Everything Peaches

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Peach for Everything PeachesGeorgia Peaches showed up early in my market and our local peaches aren’t far behind.  For me, there is nothing like fresh peaches.  I use them in everything from soup to pizza including a very special drink.

There are two types of peaches. Freestone and Clingstone.  The terms refer to the stones  of the peaches.  If the peach is of the clingstone variety, the flesh of the peach is very hard to separate from the stone.  The freestone peaches are my favorite as they separate cleanly and easily.  However, telling which are which is difficult since they aren’t usually marked.  However, if they say, “freestone’, those are the easiest to work with. My favorite peach is Red Haven but any ripe peach will due.

Years and years ago I found the perfect way to peel ripe peaches. The key is using ripe peaches.  This method will not work with unripened peaches.  Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.  Putting a lid on the pot while it heats up will save some heat in your kitchen and speed the process.  Once the water is boiling, add as many peaches as fit well into the pot. Boiling peaches for Everything Peaches

Many recipes will tell you to let them boil for 30 to 40 seconds. I’m not sure if it’s my water, my peaches or me, but that has never been adequate.  Depending upon the ripeness, boil them until the skin will slip off easily.  Sometimes this will take several minutes.  Test one by running it under cold water and then try peeling it. Peeling a peach for Everything PeachesWhen they are ready place them in a colander and run cold water over them to stop the cooking.  The skins will practically slip off with no problem leaving smooth, beautiful peaches that are picture perfect.  Repeat with additional peaches if necessary. Peeled peaches for Everything Peaches

To easily separate the peaches from the stones, cut along the equator of the peach.  There will be a line on the peach where it looks like two halves meet.  Cut along that line Cutting a each for Everything Peachesand simply pull the two sides apart.Open peach with a stone for Everything Peache If the peach is a freestone as in the photo, the stone will easily pull out.  If the peach is of the cling variety, it will not pull apart as easily.  You may have to cut the peach away from the stone.

I have pulled recipes from past blogs featuring peaches as well as a couple of new ones.  If you love peaches, you will find something here for every part of the day.

Peachy Keen Mascarpone Parfait – This was my first blog for Pastries Like a Pro five years ago.  This started my love affair with peaches and amaretti cookies.Peachy Keen Mascarpone Parfait for Everything Peaches

Peach Pizza – This is a dessert to remember. A pate brisee crust, topped with a slightly sweet goat cheese filling and topped with peaches glazed with a chardonnay amaretto reduction.
Peach Pizza for Everything Peaches

Peach Pecan Bread – I made this for the TV show I appeared on for six years.  Peaches and pecans are a Southern favorite duo.Peach Bread for Everything PeachesPeach Sauce – This sauce serves as the basis for several desserts including the Peach Pizza.  It’s great to make a batch of this and keep it on hand for impromptu desserts.Peach Sauce for Everything Peaches

Peach SoupPeach Soup for Everything Peaches

For this soup to be most flavorful, use ripe peaches.  If they are not ripe when you buy them, let them sit at room temperature for a few days. Peaches vary in sweetness. Start with 1/3 cup sugar. After the soup is blended, taste it for sweetness.  Add the additional sugar if necessary.

Blanched Peaches
3 large peaches or 4 medium peaches

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add the peaches and blanch them for 3 to 4 minutes until the skin comes off easily.  As soon as they are done, run cold water over them and peel the skin off.  Cut them in half and remove the seed.  Set aside.

White Wine Base
2 1/2 cups dry white wine
1/4 cup Amaretto
1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons Tahitian Vanilla
1/2 cup water

Place all ingredients in a medium size saucepan and bring to a boil.   Add the peaches, seed side down.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer the peaches until they are very soft.

Place the peaches in a blender and blend until they are completely smooth.  Remove to a bowl.  Add the liquid to the blender and blend it.  Combine the two. Store in the refrigerator.  Yield:  5 cups

Note:   This can be made days ahead and refrigerated.  Stir before serving as it will separate.  This needs a crisp cookie to accompany it.

Variation: Besides the cookie, a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream placed in the middle of the soup is a fantastic addition.

