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Peachy keen

By Angie Sutton

www.mothersapronstrings.com

The smell of fresh peaches at the local market was enough to peak my inner peachy creative senses. I pulled out a few recipes I had tucked away and marked changes on over the years and, after a second trip to the farmer’s market for more supplies, we had an overly peachy week.

Peaches are classified as clingstone or freestone based on how easy it is to dislodge the pit from the flesh. Most fresh peaches available for purchase are freestones. The fruits also come in two main colors: white and yellow. Choose fruit with a fragrant “peachy-sweet” aroma and flesh that yields a bit when pressed gently. If a peach has cuts or tan spots, or if it’s rock-hard or mushy, don’t buy it. Peaches that are tinged with green are usually underripe. Putting peaches in a loosely closed paper bag at room temperature for a day or two can help soften firm fruit, but they won’t become sweeter or ripen further—that stopped when they were removed from the tree. You can refrigerate peaches for three to five days in the veggie drawer.

Recipes often allow for canned or frozen peaches, which cut the preparation time and work just fine if fresh peaches are not handy. Four large peaches in general weigh-in at one pound. The stones or pits should be removed and discarded before cooking peaches.

Peaches are mostly fat free with a medium-sized peach having less than 1 gram of fat. They are a good source of fiber (leave the skin on), and a medium-sized peach has about 40 calories, making them a great snack!


Peach Crisp

1 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. light brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter, cubed

Filling:

2 (15.25 oz.) cans sliced peaches
1 c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. cornstarch

Topping:

1 1/2 c. old-fashioned oats
1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
5 Tbsp. butter, cubed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar and salt. Cut in the butter until crumbly. Pat into the bottom on an ungreased 9-inch square baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Meanwhile drain the peaches and reserve the juice. Pour the juice in a small saucepan and stir in the sugar and cornstarch until smooth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in peaches. Pour over the baked crust. For the topping, combine oats, brown sugar and flour. Cut in the butter until crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over the peach filling. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.


Peach Cobbler

Serve this warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

1 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. whole milk
3 c. sliced fresh peaches or frozen

Topping:

2 c. tap water
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
1 Tbsp. butter
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in the milk until combined and fold in the peaches. Spread into an 8-inch square baking dish. To make the topping: In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the waters, sugars, butter and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, continuing to stir until the sugar is dissolved. Carefully pour the hot liquid over the peaches. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the topping comes out clean. Filling will be bubbly.


Peach Dump Cake

1 large can peaches in syrup
1 (18 oz.) box white cake mix
1 1/2 sticks butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Dump the peaches into a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish that has been lightly coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle the cake mix evenly across the top of the fruit. Slice the butter into tablespoons and distribute evenly over the surface of the cake mix. Bake 45 to 55 minutes or until the top is brown and bubbly.


Peach Coffeecake

Source: Southern Living.

Works best with a shiny pan.

Streusel Topping:

1/2 c. butter, softened
1 c. granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 c. milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 c. peeled and sliced fresh firm, ripe peaches (about 3 large peaches)
Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare streusel topping. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add granulated sugar, beating well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; add to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Pour batter into a greased and floured 9-inch springform pan; top with sliced peaches and blackberries. Pinch off 1-inch pieces of Streusel Topping, and drop over fruit. Bake at 350 F for 1 hour and 10 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes or until center of cake is set. (A wooden pick inserted in center will not come out clean.) Cool completely on a wire rack (about 1 1/2 hours). Dust with powdered sugar.

Peaches and Cream No-Bake Dessert

Source: frugallivingnw.com.

16 whole graham crackers
3/4 c. butter, melted
1/2 c. sugar, divided
4 c. mini marshmallows
1/4 c. milk
1 t. vanilla extract
1 pint heavy cream
8 large peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced

Combine the crackers and 1/4 cup of sugar in a blender or food processor. Pulse until you have consistent crumbs. Add the melted butter and pulse a few times to combine. Set aside 1/4 cup of the graham cracker mixture for the topping. Pour the rest of the graham cracker mixture into a 9- by 13-inch pan and press with your fingertips to make a crust. In a medium saucepan, heat marshmallows and milk over low heat until melted, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and cool. Using an electric mixer, whip the cream until soft peaks form, then add 1/4 cup of sugar and the vanilla extract. Beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in the marshmallow mixture with a rubber spatula. Spread 1/2 of the cream mixture over the crust, arrange the peaches on the cream, then spread the remaining cream mixture over the top. Sprinkle remaining graham cracker crumbs on top. Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.


Easy Peach Crostata

You can substitute a bit of the granulated sugar with light brown sugar or even sprinkle in some ground ginger (1/8 teaspoon). A bit of dash of cinnamon or nutmeg would be good as well.

Prepared pastry dough (uncooked), enough for a 9-inch pie pan
4 large peaches, thinly sliced
1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. butter
1 large egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper. Set the uncooked pie dough onto the baking sheet. In a bowl, gently mix peaches, sugar and flour together. Pour fruit mixture into the center of the pastry round, leaving about 2 1/2 inches around the edge. Fold up the edge of the pastry dough over the filling to make a rim. Fan the edge as you go around, folding the dough. Brush pastry with the beaten egg and place the pat of butter on top of the fruit mixture. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling. Cool the crostata on a rack and serve warm or at room temperature.

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