Posts tagged peach
Wednesday, July 25, 2012

peach jam with apricots and black pepper

peach apricot jam with black pepper

There’s cooking and there’s cooking. What I mean by that is there is deliberate recipe development, whether you’re inspired by an idea or are trying to perfect a technique and make something already out there — better. There’s also cooking that requires you to put on your waste-nothing hat on, in an effort to rescue produce be it because it has lingered in your crisper or food bowl a bit too long, or because it has the shelf life of approximately a few hours before it fully disintegrates. Today, I’m writing about the latter. Next time, I’ll write about the former. I try to strive for balance.

I know I wrote last week that I’m going down the rabbithole of recipe writing for a few weeks, and was not going to be heard from, but I need to write because it clears my head.

But let’s get back to what really matters here. It’s summer, after all, and peak of amazing produce. Anyone else feel completely overwhelmed when they go to their local greenmarket? I want to buy it all, and often it feels like I do. I often buy too much. But I’m greedy and I don’t want to miss those little available-for-a-week-only opportunities. Gooseberries? I’ll take a pint! Red currants? Yes, please. Two weeks after we got married, I spied sour cherries at my local greenmarket, the very last of the season. I bought the remaining two pints, pitted them, and now they are sitting pretty in my freezer awaiting their fate.

Continue reading peach jam with apricots and black pepper.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

peach jam with bourbon and vanilla

sealed - heard a pop!

Friends, there is, at once, much to tell and nothing to tell. August was a rough month – I’m hoping that September will be better. It has to be, to balance out the August mayhem.

I’m glad to leave August behind; a month like that leaves you feeling drained. A month like that – and I’m ready to leave the summer behind. And even though we just got back from a vacation, I could use another one right about now.

Truthfully, we had no business spending what we spent for the vacation. In the end, it turned into a slightly pricier affair than we’d intended. But looking back – it was well worth it. Who knows what will happen down the road. Mann traoch, Gott Lauch. This has been replaying in my head over and over. Try to live in the moment. Savor each day.

Continue reading peach jam with bourbon and vanilla.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

peach crème fraiche pie with a thyme butter crust

peach creme fraiche pie with a thyme butter crust

Friendships can start in the most esoteric of ways. Some friendships commence in early childhood; others – through mutual friends. Once, a cherry pitter led me to one of my best friends – Jennie.

I had accidentally ordered two cherry pitters, and when they arrived, I realized my mistake. Who needs two cherry pitters anyway? I tweeted about my accidental splurge, and Jennie tweeted back, with an offer to relieve me of such burden. After a few tweets, we agreed to meet for coffee. I brought the cherry pitter; she brought her award-winning tomato jam. By the end of our coffee date we both knew – our friendship was meant to be.

Continue reading peach crème fraiche pie with a thyme butter crust.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

peach ice cream with sour cream and black pepper

peach ice cream

Oddly enough, one of my favorite things to do in the kitchen is to temper eggs and make egg custards. Funny, how something that made me anxious just few years back is now a favorite activity in the kitchen. My fear caused me to resist egg custard-based recipes for years, until I finally bit the bullet, gave it a try, and found that it’s really not so terrible or difficult.

Tempering isn’t exactly rocket science, but it is slow, measured, deliberate, patient. So if drizzling hot cream while whisking it into eggs makes you crazy just thinking about it, tempering might not be that enjoyable to you. I, on the other hand, find it meditative, much like focusing on your breath in yoga. Tempering requires that you make fast friends with your custard, one trickle of hot cream at a time, turning eggs into a lush, golden-hued, velvety fluid.

Continue reading peach ice cream with sour cream and black pepper.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

peach, apricot, and blueberry cobbler

peach, apricot, and blueberry cobbler

Should you find yourself in a precarious situation with too many peaches (a common occurrence in this household where we love summer produce), you must, at once, head over to the kitchen and make cobbler. It’s really an unwritten rule of summer. Make a note, don’t forget it. You can thank me later.

Cobblers are delicious, but beyond that, they are forgiving – they look better imperfect, slightly scraggly. Summertime pie crusts, though I love them beyond words, can be a bit finicky. They love the cold, but summers here tend to be hot, sticky – an enemy of cold-loving crusts. Even though I have pretty much gotten my summer pie production under control, there are times when you don’t have the hours to chill the crust before rolling it out. Sometimes, you up and decide you want to make dessert and there is fruit that needs to be rescued. So on days when I don’t have a pie crust hanging out in the fridge, or if I have simply forgotten to take the crust out of the freezer, cobblers are a beautiful, beautiful thing.

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Monday, August 23, 2010

peach shortcake

peach shortcake

And the kitchen counter was covered in flour. As was the kitchen floor. And my face. And my hair. And shhhhhh, parts of my camera! Oh recipe development, you are a mess-maker! Not that I didn’t know that. But I think the chaos created in my kitchen was of an unprecedented level. And I can’t wait for more.

fragrant summer peaches

That’s a peach shortcake above that you see. I figured that because I like shortcake (and I’m not alone in this, am I) I shouldn’t be limited to just strawberry shortcake. We’ve got but a short window when strawberries are in season and after that, it’s just not the same, though with a little sugar and balsamic, there are miracles to be had. But, still, the season is woefully short, especially if you love strawberries as much as I do. Or shortcake for that matter. And last time I checked, there wasn’t a soul in the world who was going to (willingly) refuse shortcake: all that butter and whipped cream? Yes, please. Thus, I decided to extend the shortcake idea well into the summer months, when stone fruit, such as peaches, comes in full swing at my local farmer’s market.

shortcake mise

By now you probably know that I have this unabashed love of rustic dessert. If you ask me to choose between a chocolate tart and a chocolate bread pudding, inevitably, the bread pudding will win almost every time. Crumbles, buckles, brown bettys, slumps, spoon cake, pudding cake, buttermilk everyday cake – hold my attention more than their fancier cousins. The dessert, I’d want to eat in my pajamas, on my couch on a quiet evening; kind that looks better messy than perfectly composed.

Shortcake biscuits benefit from fruit that has been allowed to steep in its juices, usually facilitated by the addition of sugar. On its own, the biscuit is dry and crumbly, but ladle some fruit with some sugary juices in the middle of a halved biscuit, and a few minutes later, the fruit begins to penetrate the crumbly surface. Peaches, especially right now, tend to run on the sweet side, so I add a tiny bit of lemon juice to up the tartness just a bit. Mixed with a few spoons of sugar and left alone, the peaches transform into a lovely uncooked compote of sorts.

crumbly and mixed circles

I originally wrote up this recipe, upon Jennie’s invitation, for the Cuisinart blog as a guest post. I’m not sure when the post is going up, but I couldn’t wait to share it with all of you. I tested the biscuit recipe and came up with something that can either yield a more rustic and chewy biscuit, or a more traditional crumbly one, depending on what you want to do. So I’m offering you a whole wheat and an all purpose versions here. With this exercise alone, I have found new respect for coming up with new baking recipes – testing batches, adjusting your ingredients, is nothing to scoff at. Not that I ever did. But the process can be laborious, intense, at times frustrating – but in the end, if you are patient and persistent, immensely rewarding.

shortcake
blanched! nekkid peach

This upcoming Sunday, I’m embarking on testing chocolate cake recipe for cupcakes I’m making for a friend’s wedding in October. I’m going to enlist Andrew and a part-time photographer to capture the messes and the hands-on details. Operation “Wedding Cupcakes” is about to commence. I see flour everywhere. Brace yourselves.

chillin'

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