don’t shake my tree, says the song. Well, I do like peaches, very much, and this year we are rolling in peaches here in Austin. Its not quite as bad as zucchini in Berkley, I mean, no one has left bags of stealth peaches on my doorstep in the night, but I wouldn’t mind if they did.
My peach trees are very young. One had only a few peaches (which I ate standing in the yard, shameless) and the other is entirely too new to produce any fruit. Luckily my friends have more established trees. One friend gave me some peaches she had cut up and frozen, and another gave me a good half dozen fresh. I ate several (over the sink, to be sure) and thought I’d best cook something up before I gorged myself sick on them.
I considered pie, crumble/cobbler in its various forms, and other baked goods but I didn’t really feel like turning on the oven. Jam is great, but its a bit of work to do it right, and I’m lazy today. Preserves, ditto… I wanted something that would last (hahahahaha…) in the fridge or that could be frozen, and I wanted something *easy*!
I decided to make a sort of peach sauce. The end result is a bit more liquid than most jams or preserves, but it will thicken somewhat as it cools. This “sauce” can go in a smoothie with yogurt, bananas, blueberries, and whatever else you like. It can equally top vanilla (French or Mexican) ice cream to make it both pretty and tasty.You could pour it over bread pudding or add a little dollop to granola in the morning. It goes nicely over angelfood cake or most any white cake, or… you get the idea, yes?
The thing about peaches is, it seems no matter how sweet they are, they taste just a little flat when cooked unless they are kissed by a bit of citrus. I like either lemon or orange juice for this job, and today I had an orange, so that’s what I used. I also love ginger (remember my last post? mmmm…) and I think ginger and peaches is a dreamy combo.
Skinning peaches is as easy (or maybe even easier) than skinning tomatoes. The peaches I used today were freestone, so I didn’t even bother to skin them, I just cut them in half and scooped the insides out. If you do need to skin them, though, you can do the tomato trick, dunk the whole peach in boiling water for about 10 seconds, remove and let cool until you can handle it, then peel.
Here’s what I did:
flesh of 1 dozen fresh peaches
zest and juice of 1 medium orange
1 t powdered ginger
1/4 C sugar
Put all ingredients in a heavy sauce pan, bring to a boil and reduce heat to very low immediately. Cook uncovered, barely simmering, until liquid is reduced by about half, stirring occasionally. Taste for sweet/tangy and correct to your liking.
Cool and store in the fridge. This will keep for several days (if it lasts that long!) or it can be frozen once cooled (in zip freezer bags in small portions works well). It makes a great sauce for all sorts of things as noted above, and can also be used in cooking chicken or lamb chops – oh my!
In my world, the answer to J. Alfred Prufrock’s peach query is always YES! And, please share any peach recipes or suggestions… we’ve got plenty to use and fast!