Tag Archives: Peaches

Goat Cheese Pancakes with Fresh Peach Syrup

Goat Cheese Pancakes with Fresh Peach Syrup

Well, it is officially August, but instead of lamenting that summer is almost over (though believe me, I’m tempted to do so) I’d rather celebrate the arrival of stone fruit season! At least in my northeast US neck of the woods. It seems like those peaches, nectarines and plums just aren’t really ripe for use until the beginning of August up here, though rest assured I try to rush them every year.

Goat Cheese Pancakes with Fresh Peach Syrup

So for my first peach dish of the season, I went for brunch. I realized it’s been forever since I made pancakes (the horror), so Matt vehemently happily agreed it was time to rectify that. I can always count on him for support. 🙂

goat cheese pancakes with fresh peach syrup

The goat cheese flecked throughout the fluffy pancake batter turns out delicious pancakes. They are both sweet and tangy, and the goat cheese plays very well with the sweetness of the peaches. I tested this recipe both ways, and you definitely need the cinnamon in the peach syrup. I was worried it would overpower the peach flavor, but it just brings it out and adds some warmth to the syrup. And without it, the syrup is actually a little bland.

Goat Cheese Pancakes with Fresh Peach Syrup

Enjoy! A perfect way to begin the wonderful peach season! And your morning…

Source: adapted from Cook Without a Book by Pam Anderson

Ingredients:

PANCAKES:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp granulated sugar
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¾ cup buttermilk
1 large egg
2 tbs flavorless oil, like canola, plus more for brushing the skillet
3 oz. crumbled goat cheese

SYRUP:
½ cup honey
2 large peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Pinch of kosher salt

Directions:
To make the PANCAKES: combine the flour, sugar, salt,  baking powder, and baking soda in a medium mixing bowl. In a 2-cup liquid measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk, egg, oil, plus ¼ cup water.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry, all at once, then whisk until just combined. Do not overmix. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the goat cheese crumbles. Set aside to rest for a few minutes while the griddle heats up.
Place your griddle over medium-low heat and give it all the time it needs to heat up. Don’t rush this process, or you’ll be throwing out your first batch of pancakes. It’s ready when you flick a few drops of water onto the griddle and they spit and dance around.
Once ready, brush the griddle all over with canola oil. Ladle the pancake batter, about ¼ cup at a time, onto your hot griddle and cook until the edges are set and you see bubbles forming on top. Quickly flip the pancake over and cook on the other side until just cooked through. I like to test for doneness with a toothpick. Remove the pancakes to a plate and repeat with the remaining batter until done.
While the pancakes are cooking, make the SYRUP: in a medium stockpot, bring the honey and peaches to a simmer over medium heat. Add the cinnamon and salt. Cook until the peaches release their juices and the mixture reduces to a syrupy consistency. This should take anywhere from 2 to 5 minutes. Keep an eye on it, it goes from a perfect syrupy texture to overdone in a blink. Once it’s ready, keep on low heat until you’re ready to use.
To plate, place 2-3 pancakes on a plate and generously ladle the peach syrup over. Serve immediately.

Peach Salsa #SundaySupper

peach salsa 105

Welcome to Sunday Supper, where this week we are Preserving Summer Produce! This theme is very good for me, because …… I’m really ready for fall. Okay, there I said it – it’s my shameful secret. This happens to me every year about this time. Even though I know I shouldn’t, I start becoming a tad ungrateful for all the beautiful summer bounty and I just want to make chili and watch a football game. And then bake something with apples…

peaches and tomatoes for salsa 066

So thanks to my Sunday Supper gang for encouraging me to use up that summer produce while I still have access to it, and put off thinking about fall cooking and baking for a few more weeks, as I very well should.

peaches for salsa 055

My grocery store is selling lovely, local Jersey peaches, so this week I snapped some up and made you this homemade, from-scratch peach salsa. I don’t know about you, but I have *always* been sorely disappointed by store-bought fruit salsas. I have a couple of brands I trust when it comes to store-bought regular tomato-based salsas, but it seems that the minute you add the word “mango” or “peach” to the label, well, brace yourself, cuz it ain’t gonna be pretty.

