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Canadian Dessert Recipes

Niagara Peach Crisp

This variation of fruit crisp is baked with fresh peaches covered with an oatmeal crumbly topping. Its enhanced with a little maple syrup, nutmeg and cinnamon.

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Updated 10/9/2023

The last time I stayed in Niagara-on-the-Lake, I was chatting with a retired couple visiting from South Carolina over breakfast. We discussed our itineraries and the usual winery tours came up. Then I mentioned that I’d be hitting the fruit stands for some fresh local peaches. “I had no idea that peaches grew this far north,” the kind lady said with surprise, in her charming southern accent. We went on to have a good chat about peaches and where they are grown.

So where are peaches grown?

The growing conditions for peaches are rather particular. Regions with long warm summers and cool winters are where you’ll find most growers. According to United Nations FAOSTAT data for 2021, there were 79 peach producing countries globally. China is the top producer, followed by Spain, Italy and Türkiye. In the United States, peaches have historically been associated with Georgia. The “Peach State” has been a major producer and exporter of peaches for over 150 years. Nowadays, Georgia ranks third in the US, after California and South Carolina.

In Canada, peaches are grown in British Columbia’s Okanagan valley and Ontario’s Niagara region. Thanks to their unique geography, both have microclimates that temper winter’s extreme cold. Peach orchards In Ontario, are protected from harsh winter weather by the Niagara escarpment and moderating breezes off Lake Ontario.

A trip to the fruit stand

If you are lucky enough to be in the Niagara region from late July through September, make sure to take the scenic drive along the Niagara Parkway between the falls and historic Niagara-on-the-Lake. You’ll pass a number of wineries and perhaps be tempted to do a little tasting. You’ll also find baskets of some of the freshest peaches at the orchard operated fruit stands in the area.

peach baskets
Peaches sold at a fruit stand along the Niagara Pkwy. Ontario, Canada. Photo KR Lamoureux

I can remember the first time eating a peach in the car after leaving the fruit stand when I was just a kid.  It was so ripe and juicy-sweet that its juice literally ran right down to my elbow after taking my first bite. These were the best peaches ever.    

It’s hard to resist buying a basket or two when this amazing fruit is at its best. Make sure to buy enough to eat raw. And then before they start to spoil, set about 5 plump ones aside for a peach crisp.

You can easily adapt this recipe to other tender fruits like nectarines, cherries or plums. Or even try a combination of the above.

Niagara Peach Crisp

Kevin Lamoureux
Fresh peaches baked with a splash of maple syrup are topped with a buttery oatmeal crumble.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Canadian
Servings 8 people
Calories 354 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 cups peaches, about 5 medium, peeled, pitted and sliced
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup flour
  • 8 tbsp softened butter
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375° F.
  • Grease a 2-quart (2 inches deep baking dish).
  • Spread out peaches in the bottom of the baking dish. Pour the maple syrup over the peaches then toss to coat them.
  • In a separate bowl, mix all other ingredients, making sure that the butter is well absorbed into dry ingredients. The mixture should have a crumbly texture. Spread the oatmeal mixture evenly over the peaches.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until top is golden brown.

Notes

Top with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream if you wish.
 
Nutrition
Per serving
Calories: 354kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 30g | Iron: 1.5mg
Keyword butter, crisp, crumble, dessert, fresh, fruit, Niagara, peach, Peaches

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