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make the most of it

Recipe: blueberry peach crisp

There are times I dream of the day when I can have a shunt put into my head so I can be “plugged in” 24/7, not unlike that awful Keanu Reeves movie (Johnny Mnemonic). I refer to the concept of plugging in and not the bad acting despite Keanu’s strapping physique. Strapping :) Heeee! Where was I? Oh yes… I sometimes forget how utterly glorious it is to just unplug.

backpacking in the san juans at 12,500 feet

The plan was to kill two birds with one stone, but I ended up wounding one and missing the other completely. We backpacked into the San Juans to shoot the Perseids (meteor shower) only to be socked with weather. I love weather. If you’ve read more than two posts on use real butter you know that my idea of a rockin’ good Friday night is to shoot a lightning storm. Yes, I am that much of a dork. Still, that threatening system kept us off the high passes we were to cross over the next couple of days. I love a lightning storm, but I am not so keen on standing under one at 13,000 feet. Instead, we returned to our puppy who was staying at Camp Grandparents in southern Colorado where I could shoot the storms from a safe distance away.

there is good lightning to be had from the deck

We spent the weekend cooking, baking, quilting, Wii bowling (and boxing – omg, I haven’t laughed that hard in ages), and eating at the compound. I call it The Compound because it’s like a giant vacation retreat in the mountains. The Hatch green chile crop is early this year and they were roasting them in town. My ILs picked up a couple of bags one day and for dinner we had green chiles fried in blue cornmeal, chile rellenos, shredded beef tacos with green chiles, and green chile blue corn muffins. Better than any restaurant, that’s for sure. There are no pictures from that meal because I was too busy eating it.

roasting the beautiful lovelies

from the front porch

Did I mention my MIL can outquilt just about anyone? She’s like… she’s like Billy the Kid of the quilting world. We have a little ritual where I teach her pastry recipes and she teaches me nifty quilting techniques when we visit with each other. Well – we only quilt at their place because MIL has a gorgeous and dedicated sewing room, which isn’t a room but more like a cottage. Call it Quilting Central at The Compound. As an early birthday gift, she took me to the quilt store in town and bought me some beautiful fabrics. Neat quilt shop. They also sell pet food, fishing tackle, and heavy artillery enough guns and ammo to arm a small country. It’s important to be able to get all of your shopping done in one place. I started two quilts, two baby quilts for kids who are probably driving already. By the time I finish those two quilts, my friends will have collectively popped out another 8 babies and I will have 26 babies to make gifts for. Maybe some of you should cool it for a while. Just sayin’.

the quilting room

Kaweah had a wonderful time playing with Bumpy and Buffle(head), the ILs’ pups. In fact, I think she sort of hates us now for taking her away from Camp Grandparents where there is bear poop to roll in, an endless supply of toys to shred, plenty of dog butts to sniff, round-the-clock wrestling, and more deck square footage than our entire house. Sorry pup, you’ll have to settle for Paradise B. Despite getting stormed out of our trip early, we picked up an extra day at The Compound and for the most part remained unplugged. It was pleasant, but we were happy to come home to our own bed last night.

Colorado peaches were starting to show up at my ILs’ local farmer’s market over the weekend. I love a good and juicy peach. They rarely last long enough to make it into a baked good, but last week I had purchased too many (can such a thing exist?) peaches and needed to use them up before we left town.

let’s see, peaches and blueberries…

working butter into flour and sugar

What I love about crisps is how bloody easy they are. Chop, toss, moosh, dump, sprinkle, bake. My one and only gripe about crisps is that they don’t lend themselves to easy distribution otherwise I would have sent some to my neighbors. When I get on a crisp-baking tear, I need to keep those disposable aluminum baking pans handy.

toss pecans in with the topping

prep the fruit

Take care not to equate ease of assembly with lackluster taste. Crisps highlight their fruity components front and center. It’s ALL ABOUT THE FRUIT! I don’t like to overprocess raw foods because I believe most good produce can shine on its own or with just a dash of this or pinch of that. Especially when you are talking about summer fruit! [For some reason, the Daring Bakers hosts never take advantage of summer fruit IN SUMMER – wtf?]