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There is no disappointment with this homemade peach salsa. Oh my, it is divine. It’s the perfect balance of sweetness to salty, with the peaches being front and center without overpowering the whole thing. So perfect.

Peach Salsa 076

Oh, and this is so easy to make, too! The stovetop and food processer do most of the work for you. And I really can’t stress how delicious it is. That said, it’s not terribly spicy at all – probably very kid friendly. Leave the ribs and seeds in the jalapeno, or just add a second jalapeno if you prefer it hotter. So please try this one while you can still get fresh, in-season peaches. The salsa will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for at least a week.

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Oh and be sure you give some love to my wonderful Sunday Supper peeps!

{One Year Ago: Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Pasta Alfredo}
{Two Years Ago: Mussels in Red Chile Broth, Pickled Doughnut Peaches, Mexican Lamb Barbacoa}

Source: slightly adapted from The Homesick Texan’s Family Table by Lisa Fain

Ingredients:
1 lb. peaches (about 3 medium-to-large)
1 lb. plum tomatoes, halved
1-2 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded if desired, and halved
½ a red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into thick slices
3-4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
¼ red onion, peeled and root tip discarded
1 cup water
2 tsp fresh lime juice
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Kosher salt

Directions:
First you will need to peel the peaches. To do this, bring a medium to large stockpot of water to a boil – you need just enough water to cover the peaches. Using a small paring knife, make an “X” on the bottom of each peach, a shallow cut that just cuts the skin. Submerge the peaches in the boiling water for 1 minute. Lift them out with a slotted spoon to a plate or cutting board. Let them cool a few minutes, just until you can comfortably handle them. Starting at the bottom where you made the “X”, peel off the skins. They should come off easily; if a few little stubborn bits are insisting upon hanging on for dear life at the top, don’t fuss over it. Life’s too short. Now pit the peaches and cut them into quarters.
Add the peaches, tomatoes, jalapeno(s), bell pepper, onion, and water to a large stockpot. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer until the tomatoes are soft, about 10 minutes (I did a combination of covered and uncovered). Remove from the heat and allow to cool, about 10 minutes.
Using tongs, carefully transfer all the solid pieces to your food processor. Add the lime juice and pulse on and off until combined but still somewhat chunky. If it’s too thick, add some of the water left in the stockpot.
Stir in the chopped cilantro and salt to taste. Let it cool the rest of the way to room temperature, then either serve or store in the refrigerator.
This is fantastic as just a dip for chips, but it’s also wonderful on chicken or fish – as tacos or by themselves. Oh and it makes a ton – about 2 cups!

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Peach and Cherry Frittata

Peach and Cherry Frittata

This dish… doesn’t make any sense. In a perfectly rational and logical world, this flavor combination would not work. For reasons fortunate and unfortunate, the world is not perfectly rational and logical. Today, that is a fortunate fact, because it means we can enjoy this paradoxical breakfast dish.

peaches and cherries

peaches and cherries

So yeah, I totally wasn’t expecting that I could put sweet fruit into eggs, top it with tangy goat cheese, bake it off, drizzle it with maple syrup, and then eat it and enjoy it. But that’s kind of exactly what happened. Everything came together on the fork and it just… worked. It was flavorful and balanced and I really don’t know completely why. So tasty though!

before baking: peach cherry frittata

This is the last peach recipe for the season for me, but I’ve got two more scrumptious cherry desserts to share with you next week. So stay tuned for that!

Peach Cherry Frittata

And give this one a try very soon – it sounds odd, but it really is delicious and so perfect for a summer brunch. And on that note, I shall sign off and wish you a wonderful weekend!

