July 10, 2008

Peaches, peaches, peaches

Sometimes a recipe helps us make do with the less than supreme quality of ingredients you have at hand. Other times you have to restrain a recipe because of how great an ingredient is on it's own. These recipes are definately of the latter sort.

We just returned home from a vacation in Florida and along the long, straight stretches of I-75 we passed dozens of signs for Georgia peaches. When I stopped I planned on grabbing just a small bag. But when the smell hit me, I couldn't resist getting a whole case of the juiciest, most fragrant peaches I have ever had! These peaches really need very little done to them. Here are my favorite ways to eat them so far:

Micro-stewed Peaches and Blueberries
I returned to Michigan and the start of blueberry season. This is my perfectly simple way to serve the two together. I also love making this with Italian plums or cherries.
Makes 1 serving

1 peach, pitted and chopped into 1 inch chunks
1/2 cup blueberries
2 teaspoons brown sugar or maple syrup
2 tablespoons of sour cream*

Place the peach chunks and blueberries into a small bowl and microwave uncovered for 1-2 minutes, just until the fruit is hot and the berries begin to burst.
Top with brown sugar or maple syrup and sour cream.
*Soy yogurt, regular yogurt, and Tofutti Better than Sour Cream are all good on this. It goes without saying that ice cream would gild the lily.

Peppery Peach Slices
I love black pepper with fruit. Freshly ground black pepper has a lot of subtle flavors that are enhanced by sweet fruit. I use an Excalibur dehydrator which I love but it was pricey. For oven drying instructions look here.
Makes 2 cups

6 peaches
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

-Slice the peaches into 1/2 inch wedges. Toss gently in a bowl with the pepper and salt.
-Dry until only slightly flexible ~8-10 hours at 135 degrees F in a food dehydrator.
-Store in an airtight container or they will absorb moisture from the air.

Broiled Peaches
Serves 1, increase as needed
1 peach
1 tablespoon chopped pecans (also acquired in Georgia)
1 1/2 teaspoon of brown sugar
pinch of cinnamon

-Preheat your broiler.
-Split the peach in half and remove the pit. Fill the pit cavity with pecans and the pinch of cinnamon. Place the peach halves with the cut side up on an oven-proof dish and sprinkle on the brown sugar.
-Broil 4-7 minutes until the sugar melts and the peach is warmed.
*Ice cream on top is delicious but optional.

Peach recipes on my list to try:
Peaches and Cream Cupcakes
Plum and Peach Crisp
Grilled Peaches with Creme Fraiche and Molasses
End of Summer Peach Sorbet
Ginger Peach Jam
Peach Clafouti
Raw Peach Soup