Some lucky summers, it can be all about the peaches, a veritable "Peach Festival"! Here are four of my very favorite peach recipes.
First up, a luscious peach pie, a recipe I've been making for many years, kissed with a little orange that somehow makes the peaches just a little bit more 'peachy'.
Then three simple summer recipes, a cold peach soup (or wait, is it a peach smoothie? you decide), a savory peach appetizer, and the oh-so-luscious roasted peaches, one of my favorite simple summer desserts.
Oh, do you know the muffin man, the one that lives on Drury Lane? You may recognize this old nursery rhyme but do you know the peaches man, the one at Kirkwood Market?
My nearby ‘peach man’ lives at CJ’s Produce where he sells sun-blushed Eckert peaches from now til Labor Day. St. Louisans are lucky to have over-the-sink eatable and pie’n’preserve perfect peaches grown just across the river on farms where fruit trees first blossomed 145 years ago. Lucky us, for a few summer weeks, life can be all about the peaches.
Fresh Peach Pie really lets the peaches shine. The fruit softens more than cooks. The light orange sauce deepens and brightens the peach flavor. It’s a winner.
PEACH APPETIZERJust stir a few red pepper flakes, a couple of drops of Tabasco, some minced jalapeño and a fresh chopped peach into peach preserves. Spread over Homemade Ricotta, cream cheese or goat cheese and serve with crackers or thin slices of bread.
PEACH & CANTALOUPE SOUPIn a blender, just mix four skins-on peaches, half a cantaloupe, 1/2 cup nonfat yogurt, 2 tablespoons orange liqueur, 2 tablespoons fresh mint, the zest and juice of a lemon, plus sugar to taste. The soup is especially pretty served in clear glass bowls. For a starter, top with crumbled feta; for a dessert, drizzle with cream. Or serve it in a glass, like a peach smoothie!
ROASTED PEACHESFor a simple dessert, just put a teaspoon of brown sugar and butter into peach halves, top with a little cinnamon, a sprinkle of good salt and a few strands of fresh basil. Roast for 20 minutes at 350F, then top with a tiny spoon of sour cream. Peach-licious!
FRESH PEACH PIE
Time to table: 2 – 3 hours
- 1 pre-baked and cooled pie crust (such as Flaky Tender Pie Crust or Almond Pie Crust, see notes below)
- Water to cover
- 6 ripe peaches
- 1/2 cup sugar (Splenda works great)
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- Zest of an orange
- 1 cup orange juice (fresh-squeezed is wonderful)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons sugar (Splenda works great)
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- Orange zest for garnish, optional
PEACHES Remove the peach skins by "blanching". Here's how. Bring water to boil in a saucepan. Two or three at a time, drop peaches into boiling water for 1 minute. (Set a time, no longer!) Remove with slotted spoon, let cool. Slice to the pit lengthwise, slip off skins. Slice each half into six pieces, then halve the pieces.
FILLING Meanwhile, stir together sugar, cornstarch and zest in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Slowly stir in orange juice and cook til thickened, stirring often. Remove from heat and stir in butter and extract. Gently combine hot filling with sliced peaches and turn into pie crust. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 – 3 hours until very cold and set.
TOPPING Just before serving, whip cream with an electric mixer. While still beating, slowly add sugar and extract, then beat til stiff peaks form. Spoon into a freezer bag, snip off a corner and squeeze whipped cream decoratively onto the pie. If you like, garnish with orange zest.
PRIZE-WINNING PEACH PIE! When recipes appear on Kitchen Parade, I like to think each one is "the best" of its class, the best apple pie recipe, the best peach pie recipe, and so on. Fresh Peach Pie has been my go-to peach pie recipe since the 1980s, so delicious and fresh-tasting that I had no reason to seek out another. And then. And THEN I judged my town's peach pie contest and discovered First-Prize Peach Pie with a Lattice Crust. So now Kitchen Parade has two peach pie recipes! The two pies are entirely different, one tastes light and fresh and creamy, the other is deep-flavored and totally peachy. So you'll need to choose one or the other -- or make both and decide if you have a favorite! Me, there's no choosing between the two.
LOW-SUGAR, LOWER-CALORIE FRESH PEACH PIE In 2012, I experimented with an almond-meal crust, it was great! For the crust, mix 1-1/2 cups (130g) almond meal with 3 tablespoons melted butter and 3 tablespoons Splenda. Press into a pie plate with the back of a spoon and bake at 350F for about 15 minutes or until golden. Let cool before filling the crust. The crust is soft, it doesn't "stand up" to slicing the way a traditional crust does. That makes it a little messy to plate but the taste is excellent.
NUTRITION ESTIMATE Almond Crust & Pie, Made with Splenda, Per Slice: 327 Calories; 24g Tot Fat; 11g Sat Fat; 24g Carb; 4g Fiber; 51mg Sodium; 55mg Cholesterol Weight Watchers Old Points 8.5, PointsPlus 10
A Festival of Peaches
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