Peach and Cherry Frittata

Other Peach recipe you might enjoy: Peach Cobbler, Salmon with Tamarind-Peach Barbecue Sauce, Peaches and Cream Crumble Topped Pie, Peach Sour Cream Pancakes

{One year ago: Spicy Coleslaw and Pulled Pork Sliders}

Source: adapted from Weeknights with Giada by Giada de Laurentiis

Ingredients:
6 large eggs
¼ cup whole milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbs chopped fresh thyme leaves
½ tsp kosher salt
1 tbs canola oil
1 large peach, pitted and cut into chunks
8 oz. fresh sweet cherries, stemmed and pitted
4 oz. goat cheese
Maple syrup, for serving

Directions:
Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 F.
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, sugar, thyme and salt until smooth.
Heat the oil in a 10-inch cast-iron or otherwise oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Pour in the egg mixture and, working quickly, evenly distribute the peaches and cherries in a single layer over top of the eggs. Crumble the goat cheese into chunks with your fingers and sprinkle it over the eggs and fruit. Cook without stirring for 5 to 6 minutes, or until the edges are just starting to set. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the frittata is slightly puffed and the egg mixture has set, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes.
Cut into wedges and serve with maple syrup for drizzling.

Peach Sour Cream Pancakes

Peach Sour Cream Pancakes

Deb Perelman wrote this recipe for her wonderful cookbook (it’s actually the first recipe in the whole book) and in the into she describes them as “weepingly delicious.” A strong statement, to be sure, but after trying them, I’d have to agree that yeah, that pretty much sums them up.

making peach sour cream pancakes

They are so light and fluffy, I can’t even begin to describe. They are just the perfect amount of sweet thanks to the peach. You don’t have to peel the peaches, a big plus. I find peeling peaches to be a big pain in the caboose, so I try to avoid it when I can. And I loved her idea to put the peach on the pancake as it’s cooking instead of mixing chopped peaches into the batter. Not only was it very attractive, it was almost like having mini upside-down peach cakes.

making peach sour cream pancakes

And speaking of this whole pancakes becoming mini upside-down cakes thing, I think maybe Deb is on to something. This could work with any other stone fruit, and in the fall I could see it being quite fabulous with sliced apples or pears. Something to think about!

Peach Sour Cream Pancakes

These make a terrific special breakfast, but I can say with some authority that they make a very lovely dinner as well. The choice is yours. Enjoy!

Peach Sour Cream Pancakes

{One year ago: Pickled Donut Peaches and Mexican Lamb Barbacoa}

Source: The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman

Ingredients:
1 large egg
1 cup sour cream
¼ tsp vanilla extract
2 tbs sugar
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground nutmeg
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
Butter, for greasing the griddle
1 peach, halved, pitted, and thinly sliced
Maple syrup, for serving

Directions:
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, sour cream, vanilla, and sugar. In a separate, medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet, mixing until just combined. A little lumpy is okay.
Heat a griddle to medium-low heat. Melt a pat of butter onto the surface. When hot, ladle in ¼ cup batter at a time, leaving about 2 inches between each pancake. Arrange two peach slices over each pancake. Don’t worry if they are bigger than the pancake, it will spread out as it cooks.
When the pancakes are dry around the edges and you can see bubbles forming on the top, about 3 to 4 minutes, flip the pancake. Make sure your spatula is completely underneath the cooked portion of the pancake, and flip quickly. It seems scary and like it’s not going to work, but trust me, it does work just fine.
Cook another 5 minutes or so, until the pancakes are golden brown on the underside and the peaches are nicely caramelized. If they are browning too quickly, lower your heat. If they aren’t browning at all, nudge the heat up just a bit. When pancakes are done, remove to a plate.
Make sure to keep your griddle well greased between batches with more butter. I’ve also found that a toothpick inserted in the center of the pancake serves as a good tester to see if it’s done. It should come out clean or with dry crumbs. Serve with maple syrup.