gently toss the fruit with sugar, cornstarch, and nutmeg

crumble the topping

The fruit was so sweet, I dare say I could have omitted a lot of the sugar that was tossed in with it. The surprise for me was that soft, crunchy texture from the pecans in the topping. I had actually debated using almonds instead of pecans, but I’m so glad I didn’t. Topped with a scoop or two of lemon custard ice cream (thanks to Helen), that’s your ticket to summery bliss. Yee-haw!

this plate serves two

Blueberry Peach Crisp
[print recipe]
from Fine Cooking issue #93

2 oz. unsalted butter, softened (plus more for pan)
3 oz. all-purpose flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
3 cups (~1 lb.) blueberries, washed, drained, and room temperature
3 medium peaches (~1 lb.), halved, pitted, and sliced 1/2 inch thick
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tbsps cornstarch
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg

Place rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Butter a 9-inch square pan (I used my 8-inch pan). For the topping, mix together flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and 1/8 tsp of salt in a bowl. Work butter into the mixture with fingers until clumpy. Stir in the pecans. In a large bowl, toss the blueberries, peaches, granulated sugar, cornstarch, 1/8 tsp salt, and nutmeg together. Pour the fruit into the pan and level out. Sprinkle the streusel topping over the fruit. Bake for 45-50 minutes until the center is bubbling and the topping has browned. Serve warm.

more goodness from the use real butter archives

blueberry pie blueberry hand pies blueberry lime poundcake blueberry scones

49 nibbles at “make the most of it”

  1. Sarah Welch says:

    I think I just dripped drool on my keyboard ;)

    I happen to have all of these ingredients at home, sounds like I have desert planned for tonight!

  2. Deb says:

    Love your story and that crisp looks amazing. I keep forgetting how easy they are to assemble and instead find myself making tarts or pies.

    Your lightening photo is really gorgeous too!

  3. Adrienne says:

    Well that first photo made me catch my breath and the last one has left me drooling. I’m so glad I found your blog.

  4. Zaara says:

    I slept through the Perseids on Tuesday and ran around like a mad woman on Wednesday night trying to get a peek….in suburbia.
    I need me some crisp now…..

  5. Amy says:

    Peach and blueberry crisp is one of my FAVORITE kinds – crisps are in my top 5 favorite desserts, hands down! Although I think that picture of the “two serving” bowl at the end of your post could have been consumed entirely by me. :)

    I am so glad you and Jeremy and Kaweah had a great time with your ILs — and ooh, that green chile feast is making my mouth water!

  6. Rosa says:

    Omg, what a heavenly crisp!

    Those landscape/lightening pictures are mindblowing!



  7. Patricia Scarpin says:

    Looking at those photos I almost feel in the middle of that storm, darling! They are so real!

    Haven’t tried peaches and blueberries together yet, Jen, but by the look of this crisp I’d be asking for seconds!

  8. Phoo-D says:

    Oh yum! We have a box of peaches and beautiful blueberries – time to make this! Two weekends ago we were stormed out as well. It is definitely rather scary to be in a tent in the middle of nowhere when the sky is unleashing a large amount of fury! I don’t think I slept all night.

  9. sara says:

    GORGEOUS photos, as always! Yum! The crisp looks totally delicious.

  10. Collette says:

    I’m not sure what I’m drooling over more–the beautiful crisp or your MIL’s sewing room. Both look delicious!

  11. TheKitchenWitch says:

    That first photo took my breath away. Fine work!

  12. Jen @ MaplenCornbread says:

    Such GORGEOUS pictures!!!!!!!! Breath taking!!!!

    That crisp is perfect, I love peaches and blueberries together!

  13. Asianmommy says:

    I love your beautiful night sky pics–amazing! & The recipe looks so good.

  14. Fiona says:

    I’m with Collette – that sewing room is fabulous.

    Love crisps, cobblers, buckles, etc. And your toppings always work for me, so usually my recipe is: some stuff, plus some sugar, plus something flavored (like lemon zest) plus [Insert Jen’s recipe for crispy topping here]. Works every time.

