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Peach Rum Sauce

recipe from local kitchen

Ingredients
– 3½ lbs peaches ($2.50/lb @ Venice FM)
– ½ cup sugar
– ½ cup raw sugar (organic turbinado)
– ½ cup brown sugar
– 1½ cups spiced dark rum
– 2 tbsp lemon juice
– large pinch salt

Learnings
SUGARS. I liked the depth of flavor that came from mixing the 3 types of sugar. She suggested cutting back if your peaches were nice and sweet—which I started out doing—but the sauce still ended up a tad sugary for my taste. No matter, another glug of rum evened things out.

Usings
Besides all the normal sweet concoctions—ice cream and pound cake especially—I’m intrigued by her ideas to use this as a glaze over chicken and pork.

Brandied Peaches

recipe from NYTimes.com

Ingredients
– 3 lbs peaches  (Yellow Autumns for $2.50/lb @ Culver City FM)
– 3 cups sugar
– ¾ cup brandy

Learnings
WILD KINGDOM. As you can see above, these peaches brought a little buddy with them. He even survived blanching!

SPIKING & INFUSING. This is my first, of hopefully many, endeavors into the realm of spiked fruits and infused spirits. This article from NYTimes.com is a great introduction and even inspired me to buy a case of quart jars! (Here I come, Mr. Rumtopf, you sexy beast you.)

PEELING. I knew my peach peeling luck would soon run out. Last week a good blanching worked like a charm but this week these yellow peaches would have none of it. I’d read that you could also try rubbing the peel with a towel and if that didn’t work, then you’d just have to use a paring knife. So much for easy tricks.

Usings
I’ve got boozy fruit tarts, drunken fools, and warm peaches over ice cream on my mind.

Peach Chocolate Dessert Sauce

recipe from local kitchen

Ingredients
– 3½ lbs peaches ($2.50/lb @ Culver City FM)
– 2 cups sugar (1 cup turbinado & 1 cup granulated)
– ½ cup Godiva chocolate liqueur
– 4 tbsp bottled lemon juice
– ½ cup sifted unsweetened cocoa
– ¼ tsp sea salt
– lemon juice (to prevent browning)

Learnings
SPLATTER. Boy, did it ever. I’ve actually never seen anything like it. I knew the sauce was going to splatter, I saw local kitchen’s photo, yet still I thought my splatter guards and I would be able to protect the virtue of my brand new shiny stove. But no, in the end it was as if someone had played chocolate paint ball in my kitchen.

YELLOW AUTUMN vs WHITE SNOW. I really didn’t know which variety of peach to use. I love them both but they taste so different—super bear hug peachy vs subtle kiss on the cheek peachy. I went with the yellow Autumn bear hug variety since it’d probably marry better with all the cocoa and Godiva liqueur.

MACERATING. This means to mix the chopped fruit with sugar then cover and refrigerate for a few hours. The sugar will force out the fruit’s juices and enhance its natural sweetness. In this recipe she mentions that although she macerated her peaches for a few days, she felt that it didn’t really add to the flavors in the end so feel free to skip that step. Which I did, but what I didn’t do was account for that missing juice by adding extra water to the pan. So my juice/cocoa mixture boiled down much faster than in the recipe and almost burned before I knew what was happening. I think my common sense was out at the club or something.

Usings
I see a tub of vanilla ice cream in my future. (And many, many more Café Godivas.)

Peach & Cilantro Salsa

recipe from Canning for a New Generation, pg 112

Ingredients
– 5 lbs peaches ($1/lb @ Venice FM)
– ½ cup lime juice
– 6 oz sweet onion
– 3 oz red bell pepper
– 2 tbsp minced serrano chile (I used jalepeno instead)
– 4 tbsp sugar
– 4 tsp kosher salt
– ¼ cup cider vinegar
– 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
– ½ cup fresh cilantro
– 2 tbsp fresh mint

Learnings
WHAT A DEAL. Are slightly bruised seconds really the way to go? I’m not sure why these peaches were so cheap (usually they’re $2.50-$3/lb) but they were delicious and barely ripe. I will not be afraid.

FLAVORS. This flavor combo just didn’t hit it for me, but I’ve never really been a fan of any salsa other than the red tomato variety.

PEACHES ON MY MIND. I’ve been trying to find the perfect way to preserve my favorite stone fruit that isn’t a jam, chutney, too sweet, or only tall pint/quart jar worthy (those size jars don’t fit well into my canning pot). Maybe Peach Chocolate Dessert Sauce, Peaches in Sweet Tea Syrup, Boozy Rum Peaches, or a Peach BBQ Sauce.

Usings
I’m sure these will be married with many bags of Trader Joe’s Black Tortilla Chips.