Peaches and Cream Crumble Topped Pie

Peaches and Cream Crumble Topped Pie

Happy August 1st everyone. Do you know what today signifies? Oh yes – it’s the first day of National Peach Month! Everyone except my brother-in-law, god bless his peach-averse soul, is celebrating.

assembling peach pie

What better way to celebrate peaches than with pie? And not just peach pie, but peaches and cream pie. And if that isn’t enough, we’re going to go and add an insane crumble topping of pecans, butter, and brown sugar. Oh, and just for good measure, let’s make it a deep dish pie.

making peaches and cream pie

I made this pie during our vacation about a month ago, in our lovely beach cottage that was lacking a rolling pin. So I executed Plan B, which meant buying one of those ready-rolled deep-dish pies from the freezer section. And I’ve come to the conclusion that those pie shells are smaller than homemade deep-dishes, because I followed the recipe amounts and had leftover peaches, leftover cream filling, and leftover crumble topping. So I made it again at home, with my own pie plate and homemade crust, and this time it worked perfectly. So I can say with confidence that you shouldn’t use a store-bought deep-dish pie crust, unless you want less pie overall. And why would you want that? That would be just crazy!

Peaches and Cream Crumble Topped Pie

This pie is fruity, creamy, luscious, and rich. The cream part isn’t too sweet, and the crunch from the topping is perfection. It’s addicting as all get out, and one of my favorite things from this summer thus far. Heads up, though: I (and others) found it tasted a tad better served chilled than at room temperature. Enjoy peach season everyone!

peaches and cream crumble topped pie

{One year ago: Blueberry Scones with Lemon Glaze}

Source: slightly adapted from A Year of Pies by Ashley English

Ingredients:

CRUST:
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp kosher salt
1 stick (8 tbs) unsalted butter, chilled
¼ cup plus 2 tbs ice water

CRUMBLE TOPPING:
½ cup pecans, toasted and chopped
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup all-purpose flour
4 tbs unsalted butter, somewhat softened
2 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of kosher salt

FILLING:
3 large eggs, plus 2 large egg yolks
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp almond extract
Pinch of kosher salt
2 lbs. peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced into ½-inch slices

Directions:
Make the crust. Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Using a pastry blender or two forks, incorporate the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal (you’ll still have some rather large bits of butter when you’re done).
Slowly pour in the ice water. Stir with a large spoon until the dough begins to clump together.
Transfer the dough onto a floured work surface and use your hands to knead until the dough comes together and no crumbly bits are left. The dough should come together easily and should not feel overly sticky.
Shape the dough into a disc and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface to about ¼ of an inch round. Transfer it to fit a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. Trim the crust overhang and crimp the edges decoratively, if desired. Prick the bottom of the crust all over with the tines of a fork. Place the crust in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Line the crust with parchment paper and fill it with dried beans or pie weights. Bake 10 minutes. Remove from the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 F.
Remove the dried beans or pie weights and parchment paper from the pie crust. Cool it completely before filling.
Make the crumble topping. Combine all the topping ingredients in a medium bowl. Using your hands, mix everything together until the butter is well incorporated and the mixture forms pea-size crumbles. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and place in the refrigerator to chill until ready to use.
Make the filling. Whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, sour cream, flour, sugar, almond extract, and salt in another medium bowl.
Assemble the pie. Arrange the peach slices over the bottom of the cooled crust. Pour the filling over the peaches. Set the pie on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in the 375 F oven for 35 minutes.
Remove the pie from the oven, leaving the oven on.
Sprinkle the chilled crumble topping evenly over the custard filling. Return the pie to the oven and bake an additional 15 minutes, until the crumble is golden brown.
Cool until it’s at room temperature, then chill before serving.

Doughnut Peaches in Bourbon with Sweetened Whipped Cream

Doughnut Peaches in Bourbon with Sweetened Whipped Cream

Happy Monday! Or something… Hopefully you were able to enjoy some great weather this weekend. Matt and I went to an awesome pool party on Saturday, then to Fire Island for the first beach day of the summer on Sunday. And today, we are sunburned. Very, very sunburned. It’s ugly.

