Saturday, March 3, 2007

Peach Lasagna

For the peach layers, 3 pounds ripe peaches
Grated peel and juice of 1 small-medium lemon
¾ cup sugar
For the bread layers,
8 slices (approximately 5 x 3 ½ inches) country bread cut, not too thick, from a round country loaf
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons butter)
1 ½ tablespoons sugar
For the crumb topping
1/3 cup flour
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter
3 tablespoons finely chopped almonds

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Peel the peaches and cut them into approximately ¼ inch wedges. Toss them in a bowl with the lemon rind and juice and ¾ cup sugar.

Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet and lay in half of the bread slices. Brown them lightly on one side, then turn them and brown the other side. Repeat with the remaining butter and bread slices and when all are done, sprinkle the 1 ½ tablespoons sugar over them.

Line the bottom of a shallow baking dish (approximately 8 x 10 inches) with half the bread slices; they should just cover the bottom. Spoon half of the peaches and half of their juices on top, then arrange a second layer of bread slices over the surface, and a final layer of peaches and juice.

Prepare the topping by tossing together in a bowl the flour, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Cut the butter into small cubes and mix them with the dry ingredients, using your fingertips or a pastry cutter to incorporate the butter but not too thoroughly—leave small, flakey pieces of butter throughout. Fold in the chopped almonds.

Sprinkle the topping even over the peach lasagna and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour. Test after 50 minutes; if the peaches were very ripe and juicey, it will be done. Otherwise, it will take the full hour or a little more; the peaches should be tender, the juices bubbling all around, and the top nicely browned. If the peaches seem done (and you don’t want them to dry out) but the crumb topping is still pale, slip the dish under a hot broiler for a minute or two. Serve warm.

Peach Lasagna

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