10 ways to eat your peaches
CBC Calgary food and nutrition columnist Julie Van Rosendaal offers some fresh ideas for the juicy fruit
B.C. peaches are at their peak — overflowing farmers’ market bins alongside tomatoes, peppers and zucchini.
Besides eating out of hand, they are delicious in salads, atop pizza, whizzed into smoothies or simmered into chutney.
If you’re looking for fresh ideas, or have a sub-par batch that needs a little help, here are 10 ways to incorporate peaches into your breakfast, lunch and dinner — or to store them for the winter.
Roast peaches by halving and pitting them. Lay the sections on a parchment or silpat-lined baking sheet and then drizzle with a bit of oil or melted butter and a sprinkle of brown sugar.
Roast at 450˚F for 20 minutes, or until they’re soft and juicy with slightly charred edges.
Store in a jar — where they’ll continue to release their juices — in the fridge. Serve on yogurt with granola, eat straight up or freeze for long-term storage.
Make a bourbon milkshake
You don’t need a formula for milkshakes — just add a few roasted peaches to the blender along with a spoonful of brown sugar (you don’t need much, but it lends a caramelly flavour), a few scoops of ice cream and a glug of bourbon.
Pulse until it’s smooth and sippable, adjusting quantities of each ingredient if you think it needs it.
Make a grain-free tart
Pulse 10 pitted Medjool dates, one cup toasted pecan halves and one cup toasted almonds in a food processor with two tsp. butter and a pinch of salt.
Press into the bottom of a cake pan and top with one tub of mascarpone cheese, whipped with enough cream to make it spreadable and thinly-sliced ripe peaches.
Mash two to three ripe peaches with a potato masher right in a large skillet, add sugar (in quantities of about half sugar to fruit) and a squeeze of lemon. If you like, grate in some fresh ginger.
Bring to a simmer and cook until the mixture thickens and looks like jam.
Store in the fridge or freezer.
Roast them alongside ham
Whatever recipe you use, toss thickly sliced peaches with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, and roast them alongside the ham — right in the pan — until they’re soft, juicy and caramelized. Serve warm or cold with the ham.
Bake a cake
Sprinkle sliced peaches and berries over thick cake batter before you bake it. Or chop them and stir them into bran muffin batter or scones.
Bake a pie
Slice seven to eight ripe peaches into a bowl and toss with ¾ cup sugar mixed with ¼ cup flour and ¼ tsp. cinnamon. Pile into an unbaked shell and top with a lattice or crumble mixture made with ½ cup each of flour, oats and brown sugar and ¼ cup butter.
Bake at 400°F for an hour until golden and bubbly.
Make pulled pork
Brown a pork shoulder in a skillet and transfer to a slow cooker. Sauté a thinly-sliced onion in the pan to loosen any browned bits, and add to the slow cooker.
Include chopped peaches, 1/3 cup each brown sugar, ketchup and apple cider vinegar. Cover and cook on low for eight hours; pull apart with forks and serve on soft buns or biscuits with barbecue sauce to taste.
Cut peaches in half, pull out the stones and brush with a bit of oil before grilling cut-side-down on a preheated grill until char-marked.
Slice and serve with grilled pound cake or split shortcakes and whipped cream.
Eat fresh slices on toast
Toasted, buttered bread topped with thickly-sliced juicy peaches is divine.