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We stopped at a grocery store on our way home yesterday, only to delightfully discover that it’s doughnut peach season! There were tons of the little beauties on display – very exciting! Doughnut peaches are a special kind of peach with a very short season at the beginning of summer. They are smaller and flatter than regular peaches, and not quite as sweet.

doughnut peaches

Of course I picked some up, figuring I could turn them into a wonderful, easy, I’ve-been-at-the-beach-all-day type of dessert. I highly, highly prefer to leave doughnut peaches whole, so something like a pie or cobbler just would not do. Since they are already so tasty and cute, I decided that some bourbon syrup and sweetened whipped cream were all they needed to be properly showcased.

simmering bourbon

And I was quite correct! These were delicious. Perhaps not so kid friendly, but simple to throw together and oh, so tasty. The way I assembled this dessert left it a little messy to eat because I left the peaches completely whole. You could cut them in half and pit them, which would make the dessert a bit more dignified to eat in front of other people. Oh, and of course you can sub in regular peaches if you cannot find doughnuts or if you miss the season. For regular peaches, I would definitely pit and slice them. Also, a scoop of vanilla ice cream would sub in for the whipped cream quite nicely, I think. Enjoy!

Doughnut Peaches in Bourbon with Sweetened Whipped Cream

Source: heavily adapted from Simple Fresh Southern by the Lee Bros

Ingredients:
PEACHES:
6 doughnut peaches, about 1 lb.
1 cup Kentucky bourbon
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt

WHIPPED CREAM:
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:
Place 3 peaches each in 2 shallow bowls. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, bring the bourbon to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat. Add the sugar and salt. Continue to simmer until the mixture starts to be syrupy, about 5 minutes.
Pour the mixture over the 2 bowls of peaches, dividing it evenly. If necessary, turn the peaches once to make sure their entire surface area is coated with the bourbon syrup. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, and up to 3 hours.
When ready to serve, pour the cream into a mixing bowl. Beat until soft peaks form, then add the sugar and vanilla. Continue to beat until it is fully whipped and scoopable.
To serve, bring out the chilled bowls of peaches in bourbon, and dollop half the whipped cream over each. Serve immediately. I found it necessary to eat with a knife and fork. And be sure to include a “kill bowl” if you left the pits in.

Grilled Salmon with Tamarind-Peach Barbecue Sauce

Peaches, peaches and more peaches!  That sums up the month of August in my kitchen.  I first tasted peach flavored barbecue sauce several years ago and found it delightful, a pleasant marriage of sweet and tangy.  That dish was a version of barbecue chicken, which, let’s face it, can be a little high in calories what with all that beautiful chicken skin. I knew I couldn’t let National Peach Month get away from us without making a peach barbecue sauce of some kind, but I wanted something lighter than a whole chicken.

Enter this recipe.  It fit the bill nicely.  The tamarind didn’t overwhelm but added some nice flavor.  It paired nicely with the salmon.  I must admit, as much as I love the texture, I often find salmon’s flavor to be on the bland side.  I look at it as a blank flavor canvas, so I always either marinate it, spice rub it, or sauce it up.  Or, I glaze it while it’s cooking.  That may be one of the best ways to have salmon.  The sticky lacquer of the glaze compliments the thick fattiness of the fish so beautifully.  Now I’m thinking I must make this kind of dish soon…

This barbecue sauce would make a fine accompaniment to pork or chicken as well.  The flavor did not overwhelm the salmon at all, but, given my love of glazed salmon, I found myself thinking the dish would have been better had some of the sauce ingredients been reduced down to make a glaze that would have been brushed on while grilling.  An idea for a different dish, perhaps.  I suppose I also think glazed would’ve been superior simply because I associate barbecue sauce with meat or poultry, and associate glazes with firm fish, like salmon.  Does anyone else feel that way, or is it just me?

