99 per pound, my mom and I stock up as if we’re preparing for a fruit Armageddon. She and I buy them 6 at a time, basically on a weekly basis. We rarely nibble on them fresh, practically swatting at my dad and guy if they reach for one as a snack, and always slice them up to bake my grandma’s peach pie.
Mom saved Grandma’s recipe, a family secret, on a large handwritten index card, yellowing and fading with age, in a manila folder in her kitchen cupboards. But she’s baked it so many times that she rarely pulls it down to consult the measurements anymore!
With the two of us working together, Mom on the no-roll shortbread crust and me on the juicy filling, we can assemble the pie and pop it in the oven in less than 20 minutes. Between the four of us—Mom, Dad, my brother, and me—we can easily polish off the entire dessert in a single night. No shame!
However, that rich buttery shortbread crust sometimes tastes a little too heavy, especially after grilling burgers for dinner! So this past week, I decided to skip the crust and created a crumble instead with a similar summery filling and sweet oat topping.
My resulting Clean Peach Crumble disappeared just as quickly as Grandma’s special pie! Just like in her dessert, I sprinkled a really thick layer of sweet crumbs—basically the best part!—on top of the soft fruit. But unlike Grandma’s pie, my crumble is clean-eating friendly, with gluten-free and vegan options too. It’s the sweetest way to eat your daily servings of fruit!
The filling consists of just 4 ingredients: peaches, cornstarch, cinnamon, and almond extract. The almond extract was one of Grandma’s secrets in her pie filling, and it lends a subtle sweetness to the peaches. I promise they don’t taste nutty at all!
With my peaches overly ripe, I decided against adding any extra sweetener to the filling. If yours aren’t quite as juicy, feel free to mix in a few teaspoons of agave or honey (or brown sugar, but then it wouldn’t be clean-eating anymore).
The crumble topping is unbelievably simple—even more so than the filling! Many crumb toppings call for cutting cold butter into the oats and flour, but I felt lazy and opted for melted butter instead. It’s so much easier to mix into the dry ingredients!
Because of the liquid agave, this crumb topping is initially much moister than your typical recipe, and it will probably stick to your fingers when you sprinkle it over the filling. But don’t worry—it still crisps up in the oven the same way your traditional brown and white sugar crumb toppings do. It’s the perfect textural contrast to the soft fruit beneath!
Naturally sweet and lightly spiced, my healthier Clean Peach Crumble tastes like the epitome of summer, reminiscent of sun-kissed skin, lazy backyard barbeques, and warm starry-skied nights. Topped with a little vanilla ice cream, it’s a positively irresistible sweet and luscious treat!
Trust me, I would know… I shamelessly savored 3 slices in a single day!
P.S. Don’t forget to enter my CVS Gold Emblem Abound Giveaway before July 9! With so many healthy snacks to win, you don’t want to miss it!