  15. Clark says:

    Jen – I lovvvve a crisp/cobbler – hands down favorite dessert – and so evocative of this time of year. Blueberry, peach, blackberry, rasberry, strawberry, rhubarb, granny smith, you name it. Thanks for letting me listen in. XO

  16. Tartelette says:

    Oh wow! Your ILs compound is absolute heaven! And that sewing room? My mom would go crazy over it! I am swooned by a plate of that crisp and a side of Keanu Reeves…oops sorry lemon ice cream…but I already had me some of that…not Mr. Hottie2 :)

  17. charlane says:

    heaven – sheer heaven

    those shots are worthy of national geographic (and I don’t say that a lot)

  18. Kristin says:

    My husband saw the first photo & announced that “we” would hopefully be doing some winter camping this year. I’m hoping that “we” means the Boy Scouts he just came home from leading. I’ll take my camping in other seasons thank you very much. But he loved your shot & I reminded him of your galleries I’d shown him & that if we ever get the itch to buy some nature photography, that’s where we’re heading. Crisp looks great, but I’m actually coveting your MIL’s thread organizer.

  19. Laura says:

    I am drooling–at the food, the photos, everything.

    I have to ask–who takes the photos of the working hands? Do you do it one handed or does your husband do it or….?

  20. Diana Merrell says:


  21. Meeta says:

    gorgeous photos. jen what a lovely way to spend time out! as for the crisp i love it and totally agree that we need to push the DBs to make use of summer fruit in the challenges more.

  22. flo says:

    Wow, how on earth do you make the most ordinary things look so spectacular!

  23. Valérie says:

    I always feel invigorated after your posts and photos. :-) Lovely fruit!

  24. Lindsey says:

    I love your photos, and I’m totally in awe of that quilt room! I started quilting myself a few years ago, after I didn’t really have any space for my loom, and wanted to stay in touch with the fiber arts. It took me a while to finish my first one, and I finally picked up my second one after a 9 month break, and I can’t wait to keep going on it!

  25. Sindy says:

    I am always in awe of your photos and the beautiful scenery. To live somewhere that is that breath-taking must be amazing and then the places you visit ….jealous jealous jealous! Skills behind the camera and you are a wonderful cook …you are blessed indeed!

  26. Tiffany says:

    I feel like Patagonia should pay you millions for that first photo! I must go camping now.

  27. zenchef says:

    Your pictures are absolutely stunning. wow. And the house in Colorado is a dream!
    I want everything on this post.. the open spaces, the roasted chiles, and a double portion of blueberry crisp with two scoops of ice cream. :)

  28. Cucinista says:

    I want to unplug where you are… and eat that blueberry crisp. Love the photos of the great outdoors and the great indoor cooking. I’m not sure which I like more :)

  29. Caitlin says:

    I just started laughing at your DB comment – what, you don’t like 10MM layer cakes w/ chocolate? :P As always, I’m immensely jealous, first of your hiking excursion, then of the quilting room – dear lord that room is awesome! And yes, crisps are amazing things – like the little black dress of the baking world. So simple, so classy.

  30. Helen in CA says:

    Crisp… favorite!

    As I’m setting out to try your crisp…..ACK. Jen, not all of us weigh our ingrediants!

    Could you please include Cups etc?

    thanks I’m looking forward to this having spent some time online finding equivalents

  31. Jaden says:

    ooooh that lightening shot!!!!

  32. anita says:

    i made this last night and it really was fabulous- i only had almonds at home, so i used those (half roasted and half blanched), and the crisp part is perfectly crispy and buttery. thanks for the recipe!

  33. Melissa says:

    I’m becoming more of a baker this year. Been making crisps/crumbles all summer. One of my favorites has been peaches with almonds in the topping, but I’ll try pecans next time. I have half a bag left after making pecan pie cookies for the birthday man this week.

    Also picked up my first ever Hatch chiles. I remember numerous posts about chiles here on URB and thought of you when I snagged ’em. I was going to possibly do a stew or chili or some kind, but am up in the air. Either way, I’m using them tomorrow and will hopefully have an FB pic up of something wonderful. :)

  34. Jayne says:

    This looks amazingly delicious! I can’t wait to try this recipe. Thanks for posting!

  35. Vicky says:

    The photos are amazing! I want a craft room like your MILs!

  36. Karen B says:

    You have photographed the sewing room before, and I drool every time. What great creative space!

    While your trip didn’t go as planned, it still looks like a great vacation! That chili roaster is cool! I’ve become slightly obsessed with roasted peppers, since my two tiny pepper plants are producing disproportionate quantities. I need to find me some Hatch chilies though.