Source: Emeril at the Grill, by Emeril Lagasse

Ingredients:
2 tbs unsalted butter
1/2 cup diced red onion
1 tsp minced garlic
1 serrano chile, stemmed, halved, and thinly sliced
4 cups peeled, pitted, diced peaches
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 tsp orange zest
2 tbs cider vinegar
2 tbs brown sugar
2 tsp tamarind paste or tamarind concentrate
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 (6 oz.) pieces salmon fillet, pinbones removed
1 tbs olive oil

Directions:
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and chile and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the peaches and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the ketchup, orange juice and zest, vinegar, brown sugar, and tamarind. Stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook 30 minutes, or until thickened. Puree the sauce with an immersion blender until it’s smooth. Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl, pressing with a rubber spatula to extract all the juices. Discard solids. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Allow sauce to cool to room temperature before serving.
Preheat a grill to medium heat level.
Brush both sides of the salmon with the olive oil, then season to taste with salt and black pepper. Place fish on the grill and cook for about 2 minutes. Then rotate the fish 45 degrees and cook an additional 2 minutes. Turn the fish over and cook for another 2 minutes, or until it’s cooked to your desired doneness.
Serve the salmon drizzled with the barbecue sauce.

Pickled Peach Orzotto

A few weeks ago I made some Pickled Donut Peaches.  I saw adorable donut peaches in their short season at my grocery store and snatched them up.  Then I found a recipe to pickle them, so I did.  I really didn’t think it through past that step.  I had no idea what to do with pickled peaches.  I thought about it for a while, and thought maybe they would be good in risotto.  Then I decided to make the risotto with orzo pasta instead of rice.  The risotto, or orzotto, part was quite good.  I used bourbon where risotto normally calls for white wine, and it lent a deep, beautiful flavor.  I didn’t care for the pickled peaches at first.  But then they grew on me.  They were a little too tart at first, but they mellowed quite nicely.  By about midway through the meal, I was really enjoying the dish.

As I finished my last bites of pasta, I was already scheming how to use up the rest of the pickled peaches.  I think I’ll go back to my original idea of brined and grilled pork chops and see what I can come up with on that front.  Stay tuned!

Ingredients:
1 ½ cup orzo pasta
1 tbs olive oil
Small onion or large shallot, chopped
Red bell pepper, chopped
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup bourbon or whiskey
4 cups vegetable stock
Zest of 1 lemon
Handful of basil leaves, julienned
2-3 pickled donut peaches, pitted and chopped

Directions:
Pour the vegetable stock into a small stockpot. Heat on medium-low. You want to warm it but don’t let it boil.
Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drizzle in the olive oil, then saute the onion and bell pepper until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute.
Next, add the pasta in and stir to coat it with oil (add more if your pan is too dry), and toast it up a little bit. Turn the heat down to medium. Add the bourbon and stir until it’s evaporated.
Add the vegetable stock in ladlefuls (about 1 cup at a time), and stir consistently between each addition. Do this until you have used up your stock. At that point, your pasta should be cooked through and creamy, but not mushy. This process takes about 20 minutes.
When the orzo has cooked through, add the peaches, lemon zest, and basil. Stir to combine everything. Serve immediately.

Peach Cobbler

The first time I ever tried to cook with fresh peaches, I bought them in February. That’s right.  February.  I was new to cooking and I had no idea or inclination about seasonal eating.  I just assumed that if it was in the produce section, it was fair game to buy and use, any time of year.  Hmm, not so much.

I brought the peaches home, sliced through them and couldn’t separate the halves to save my life.  Once I finally wrestled them apart, I couldn’t get the pit out.  I found the whole thing understandably frustrating and went back to frozen peaches.

Fortunately, I have learned a thing or two about food in the past seven or so years, and now I shop the produce section seasonally.  August is National Peach Month, so we’re filling up on the sweet fruit with local fresh Jersey peaches.  They separate like a dream and you can practically coax the pits out with mere words.

