Sweet, juicy roasted peaches are topped with a crunchy buttery pistachio crumble in this 6-ingredient summer dessert. Perfect for company, so much easier than a fruit pie and every bit as delicious!
Say hello to my humble entry in the Ultimate Summer Dessert category.
Perfect, juicy, summer-ripe peaches may very well be my 'desert island' fruit. I mean, they have stiff competition from strawberries and raspberries... But ok. If I were allowed to bring ONE stone fruit and ONE berry, peaches would be my stone fruit of choice, no question.
But did you know that peaches could get even sweeter and juicier? A lil trip in the oven is all it takes!
While I'm no stranger to baked peach desserts like this divine peach and blueberry crisp, or these peach and raspberry oatmeal bars, this was the first time I've tried roasting peach halves like this. And I was thrilled with the results!
Instead of getting overly soft and mushy as I had feared, these roasted peaches held their shape and were just perfectly tender and fabulously juicy.
And while they would have been pretty swell on their own, I thought something crunchy on top would be a perfect contrast to the juicy peach and creaminess of vanilla ice cream.
Pistachios turned out to be the perfect choice for the crunchy, slightly salty, buttery crumble, in my opinion. Not only is their vivid green color just beautiful with peaches, but their mild flavor pairs perfectly.
Peaches being the star of the show, you want to choose the best ones available to you. There is a huge difference between peaches that are in-season and peaches shipped in from elsewhere during the off-season.
Off-season peaches are dry and mealy and I generally avoid them altogether. I think roasted peaches are best saved for when peaches are at their best.
However! Frozen peaches are flash frozen at their peak ripeness and are actually GREAT in baked desserts. Since they are typically sold sliced instead of halved, you can always turn this recipe into a more traditional baked crumble, if you want to make this dessert off-season.
Clingstone vs. Freestone peaches
Either variety will work in this recipe. The ones I used here were kind of a semi-freestone variety. Early in the season, our peaches up here are smaller clingstone peaches, but toward the end of the season, they get larger and the flesh starts to separate from the pit.
It is easier to halve freestone peaches because the pit comes away easily so there is less damage to the fruit as you try to dig out the pit.
However it is still possible to remove the pit from a clingstone peach fairly easily by slicing it in half all around the pit, avoiding the crease, and then twisting the halves in opposite directions and then pulling them apart. If you have avoided cutting into the crease, you should be able to pull the pit away from the half it has clung to without too much work.
Taste-wise, I often find clingstone peaches to be sweeter and juicier than freestone peaches, but this also depends on the variety of peach. Use your favorite!
How ripe should peaches be for baking?
Roasted peaches work best with perfectly ripe peaches. Ripe peaches are heavy with a slight give when pressed near the top, where the stem was. A ripe peach will be a deep yellow color near the stem, with no green at all.
If your peaches are hard, you can give them a day or 2 to further ripen before baking with them. If they remain hard after a few days, they were unfortunately probably picked too early.
Peaches that are very soft are overripe, but they are still good for baking!
I love the vibrant green color and flavor of pistachios, but they are an expensive nut for sure. If you don't want to use pistachios, almonds are a great option.
Incidentally, did you know that the "pistachio" flavoring in many instant pudding mixes, ice creams, and cake mixes is actually mostly almond flavoring, with some green coloring added?
Other nuts like walnuts and pecans can be substituted as well, of course.
Pistachio and almond flavors are similar as noted above, and almond flour works really well in this crumble, however you can just use more all-purpose flour if you prefer.
And if you want to make this gluten-free, feel free to use ALL almond flour instead of the all-purpose.
How to make almond flour or almond meal
If you have almonds on hand but not almond flour, you can easily make almond flour or meal yourself by processing whole or slivered almonds in the food processor. Unpeeled almonds will make almond meal, and blanched (peeled) almonds will make lighter-colored almond flour. They can be used interchangeably in this recipe.
Just process ½ cup of almonds in the food processor until sandy-textured before adding the pistachios, all-purpose flour, brown sugar and salt in step 1 below.
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Make the pistachio crumble. In a food processor, briefly pulse together the pistachios, all-purpose flour, almond flour, brown sugar, and salt.
- Add the melted butter and pulse again to combine.
- Lightly butter or grease a 2-quart baking dish (9 x 9 or a larger size if your peaches are on the bigger side). Add the peach halves to the baking dish cut side up in a single layer.
- Sprinkle half of the pistachio crumble over the peach halves.
- Spread the remaining half of the crumble in an even layer in a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Transfer both the peaches and crumble to the oven. After 10 minutes, take out the crumble, flip it, and return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes until golden brown. The crumble will dry and crisp up as it cools.
- Continue to bake the peaches until tender, another 5-10 minutes depending on their ripeness.
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream if desired and additional crumble!
Roasted Peaches with Pistachio Crumble
- 4 fresh ripe peaches halved
- ½ cup shelled unsalted pistachios
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup almond flour or almond meal
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 5 tablespoons melted butter
- Vanilla ice cream for serving
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a food processor, add the pistachios, all-purpose flour, almond flour, brown sugar, kosher salt and pulse until combined and the pistachios are roughly chopped. Add the melted butter and pulse again to combine.
- Lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish and place the peach halves, cut side up in the dish (use a larger dish if necessary to fit all the peaches). Sprinkle half of the pistachio crumble over the peaches, and spread the remaining crumble on the prepared baking sheet in an even layer.
- Transfer both the baking dish and baking sheet to the oven on the same or separate racks.
- After 10 minutes of baking, flip the crumble and bake until it is golden brown (another 5-10 minutes), then remove to cool. The peaches may need a few more minutes to cook through depending on their ripeness.
- Serve peach halves warm with vanilla ice cream and additional pistachio crumble to taste.