  37. Mrs Ergul says:

    For sure I remember photos of your MIL’s Yiling room! it is very impressive! How nice it is to be getting along so well with your MIL and to exchange tips in each of your fields of expertise.

    That homecooked meal sounds like a true Mexican feast!

    If I could have a dessert like this, I’ll gladly skip the main course here

  38. Blueberry and Peach Crisp « bakin’ and eggs says:

    […] topping.” I informed him he had a crisp in mind and began looking for crisp recipes. I saw this recipe on Use Real Butter and knew I would look no […]

  39. Lisa is Bossy says:

    Damn Jen. That first picture up there? Un flipping believeable. BEAUTIFUL. And I could never raise myself out of bed [tent] early enough to see a sight like that. So I thank you… ;)

  40. emhuze says:

    Served this last night after the gang had scarfed down the Chopped Shrimp Waldorf Salad (Fine Cooking issue #79) from your website. There were ecstatic sounds coming from the diners, they were literally moaning. We LOVED this recipe. Highest Honors to it!

    My compliments to your mother-in-law re: framed quilted blocks on wall… wonderful idea.

    Thank you – tusen takk. (Norwegian for 1000 thank yous) Mary H.

  41. jenyu says:

    Thanks everyone!!

    Amy (Eggs on Sunday) – you can get away with the two serving bowl because you’re eating for two! :)

    Phoo-D – I think I much prefer being in a tent in a storm than being on a pass in a storm (I’ve done both and I’m glad I survived the latter to tell the tale).

    Collette – my MIL has an AWESOME sewing room. It’s like an amusement park for sewers.

    Fiona – thanks hon. I can’t take the credit for the toppings though! Got most of them from other recipes :)

    Clark – helllooooo handsome! Will it take a crisp to bribe you to bring your beautiful family out to visit our mountains some day? Miss you. xxoo

    Tartelette – ha! I think we have similar tastes in eye candy ;)

    Kristin – you’re really sweet. I haven’t updated the gallery in a while, but you’ll see a lot of what I’m shooting here or on the photoblog. Feel free to let me know if there is something in particular you’d like to purchase some day.

    Laura – I take all of the photos and I use a tripod so it enables me to use my hands in the shot if needed :)

    Tiffany – ha ha! Thank you :) I’d be happy if Patagonia just paid me in clothing!

    ZenChef – very good to see you here, my dear!

    Caitlin – what a perfect description of the crisp: the little black dress of the baking world ;)

    Helen in CA – most of the things that can be measured in cups are listed as such. The flour – well, that 3 oz is not necessarily going to measure up to a consistent volume because the density of flour varies widely depending on if it is settled, packed, sifted, etc. See the issue? A volume isn’t really that accurate. That’s why it gives a weight – it is consistent and precise. Kitchen scales are great for that.

    Melissa – awesome! I’m glad to see you gaining more and more confidence with baking. I always knew you had it in you.

  42. Blueberry Peach Crisp « bakin’ and eggs says:

    […] topping.” I informed him he had a crisp in mind and began looking for crisp recipes. I saw this recipe on Use Real Butter and knew I would look no […]

  43. Nellie says:

    Wow! I was looking for some sort of peach crisp recipe. So happy I found this one! I made a double batch because we were having people over. I am glad I did, as there was very little left over that night. My 6 y/o loved it and ate most of what was left the next day. This is in my recipe box as a favorite. Thanks!

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    […] Blueberry Peach Crisp: The fruit was so sweet, I dare say I could have omitted a lot of the sugar that was tossed in with it. The surprise for me was that soft, crunchy texture from the pecans in the topping. I had actually debated using almonds instead of pecans, but I’m so glad I didn’t. Topped with a scoop or two of lemon custard ice cream (thanks to Helen), that’s your ticket to summery bliss. Yee-haw! Found at Use Real Butter. […]

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  49. Beth Walters says:

    I’m not going to lie, this sounds amazing!!!
    I just popped it in the oven. Didn’t have any pecans, but I did have a bag of walnuts, so I used those. Not quite enough blueberries, and what I did have were frozen, so I used what I had and threw in an extra peach.
    The next 40 minutes will pass SO slowly…

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