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Can you believe there are 2 different types of Peaches...and beyond that tons of varieties? The earliest peaches of the season are clingstone peaches. This means the flesh of the peach 'clings' to the pit. Later on we have freestone peaches. The ones that come free from their pit more easily. Then there are the delicious donut peaches. Don't forget to give them a try, too. We also sometimes have nectarines available later on in the peach season. Nectarines are a lot like peaches, but without the fuzz.

STORAGE: Keep unripe peaches and nectarines in a paper bag on your counter. Close the bag and allow them to sit undisturbed in a warmish (but not hot) place for a few days. Store ripe apricots at room temperature. They will have a much better flavor if they are not chilled. If they are very ripe, then store them in your frige. Make sure to check on them as they ripen. 


QUICK IDEAS: chop up into a fresh salsa; add to ice water; cook in some butter and sugar on the stovetop and add to your favorite dessert


Peach and Rum Pudding Cake
From The Enchanted Broccoli Forest 

Cake:
2 cups unbleached white flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
2 eggs
1 packed cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons rum
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 1/2 cups fresh peach slices

Topping: 
1/2 pint heavy cream
2 tablespoons rum
3 tablespoons sifted confectioner's sugar

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 350 F, grease a 9x13" pan
2) Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and spices in a large mixing bowl
3) In a separate bowl, beat eggs and brown sugar together. Use and electric mixer, and beat well at high speed for several minutes
4) Beat the vanilla, rum and melted butter into the sugar and egg mixture
5) Stir the wet ingredients into the flour mixture. Add the peaches. Use a wooden spoon to combine everything well with just a few swift strokes, careful not to over mix.
6) Spread the mixture into your greased 9x13" pan. Bake 35 minutes at 350 F
7) Whip the heavy cream, sprinkling in the rum and confectioner's sugar. Serve the pudding cake hot or warm, in squares, laced with topping.


Pickled Peach Relish
From Food & Wine August 2012

4 large ripe but firm peaches, pitted and cut into 1/2 in. dice
2 cups white wine vinegar
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. yellow mustard seeds
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
2 Tbsp. kosher salt

1) In a large saucepan, combine the white wine vinegar with the water, sugar, mustard seeds, bay leaf, peppercorns, and salt and bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar.
2) Put the diced peaches in a large, heatproof bowl and pour the hot brine over them. Let the peaches stand for 1 hour, then refrigerate for about 30 minutes or until chilled. Keeps for about a week in the fridge.

Creamy Peach Tart with Smoky Almond Crust
from Food & Wine August 2011

2 cups vanilla wafer cookies, such as Nilla wafers 
1/2 cup smoked almonds
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sour cream
1 egg
2 firm, ripe medium peaches, peeled and cut into thin wedges

Directions:
1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, combine the vanilla wafers with the almonds and 2 Tbsp. of the sugar and process until fine. Add the melted butter and pule until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Press the crumbs into the bottom and 1/2 inch up the side of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes, until the crust is set.
2) Meanwhile, wipe out the food processor bowl. Add the cream cheese, sour cream, egg and 2 tablespoons of the sugar and process until smooth. Pour the custard into the crust and bake for 15 minutes, until set. Let the tart cool slightly and transfer to the freezer to chill, about 15 minutes. 
3) In a bowl, toss the peaches with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Arrange the peaches in 2 concentric circles over the custard. Remove the ring, cut the tart into wedges and serve. 

Peach and Pistachio Salad: Serves 6
From Food & Wine August 2011

1 large mild onion, thinly sliced
1 large hot chile, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
3 underripe medium peaches, very thinly sliced
2 medium radishes, cut into matchsticks
3/4 cup shelled, salted pistachios, coarsely chopped
2 cups baby arugula

Directions:
1) In a large bowl, combine the shallot, red chile, sugar, and vinegar and let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
2) Add the peaches, radishes, and pistachios and toss well. Fold in the arugula and season with salt and pepper. Serve right away. 

