Cooking

It’s a Peach!

August 19, 2013

peach isolated on white backgroundSince a medium sized peach only has about 35 calories and are fine sources of Vitamin A as well as C and E AND fiber I always very virtuous when I over indulge (I ate 3 yesterday and didn’t think twice about it!).

You’ll never get a true answer to the question of where the best peaches come from. Scientist say that the peach originated in the Far East, migrated to Persia and then from Spain to the rest of the known world. In the United States, Georgia, California and even New Jersey are all contenders for the best varieties.

When picking the perfect peach, first check out the area closest to the stem. If it’s green this is an indicator that it may have been picked too soon and isn’t ripe, while a creamy yellow color usually means good to go. Of course the firmness of the peach is also a factor. You obviously don’t want them to be rock hard nor should they be a mushy mess. Somewhere in-between lies the perfect balance of the peach that just barely “gives” when squeezed lightly. Just remember, peaches are a sensitive fruit and prone to bruises and bumps and should be handled accordingly. If they aren’t ripe, place them in a paper bag, but be careful not to crowd them. If they are ripe you can stored them in the refrigerator for up to a week. For the best of the best flavor I suggest you eat them at room temperature rather than refrigerator cold as the flavor and aroma seems to be enhanced when they are close to the temperature they were when picked.

All of these recipes can be utilized during yontif as peaches are plentiful and you can easily substitute nectarines, or apricots for the peaches in most recipes as they are from the same family and have very similar tastes. In most recipes, frozen or canned peaches can be substituted for fresh peaches. Just remember that most frozen and canned peaches have already had sugar or corn syrup added and you may need to adjust the amount of sweetener you add to the recipe. Most of the recipes can be made ahead of time and frozen until you need them.

Approx. 2 medium to large peaches = 1 cup sliced peaches.

Approx. 4 medium peaches = 1 cup pureed peach.

 

PEACHY POUND CAKE (dairy or pareve)

3 cups flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup butter or margarine, softened

2 cups sugar

6 eggs

11/2 teaspoons vanilla

1/4 teaspoon almond

1/2 cup sour cream or pareve substitute

2 cups chopped fresh or frozen peaches or nectarines (peeling optional)

Glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons cream cheese, at room temperature or pareve substitue

2 to 3 tablespoons milk or non dairy substitute

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 10 in bunt pan. In a bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and salt and mix to combine. In the bowl of an electric mixer or food processor cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, vanilla and almond extracts. Mix to combine. Add 1/2 of the flour mixture, mix to combine. Add 1/2 the sour cream and mix to combine. Repeat until all the flour and sour cream are combined. Gently, by hand, fold in the peaches. Do  not over mix.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in pan for 20 minutes and then flip the cake onto a serving platter and cool to room temperature. Glaze when cool.

Glaze: In a bowl of an electric mixer or food processor combine the powdered sugar, cream cheese, and milk. Beat until smooth. Dizzle the glaze over the top of the cake. Let set for 20 minutes before cutting.  Serves 10 to 12

Modified from epicurean.com

 

PEACHES AND CREAM CHEESE COFFEE CAKE (dairy) 

2/3 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

3 tablespoons butter, melted

3 fresh peaches (sliced) or 1 (15 oz) can sliced peaches, drained, save the liquid

Filling:

8 oz cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon reserved peach juice

Topping:

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9 in round cake pan. In a bowl of an electric mixer or food processor combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the egg, milk and butter and beat until combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and set it aside. Place the peach slices over the top of the batter.

In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the cream cheese, sugar and peach juice until smooth. Spoon the filling over the peaches on top of the cake batter. Combine the remaing sugar and cinnamon and then sprinkle the mixture on top and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Serves 6 to 8.

My files, source unknown.

 

PEACHES AND CREAM SHORTBREAD BARS (dairy)

For the Shortbread:

1 cup butter

1/4 cups brown sugar

1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 cups flour

Filling:

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 cups peach or apricot jam

3 large peaches, sliced thin

12 ounces, softened cream cheese

1/4 cups sour cream

1/2 cups sugar

1 tablespoon flour

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

Topping:

1 cup flour

1/4 cups sugar

1/2 cups brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For the shortbread crust:

Preheat the oven to 350. Line a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with foil, then grease the foil on all sides. Set the dish aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter until it begins to soften. Add sugar and salt and beat on low speed until just combined. Add the flour and beat on low speed until incorporated then increase to high speed and beat until a cohesive dough is formed. Using your fingers, press the dough into the baking dish and bake for 20 minutes or until puffy and golden brown. When it’s done remove it from the oven.

