Nairn’s Oatcakes provided me with samples of their products for review. However, all opinions in this post are my own.
I think there’s something both a little homey and a little elegant about oatcakes. They put me in mind of tea and not-too-sweet biscuits with my Irish grandmother. They are also at home on an hors d’oeuvre table, the earthy nuttiness of oats being a perfect foil for dips and spreads, and a nice change from wheat crackers.
So, I was pleased when Nairn’s gave me an opportunity to review their Canadian line of oatcakes. They’re just the sort of thing I like to keep in the cupboard for a snack or light lunch.
I’ve been eating the oatcakes they sent me all week. The sweet variety are perfect for snacking, but they’re not the North American sugar bombs you might associate with the word cookie. Think of them as biscuits, in the British tradition, instead. Then you’ll be on the right track. I especially like the mixed berry and the ginger flavours with a cup of tea, but the dark chocolate chip flavour is just made for dipping in your coffee. The savoury ones are delicious on their own, but I prefer to make tiny tartines of them, topping them with soft cheeses and berries. They’d also be great with rillettes.
Nairn’s provides lots of recipes and serving suggestions on their website, examples of which you can see in the photos here.
I decided to take the ginger cookies for a spin in the oven, because their spiciness reminded me that I had a bag of ripe Okanagan peaches in the fridge, waiting to be made into a crisp. I used them, crushed, to replace the flour in the topping for the crisp and they worked really well.
I’ve been making variations of this recipe since I was in elementary school. I haven’t actually looked at a recipe for a crisp in years – I use taste and touch to determine when the topping is just right. So, you should think of the recipe below as more of a guideline than a strict set of instructions. If your topping is moist and crumbly, and as sweet as you’d like it to be, it’s ready to top your fruit. I like my topping traditional, but you can add chopped nuts, seeds, or dried fruit to the mix. You can also add dried fruit to the bottom of your crisp. And if your fruit is sweet and juicy, you really don’t need to add any sugar to the bottom. Especially if you’re going to serve your crisp warm, with ice cream. (Yes, that’s a hint.)
Ginger Peach Crisp
1 8X5X2 baking dish
6 – 8 ripe, juicy peaches
1 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
1/4 tsp finely chopped fresh tarragon
1 tsp vanilla sugar (optional)
5 Nairn’s Stem Ginger Oat Cookies
1/3 – 1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/8 – 1/4 cup softened butter
Preheat your oven to 375°F.
Peel and chop the peaches into bite-sized chunks. Stir in the ginger, tarragon, and vanilla sugar (if using) and leave the peaches to marinate for ten minutes or so.
Crush the ginger oat cookies to a fine consistency. I used our mini food processor, but you can use a mortar and pestle or a ziplock bag and a rolling pin, too. Combine the crushed cookies with the brown sugar and oats, then work the butter in with your fingers until you have a moist, crumbly mixture.
Put the peaches into the baking dish, then cover them with the oat topping.
Bake for 25 – 35 minutes.
You can find a list of retailers of Nairn’s oatcakes near you on their website. Thanks to Nairn’s for the opportunity to review their oatcakes.