Peach season is starting in Colorado, and as Helen Thorpe reports in "The Peaches Are Local. The Pickers Are Not," Western Slope growers depend on imported labor to bring in much of that crop. The same goes for apricots, which have already arrived at farmers' markets and stores along the Front Range.
The Colorado Department of Agriculture keeps a schedule of when local produce comes in season; the office also serves up a recipe every month highlighting a different product grown in the state. The July Apricot Crisp recipe was created by chef Jason K. Morse of 5280 Culinary:
1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup quick oats
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
4 cups fresh apricots, pits removed and sliced thin
¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
½ cup cold water
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla paste
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Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium stainless-steel bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and melted butter. Stir until moistened and crumbly in texture. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan and press about half of the mixture into the bottom of the pan. Place sliced apricots on top of pressed oat mixture. In a stockpot, combine the sugar, cornstarch, water and vanilla paste, then cook for about 12 minutes until thickened, stirring well. Pour this mixture over the apricots, then top with the remaining oat mixture. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until golden and the mixture has started to bubble. Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
But don't stop there: The Department of Agriculture suggests pairing this dessert with a Colorado wine, such as Sweet Gewürztraminer from Carlson Vineyards in Palisade, near where so much of this state's fruit is grown. The wine is part of the 2018 Colorado Governor’s Cup Collection.
Visit coloradoproud.org for all of the ag department's monthly recipes.