As much as I like fruit cobblers and crisps, there are times when individual portions are a better option than a full sized baking dish full of cobbler. Individual portions – baked in small dishes or ramekins – make this type of rustic dessert look a little bit more elegant when you want to serve company, and they also offer built-in portion control if you want to keep them all to yourself. You can scale down just about any fruit crumble recipe, but when peaches are in season you should definitely put these Individual Peach and Honey Crumbles high on your to-bake list.
I tossed my peaches with honey and a touch of white balsamic vinegar to make the crumble filling, adding just a touch of cornstarch to help thicken up the juices of the fruit. The peaches have a natural honey-like sweetness to them when they are ripe, so honey is a natural fit. I added a little acid in along with the honey to keep the filling from tasting too sweet and to highlight the freshness of the peaches. If you don’t have white balsamic vinegar, lemon juice is a perfect substitute in this case and will give the perfect hint of brightness to the filling. I don’t peel the peaches before adding them in since the skins are thin and you won’t notice them when you dig in to the finished dish.
This crumble topping is not as moist and biscuit-like as a cobbler topping is. Instead, it is buttery and crisp, very similar to the streusel topping that you might find on a coffee cake. This gives the whole dessert a light feel – and it is also a good reason to bake this for breakfast, as well as for dessert! I like these just as they are, when they are still slightly warm from the oven. You could serve them with little scoops of ice cream to contrast with the warm fruit, too.
Individual Peach and Honey Crumbles
4-5 large peaches
6 tbsp honey
1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar or lemon juice (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter, cold and cut into 6-8 pieces
Preheat oven to 350F. Take out six 8-oz ramekins.
Cut peaches in half and remove the pits. Cut each half into 6-8 slices, then cut slices in half horizontally (roughly 1-inch pieces). Place peaches in a large bowl and toss with honey, vanilla and 1 tbsp cornstarch. Divide evenly into ramekins.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Add butter and toss pieces to coat. Using your fingers or a pastry cutter, cut in the butter until mixture is sandy. Squeeze the mixture tightly in your hands to form large clumps of streusel. Divide evenly on top of peaches. Place ramekins on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the fruit juices are bubbling and the topping is light golden. Allow to cool slightly before serving.