Peach Melba Royal – The perfect drink for a wedding, shower, brunch or really, anytime. And it couldn’t be easier.Peach Melba Royal for Everything Peaches

Fresh Raspberries
Peach Schnapps
Champagne, cold

Place 3 or 4 fresh raspberries in the bottom of each champagne flute.  Add about 1 tablespoon of Peach Schnapps (more if you like).  Top off with cold champagne.  Enjoy!!

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14 thoughts on “Everything Peaches

  1. RobL

    I was at a dinner party not so long ago, and was asked ‘if stranded on an island, and had three foods you could bring along to eat and flavor with, what would they be?’ My immediate response: chocolate, garlic and peaches.

    I so look forward every year to all things fresh peach. I have a few more formulas to try this year, thanks to you, Helen.

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hi Rob – I’m with you. Not so much the garlic but definitely the chocolate and peaches. The crop seems good this year so we should be able to take advantage. Grilled or roasted peaches are the best with pork.

  2. Kim

    I am looking forward to the jam recipe. I missed getting the strawberry jam made with local berries so must make time for the peaches! I also enjoy canning peach halves in a light syrup to help me get through cold winter evenings!

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hi Kim – I used to can a lot but when we moved to the apartment, storage for all my cooking and baking equipment was at a premium so I pared back quite a lot. The canner went. So now I do refrigerator or freezer jams.

  3. Hillary

    I am so excited for the peach jam recipe! I just had my first perfect peach of the season last night. Hope to go to Eckert’s to pick peaches later this month to make jam.
    I have a question – for the home cook, where do you find 40% cream? I often shop at Whole Foods, Straubs, Schnucks or Dierbergs in St. Louis and just find “heavy cream” with no reference on the packaging to the % of cream. Any brands that you like or recommend or best places to purchase?
    Thank you!

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hi Hillary – 40% cream is the previous name for heavy cream. Heavy referring to the 40% butterfat in the cream as opposed to the lower amount in whipping cream. I now use the term heavy cream but my older recipes have the term 40% cream. It would be nice to go back and change them but with everything on my plate, it is not at the top of my to-do list.

    2. hfletcher Post author

      Whoops! I forgot to mention names of heavy cream. At work, we use Prairie Farms but I don’t find them dependable. Sometimes it is heavy cream, sometimes it says heavy cream but isn’t. So I don’t buy it for my personal use. Land ‘O Lakes is dependable and I am sure there are others. I just checked my fridge and I have Countryside Creamery which is good also. Mike brought Organic heavy cream home once but I was not at all fond of it. Another thing to consider is ultra pasteurized or not. Most of the creams are going to ultra pasteurized which simply means it will hold longer in your fridge. I have come to like that because I don’t always use all the cream at once. Hope this helps.

  4. Nikki

    Such a choice.
    The Parfait or the Pizza!
    I remember as a kid the best peaches were ones we bought at roadside stands on our way from Connecticut to Florida where we would spend the summers. They were juicy and we would eat so many the peach fuzz would start to feel like fiberglass embedded in our chins. (I think I may have really dated myself)
    Now days buying a good fresh peach is a crap shoot. Most are mealy and or go from rock hard to mush.
    I previously found a recipe on the Penzy’s Spice website, and it was in one of their catalogs, for a Harvest Peach Upside Down Cake. So until now that has been my way to use peaches that were not great for eating out of hand but I just think the Pizza will be a contender. As far as the Parfait…I love Amaretto and Mascarpone so….as I said…What a choice!
    Thank you again for a wonderful, informative Blog.

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hi Nikki – I don’t think there is a better fruit than fresh peaches. I will be posting a peach jam a bit later on. Glad you like the pizza – it truly is one of my favs.

        1. hfletcher Post author

          Hi Deb, I was going to hold the peach jam until a bit later but I will post it next week so everyone can take advantage of it while peaches are at their height of the season.

  5. mybobba1@gmail.com

    Recipes look wonderful. Kiss you photographer for the fabulous photos,makes me want eat my screen. I used to pick peaches at Eckerts and on Grafton. Great days to remember.

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Thanks Marilyn. We would go to Eckert’s to pick apples. What fun! I’ll pass your photo appreciation onto Mike.

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