Inspiration for this dessert came from an exalted source, Helen Corbitt. She rose to fame in the 1950s when she put Neiman Marcus on the culinary map. A native New Yorker, Ms. Corbitt moved to Texas to teach catering and restaurant management at the University of Texas and then joined the Houston Country Club in 1942 before returning to Austin to work at the Driskill Hotel. When she moved to Dallas to take over the food operation at Neiman’s, she delivered us, as Prudence Mackintosh wrote for Texas Monthly, from canned fruit cocktail as a delicacy. (If you refer to a dish of fancied-up black-eyed peas “Texas caviar,” it’s because Corbitt created that and coined the term.) Among favorites in my mom’s vintage cookbook collection, Helen Corbitt’s Cookbook is probably the top pick. This 1957 gem contains classics like Trout Amandine, Coq au Vin, and Strawberries Romanoff, just to name a few that stand the test of time. Searching for a special but simple peach pie recipe, I found her Peach Crumble Pie in this book. Because I tinker with old recipes, I crafted a gingersnap crust, added candied ginger to the filling for some pop and made a crunchier crumble by incorporating brown sugar and pecans in that topper. I think you’ll love it.
1 ½ cups crushed gingersnaps
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
6 tablespoons melted butter
8 medium peaches, peeled, pitted and cut into chunks
3 tablespoons chopped candied ginger
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ cup crushed gingersnaps
¼ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
½ cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Make crust: In a bowl, combine crushed gingersnaps with brown sugar, ginger and butter, mixing well. Press into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool completely before adding filling.
Make filling: Combine peaches, candied ginger, lemon juice, flour and cinnamon in a bowl, mixing gently. Fold into cooled pie crust.
Make crumble: In a bowl, combine crushed gingersnaps, brown sugar, flour, butter, pecans and cinnamon. Mix with a fork until mixture is crumbly. Spoon atop peach filling. Cover edges of crust with foil or pie guard to be sure it doesn’t burn. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes until crumbles is nicely browned. Allow to cool and set for at least 2 hours before slicing. Top with ice cream or whipped cream.