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The filling:
8 peaches (about 3 pounds), peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices (8 cups)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract


The topping:
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup crushed amaretti cookies (about 16 cookies)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup almonds, toasted
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled


1. Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and lay a sheet of aluminum foil on the rack below to catch drippings. Preheat the oven to 375F.

2. To make the filling: Mix the peach slices with the granulated sugar, flour, and vanilla or almond extract. Transfer the peaches to a shallow 2-quart baking dish.


3. To make the topping: In a food processor, pulse together the flour, the brown and granulated sugars, amaretti, and cinnamon until the amaretti are in very small bits. Add the almonds and pulse until the nuts are in small pieces.


4. Add the pieces of butter and pulse until the butter is finely broken up. Continue to pulse until the topping no longer looks sandy and is just beginning to hold together.


5. Distribute the amaretti topping evenly over the peaches and bake the crisp for 40 to 50 minutes, until the edges are bubbling and a knife inserted into the center pierces the fruit easily.


Serving: Serve warm with a cold pitcher of heavy cream or with vanilla ice cream.


Note: The amaretti topping can be made ahead and refrigerated in a sealed plastic bag for up to 1 week, or frozen for up to 6 months. I like to keep a batch on hand, frozen and ready for a last-minute dessert.


Variation: For a berry crisp, toss 6 to 8 cups mixed berries (quartered strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries) with 1/3 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, and a squirt of lemon juice. Cover with just enough topping to hide the fruit and freeze the rest.


8 servings


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