Stone Fruit Pie with Almond Streusel 
from Food & Wine July 2012

Dough:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
5 tablespoons ice water

Streusel:
1/2 cup light brown sugar
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons slivered almonds
6 tablespoons rolled oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Filling:
2 1/4 pounds assorted stone fruits, such as apricots, cherries, peaches, and plums, pitted and sliced 1/3 inch thick, peaches and plums peeled first
1/3 cup sugar 
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup cornstarch

vanilla ice cream, for serving

Directions:
1) Make the dough: in a food processor, combine the flour with the sugar, salt, and baking powder and pulse to blend. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Sprinkle the ice water over the mixture and pulse a few times, just until a dough starts to form. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and gently knead it a few times. Pat the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until chilled and firm, at least 2 hours or overnight.
2) Meanwhile, make the streusel: in a bowl, combine the bron sugar with the flour, almonds, oats, cinnamon and salt. Add the butter and with a pastry cutter or your hands, cut or rub the butter into the mixture evenly. Refrigerate the streusel. 
3) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to a 14-inch round, about 1/8 inch thick. Fold the dough in half and transfer it to a 9-inch glass pie plate. Unfold the dough and gently press it into the plate. Trim the overhanging dough to 1/2 inch and fold it under itself; crimp decoratively. Freeze the pie shell for 10 minutes. 
4) Make the filling: In a large bowl, toss the sliced fruit with the sugar and lemon juice and let stand for 5 minutes to let the sugar dissolve. Stir in the cornstarch. Scrape the fruit into the pie shell in an even layer. Scatter the streusel evenly on top of the fruit. 
5) Bake the pie in the lower third of the oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the fruit starts to bubble around the sides. Transfer the pie to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature. Cut into wedges and serve with vanilla ice cream.

Triple-Ginger Nectarine Jam
From Food & Wine August 2012

Four 1/2-pint canning jars with lids and rings
2 1/2 pounds firm but ripe nectarines
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp. minced candied ginger
1 Tbsp. finely grated fresh ginger
2 tsp. ground ginger

Directions:
1) Fill a large pot with water, cover and bring to a boil. Add the canning jars, lids and rings along with a set of tongs and a ladle and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes to sterilize. Cover the pot and turn off the heat.
2) Set a metal rack in another large pot. Fill the pot with water and bring to a boil. Add the nectarines and boil until the skins loosen, about 30 seconds; using a slotted spoon, transfer them to a rimmed baking sheet and let cool. Peel, halve, and pit the nectarines and cut them into 1/2 inch dice.
3) In a large, wide saucepan, combine the nectarines with the sugar, lemon juice, and the candied, fresh, and ground gingers. Bring to a boil over moderately high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar and skimming the surface as necessary. Reduce the heat to moderate and simmer the jam, stirring once or twice, until it reaches 200 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 10 minutes longer.
4) Using the sterilized tongs, remove the jars from the hot water and transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet. Ladle the jam into jars, leaving 1/2 inch at the top. Using the tongs, place the lids on the jars followed by the rings. Screw on the lids securely but not too tightly. 
5) Using canning tongs, lower the jars into the boiling water of the pot with the rack at the bottom, making sure they are covered by at least 1 inch. Boil over high heat for 10 minutes. Using the canning tongs, transfer the jars to a rack to cool until the lids seal (they will look concave); refrigerate any jars that do not seal. Store the sealed jars in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months. 

Roasted Peach Cobbler: Serves 6
from Food and Wine July 2014

8 large ripe peaches, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch thick wedges
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons cold butter cut into small pieces
1 large egg 
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon juice or apple cider vinegar

Directions:
1) Preheat broiler on high and position rack 6 inches from the heat.
2) In a large bowl toss peaches with brown sugar and scrape them onto a rimmed baking sheet. 
3) Broil the peaches for about 15 minutes, flipping them halfway through, until caramelized and juicy.
4) Let the peaches cool slightly. Lower oven temperature to 375.
5) Meanwhile, in a bowl combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. 
6) Add the butter, and with your fingertips, rub into mixture evenly. Stir in egg  and vanilla and refrigerate crumb topping.
7) In a bowl, toss cooled peaches with the lemon juice, place in baking pan and sprinkle crumb topping over top.
8) Bake until golden, about 20 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes then serve with vanilla ice cream.

Peaches and Nectarines