For the filling:

Brush shortbread crust with 1 tablespoon of melted butter. Spread peach jam evenly over the crust, then layer with sliced peaches. To make the cream layer, put the cream cheese and sour cream in a bowl and beat on high speed until smooth. Add sugar and 1 tablespoon flour and beat another 30 seconds. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth and thoroughly combined. Pour cheesecake mixture over peach slices. Set aside.

For the topping:

In a small bowl, combine flour, sugars, ginger, cinnamon, and salt. Pour melted butter over all of it and use your fingers to mix everything together until coarse crumbles form. Sprinkle over the top of the cheesecake layer. Bake for 30 minutes or until crumbles are golden brown and center is set. Cool to room temperature and then cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours Serves 10 to 12

 

CHICKEN AND PEACH SALAD (meat)

4 cups cooked chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces (you can use deli meat)

1 cup mayonnaise

2 cups slice fresh or canned peaches

4 stalks of celery, chopped

1/2 cup chopped pecans

2 tablespoons peach juice if using canned peaches or apple juice if using fresh

1/2 cup non dairy whipping cream (whipped)

8 romaine lettuce leaves salt white pepper

4 lime wedges

In a large bowl combine the mayonnaise and peach juice. Fold in the whipped cream and mix to combine. Add the chicken, celery, pecans and peaches and mix to combine. Cover and refrigerate. Place the lettuce on 4 plates and divide the chicken mixture between the plates. Garnish with lime. Serves 4.

Modified from about.com

 

SALMON WITH PEACH SAUCE (fish)

1 large salmon filet (enough for 4 people)

1 tablespoon olive oil

3/4 cup sugar

salt

2 tablespoon cornstarch

3/4 cup orange juice

1 tablespoon lemon juice

3 to 4 sliced peaches

1/2 cup water or apple juice or apricot juice

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cloves

Chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 9X13 baking pan place the salmon in it. Spread the oil over the top and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until done. While the fish is cooking make the sauce. In a saucepan combine the sugar, a pinch of salt, and the cornstarch. Mix to combine and then stir in orange and lemon juices. Add the water, cinnamon and cloves. Mix to combine.  Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce to a simmer and add the sliced peaches. Cook until the sauce thickens and the peaches just start to soften. Cut the salmon filet into serving size pieces and either serve it on a platter or plate it. To serve spoon the sauce and peaches over the top and decorate with chopped parsley. Serves 4.

Modified from epicurean.com

 

SKILLET PEACH UPSIDE DOWN CAKE (dairy or pareve)

2 pounds peaches, peeled and halved

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 1/4 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 egg

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 1/2 cups sour cream or non dairy substitute

13 tablespoons butter  or margarine

Preheat oven to 350. In n oven proof skillet combine the brown sugar with 5 tablespoons butter. Place it on a cook top and heat until melted and combined. Stir occasionally. Remove the pan from the heat and arrange the peach halves, cut sides up, in pan. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the remaining 8 tablespoons butter with the sugar.  Beat to combine then add the egg and vanilla. Mix to combine. In a bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Stir in 1/2 of the flour mixture then 1/2 of the sour cream and then repeat. Spread the batter over the peaches and bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, approx 45 to 55 minutes. Serves 8.

Submitted by Reggie Vanston, NY, NY

 

CORNMEAL CHICKEN WITH PEACH SALSA (meat)

Salsa

5 medium peaches, peeled and chopped (3 cups)*

1 large tomato, chopped (1 cup)

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

3 tablespoons oil

2 tablespoons white or rice wine vinegar

1/4 teaspoon salt

Chicken

1/2 cup yellow cornmeal

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/4 lb)

2 tablespoons oil

 

In large bowl, mix all salsa ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until serving. In shallow dish, combine the cornmeal, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper. Coat chicken with cornmeal mixture. In 10-inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook the chicken for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until juice is clear when center of thickest part is cut Serve with salsa. Makes 4 Serving.

Modified from Betty Crocker.com

 

PISTACHIO PEACH BREAD (dairy or pareve)

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1 cup sugar

3 eggs

2 3/4 cup flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon clove

2 cups fresh sliced peaches

2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate (the frozen stuff)

1 tablespoon orange zest

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 to 2/3 cup pistachios, chopped

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 9X5 loaf pan. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the butter and sugar. Cream until smooth then add the eggs. Mix to combine. In another bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and clove. Mix to combine then add 1/2 the flour into the butter mixture alternating with the peaches until everything is combined. Stir in the orange juice concentrate, orange zest, vanilla and pistachios. Do not over mix. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes then remove from pan. Cool completely and then serve. Serves 8 to 10.

My files, source unknown

 

© Eileen Goltz Peach 13a