I’ve made this salsa with nectarines and plums as well as with peaches and a variety of stone fruits, depending on what is in season, at the farmer’s market or available for U Pick. Its great with grilled pork chops, prawns, or rockfish.
2 peaches, pitted and medium diced
1 firm and ripe red or yellow tomato, seeded and medium diced
1 firm and ripe tomatillo (optional), seeded and diced
1 firm and ripe avocado, diced
1/4 cup red onion, small dice
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced
Juice of one ripe lime, about 2 tablespoons or to taste
1 TB honey
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Place the fruit, tomato, tomatillo, onion, cilantro, lime juice, and red pepper flakes in a bowl; toss to blend.
- Gently fold in diced avocado.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Cover. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
PEACHES, FRESH AND WARM
As perfect for dessert as for the main course, or for breakfast as for any meal, this recipe is easy, basic and equal parts rustic and elegant.
3-4 whole fresh peaches, pitted, pith removed, and cut into ½ inch or so slices, or 1 bag frozen sliced peaches
1 vanilla bean pod or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cinnamon stick, or ½ teaspoon cinnamon
2-3 whole cloves
¼ cup honey
- Cover the peaches with water to cover in a medium saucepan.
- Add the spices and honey.
- Simmer until the peaches are soft and tender, remove with a slotted spoon.
- Reduce the leftover liquid slightly, to maximize the sweetness of the honey/juice/water mixture and to bring the flavors of vanilla and spices forward. Remove whole spices and use the reduction as a sauce for pie, ice cream, or grilled meats.
PEACH SIMPLE SYRUP
By Mike Archibald, Executive Chef, Herrington on the Bay A recipe I’ve used for various preparations throughout August and even into September with a variety of stone fruits, here Chef Mike Archibald uses his peach simple syrup recipe to make fresh Peach Soda. We love this recipe because its so fun and family friendly (Grilled Peach Ice Cream Floats anyone?) but can be made into an adult treat with just a dash of this or that.
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
4 each, fresh peaches, pitted and roughly chopped
- In a saucepan, heat the sugar in the water until it dissolves.
- Add the peaches and cook until the peaches are tender.
- Using a blender or immersion blender, puree the mixture.
- Pour through a mesh strainer to remove any pulp.
8 ounces crushed ice
3 ounces Peach Simple Syrup
5 ounces club soda
fresh peach slices for garnish.
- Put the ice in a 16 ounce chilled glass.
- Pour the cooled simple syrup and soda over the ice. Stir. Garnish with the fresh peach slices and a fresh herb like lemon verbena, lemon thyme, pineapple sage or mint.
- *While Chef Mike Archibald didn’t include a hit of gin, vodka or bourbon, we think these would work nicely here.
PEACH UPSIDE DOWN CAKE
Based loosely on my grandma’s pineapple upside down cake, this dessert has a cake with a light crumb, vanilla flavor, slight, not cloying sweetness, and those sugary, hot, delicious baked peaches!
¼ cup butter
½ cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
¼ cup raw turbinado sugar, real maple syrup or floral honey
½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or the scraped seeds from 1 vanilla bean pod
3 peaches, peeled, pitted, pithed, sliced
Local walnuts or southern pecans, cut into halves
For the Cake
¼ cup butter
1 large egg
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
½ teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cup flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ cup milk
¼ cup plain whole milk yogurt, sour cream or buttermilk
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a 9″ round cake pan.
- To make the topping: Melt the butter in a sauce pan or the microwave. Mix in the brown sugar, turbinado, syrup or honey, vanilla and honey. Spoon the mixture into the prepared 9” cake pan.
- Space the peach slices on top of the sugar mixture. If you need to go retro, you can place a fresh or maraschino cherry decoratively around the peach slices, in a pattern. If you’re using nuts, scatter them in any spaces.
To make the cake:
- Beat the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg, then the salt, baking powder, almond and vanilla.
- Add the milk and yogurt, sour cream or buttermilk. Loosely blend.
- Add the flour, about 1/3 cup at a time, blending gently to not overwork the flour and scraping down the bowl as needed.
- Spoon the thick batter over the peaches, making sure to get it to the edge of the pan. It make not fully cover the fruit, but that is fine, they will bake together.
- Bake 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven, wait 5 minutes, then turn the pan over onto a serving plate. Wait 30 seconds to a minute more, then lift the pan off. If anything sticks in the pan, just lift it out and place it back on the cake.
- Serve warm or at room temperature. My family loves it with fresh whipped cream. This cake overnights well and is perfect for a picnic…or breakfast….brunch…a gift…..
BOURBON PEACH COBBLER
One of my readers, Barbara Pease, turned me on to this delicious cobbler originated by Tyler Florence of The Food Network, which I have tweaked a little and play with depending on what’s at the market, in the fridge or on my mind.
For The Fruit
8 cups fresh peaches, nectarines, or plums, pitted and sliced into ½-1 inch slices.
¼ cup bourbon (optional)
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Seeds from ½ pod of vanilla bean or ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
For The Cake
1 ½ cup all purpose flour (I use King Arthur White Wheat Flour)
Scant ¼ cup sugar
¾ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 sticks cold butter (I freeze my butter, cubed)
½ cup plain whole milk yogurt or ¾ cup cream
½ cup heavy cream for brushing the cobbler
1-2 tablespoon white or turbinado sugar for sprinkling
- Heat your oven to 375F.
- In a large bowl, add the peaches, bourbon, ¼ cup sugar, cornstarch, spices, vanilla and lemon. Toss to mix well, coating the peaches evenly. Set aside. Can be made in advance and refrigerated, but only for a short time before the fruit releases its juice and starts to turn color. Releasing the juices isn’t necessarily a bad thing—make sure to keep them in the final cobbler preparation.
- Prepare the cobbler: Sift together the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add 1 ½ sticks cubed butter to the flour mixture and cut it in with a pastry blender, a few (10-15) pulses in the food processor or with your hands until the mixture looks like coarse breadcrumbs or peas. Add the yogurt or cream and mix just until the dough comes together. Don’t overwork; the dough should be slightly sticky but manageable.
- In a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium-low heat, melt the remaining butter. Add the fruit mixture and cook gently until heated through, about 5 minutes. Drop the dough by mounded spoonfuls over the fruit. Brush the top of the cobbler drops (also called dumplings) with heavy cream and sprinkle with white or turbinado sugar. Place the cast iron pan on a baking sheet to catch any drips that might overflow. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until the top is browned and the fruit is bubbling.