When searching one’s recipe catalog for ways to use up peaches, peach cobbler is a natural choice.  It was always a favorite growing up.  I make certain to bake it once a year.  I’ve never used the same recipe twice, and I seem to always just hunt online for one.  This year was no exception, and I found a very satisfactory recipe that I would happily make again.

The cobbler part is a cakey batter, and does not resemble a crumble topping.  That’s very important to me. I won’t make a cobbler with stuff like oatmeal in the crust. If I wanted a peach crumble, or crisp, then that’s what I would make! But I wanted peach cobbler, which to me means a cakey topping just browned on top. This recipe delivers.

Source: But Mama, I’m Hungry

Ingredients:
2 pounds ripe peaches
¾ cup sugar, divided
1 tablespoon cornstarch
½ cup butter, softened
1 egg
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
¾ cups flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375° F.
Peel, halve, and pit the peaches. The easiest way to peel peaches is to drop them in boiling water for 15-20 seconds, then drain on paper towels. Use a vegetable peeler or your hands to slide the skins right off. Slice each half into 3 or 4 wedges.
Combine the peaches, ¼ cup of the sugar, and the cornstarch in a large mixing bowl. Let the fruit stand, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves, 5 to 7 minutes.
Make the dough: Cream together the butter and remaining ½ cup sugar in a medium mixing bowl with a wooden spoon or an electric mixer until smooth. Beat in the egg, vanilla, and lemon zest until the batter is smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice as necessary. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and stir until just combined.
Transfer the peaches to a greased 9×13 inch baking pan. Drop the dough in rounded tablespoonfuls over the fruit. Bake until the fruit is bubbling and the crust is golden, 50 to 55 minutes. Let the cobbler cool slightly and serve it warm with vanilla ice cream.

Pickled Donut Peaches

August is National Peach Month!  So happy National Peach Month everyone! I, like most everyone, love peaches.  I grew up eating peach cobblers, and that is still one of my favorite desserts.  You can expect to see a recipe for one pop up on this blog in the coming weeks.

I began this month long celebration with donut peaches.  These cuties have an even shorter season than regular peaches.  They are shaped differently than the normal, round ones.  They are circular and flattened, and they do look kind of like a donut, hence the name.  Lately I’ve jumped on the pickling bandwagon, but haven’t been too adventurous with it.  I’ve pickled cukes and jalapenos, but that was about it.  I decided it was time to spread my wings, so I pickled some donut peaches.  Pickling anything is easy enough, and these were no exception.  And the technique for removing skins will work on regular peaches too.

They’ve been sitting in my fridge, looking all pretty and begging to be used.  I’m not completely sure what one does with pickled donut peaches, but I really like the combination of peaches and pork, so I think they’ll accompany some brined and grilled pork chops, or maybe a pork tenderloin.  I’ll let you know how it turns out!

Source: Family Meals, by Tyler Florence

Ingredients:
12 to 14 donut peaches
2 large lemons, very thinly sliced and seeds removed
8 cups white vinegar
2 cups sugar
8 whole star anise
10 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks

Directions:
Bring a large saucepan of water up to a boil over high heat and fill a large bowl with ice water. Blanch the peaches in the boiling water for 15 seconds. Use a slotted spoon to remove them, then immediately transfer them to the ice bath to stop the cooking process. Once cool, peel the peaches but leave them whole. Divide the peaches and lemon slices between 2 wide-mouth pint canning jars. I used deli containers. I also halved the recipe.
In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, sugar, star anise, cloves, and cinnamon sticks and bring just to a boil over medium heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Pour the vinegar mixture over the contents of the jars, filling them to 1 inch of the rim. Divide the whole spices as evenly as possible between the 2 jars. Quickly screw the lids in place and let cool to room temperature. Once cool, store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Makes 2 pints