Life is Truly Peachy

Here are some tips for choosing peaches, and some quick-hit recipes.

Summer Fruit Plate

Summer Fruit Plate

Here are some peachy tips to remember:

  • Avoid peaches with green on them.
  • Do not store unripe peaches in the refrigerator. Peaches that have been stored too long at cold temperatures will turn brown or mushy from the inside out. A cold injury damages the ripening capability.
  • Choose fruit that smells fragrant and gives to gentle pressure.
  • Although you don't have to peel peaches in recipes, most people like to remove the skin. If it doesn't come off easily, make a small crisscross with a knife on the end of the peach, boil for 30 seconds, remove the peach with tongs and put it in a bowl of ice water. The peel should slip off.

Plum Creek Peach Crisp

Ingredients:

1-1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
2 tsp. finely grated orange zest
1/4 tsp. plus a pinch of salt, divided
12 to 14 plums, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch wedges (about 6 cups)
4 medium peaches, peeled, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch wedges (about 2 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. quick-cooking tapioca
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
vanilla ice cream

Preparation:

In food processor, combine flour, brown sugar, butter pieces, orange zest and 1/4 tsp. salt.

Pulse until mixture forms small clumps. (It may be prepared a day in advance. Cover and chill.)

In a large bowl, combine plums, peaches, sugar, tapioca, lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Let stand for at least 30 minutes and up to two hours, stirring occasionally.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 11-by-7-by-2-inch pan or a 2-quart baking pan.

Spoon plum mixture into a prepared dish and top with flour mixture. Bake until fruit is tender and topping is brown and crisp, approximately 45 to 60 minutes. Cool slightly and spoon into deep serving bowls.

Serve with vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt, if desired.

Yield: 10 to 12 servings

---Colorado Collage

Chilled Colorado Fruit Soup

Ingredients:

6 medium-size ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced
1/4 cup dry white wine
6 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp. honey
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
1 cup fresh orange juice
1 medium-size ripe cantaloupe, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Garnish:
sprigs of fresh mint
fresh blueberries

Preparation:

In a heavy saucepan, combine peaches, wine, lemon juice, honey, cinnamon and nutmeg. Heat to a boil.

Lower heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, cool to room temperature and puree in a blender or food processor.

In a blender or food processor, puree orange juice and 3/4 of cantaloupe until smooth.

In a large bowl, combine peach and cantaloupe mixtures. Chop remaining cantaloupe and stir into soup. Cover and chill.

Serve soup in chilled bowls, garnished with mint or fresh blueberries or both.

Makes 4 servings

---Creme de Colorado

Peach Bellinis

Ingredients:

4 very ripe medium peaches, peeled and sliced
1 bottle dry champagne or sparkling wine, chilled

Preparation:

In a food processor or blender, puree peaches until smooth liquid is formed. Pour into pitcher. Add champagne slowly, stirring to blend. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

---Colorado Collage

Cooking Tips:

Slice a peach into a glass of red wine. Use a spoon to eat the peach and then sip the wine. The wine enhances the flavor of the peach.

---The Way We Cook, by Sheryl Julian and Julie Riven

Cut six unpeeled peaches into thick slices and overlap in a broiler-proof buttered dish. Sprinkle peaches with three tablespoons of brown sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Sprinkle peaches with three tablespoons of heavy cream. Broil for one minute.

---The Way We Cook, by Sheryl Julian and Julie Riven

Cut a peach in half and remove the pit. Fill the center with almond paste or macaroon crumbs. Grill or broil.

---The Farmers' Market Guide to Fruit, by Jenni Fleetwood

Place two cups of blueberries in a saucepan with 1/2 cup sugar and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil; lower the heat and cook for 20 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, reserving the syrup.

Cut four peaches in half and remove the pits. Sprinkle with two tablespoons of sugar and place in a pan with a little water. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes until soft. Serve with hot blueberry syrup poured over the center.

---Desserts 1-2-3, by Rozanne Gold

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