Peaches are available from May through September, but they are ripe on our trees right now if you were lucky enough to avoid the unsuitable weather of spring.
When buying peaches, look for fruit with a golden yellow skin and no tinges of green. Ripe fruit should yield slightly to gentle pressure. They can be refrigerated for up to five days, if they last that long.
Avoid any that are bruised, shriveled, moldy or blemished. Happy eating. They are even good for you.
PERFECT FOR PIE — There is nothing more refreshing than a juicy, freshly picked peach. They go well with meats, used as sauces, in salsas and especially in pies.
-- Esther McCoy
Here is the recipe for peach pie that I used in the picture on today's food page. It is from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook.
Peachy Peach Pie
Pastry for double crust, see following the filling recipe
1/2 to 2/3 cups sugar
2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
6 cups thinly sliced, peeled peaches or frozen, unsweetened peach slices
For filling, in a large bowl, stir together sugar, tapioca, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add peaches, Gently toss peaches until coated. Let mixture stand 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. If using frozen peaches, let mixture stand 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare and roll out pastry for double crust pie. Line a 9-inch pie plate with a pastry circle. Stir peach mixture. Transfer peach mixture to the pastry-lined pie plate. Trim bottom pastry to edge of pie plate. Cut slits in the remaining pastry circle. Place on filling and seal. Crimp edge as desired. Place on a baking sheet to prevent overbrowning, cover edge of pie with foil and bake for 25 minutes, or 40 minutes for frozen fruit. Remove foil and bake 25 to 30 minutes more until filling is bubbly and pastry is golden. Cool on a wire rack.
2 1/4 cups flour
3/4 teaspoons salt
2/3 cup shortening
8 to 10 tablespoons cold water
In a medium bowl, stir flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in shortening until pieces are pea size. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon water over part of the flour mixture. Toss with a fork. Push moistened pastry to side of the bowl. Repeat misting flour mixture, using 1 tablespoon of water at a time until flour mixture is moistened. Divide in half and form halves into balls.
On lightly floured surface, use your hands to slightly flatten one pastry ball. Roll from center to edges in a circle, 12 inches in diameter. Wrap pastry circle around rolling pin and unroll into a 9-inch pie plate. Ease into the plate without stretching. Trim pastry even with rim of pie plate. Add filling to the pastry-lined pie plate. Roll remaining ball into a circle 12 inches in diameter. Cut slits in pastry. Place pastry circle on filling. Trim to 1/2 inch beyond edge of plate. Fold top pastry under bottom pastry. Crimp edge and bake as directed.
This recipe is from a dear lady I came to know through doing a food page on her, and she gave me one her wonderful cookbooks called "Let's All Get Cooking" by Helen McDiffitt,
This recipe was included in the book, and it looks really interesting. I need to get some more peaches to try it. It tells that the recipe is from Brenda Burwell.
4 large ripe peaches
2 cans crescent rolls
1 cup sugar
1 stick butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 can Mountain Dew
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Stir together sugar, cinnamon and melted butter. Set aside. Peel and cut peaches into quarters. Wrap each piece of peach in a crescent roll and place in a 9- by-13 baking dish. If peaches are small, use two pieces per roll. Spoon sugar mixture over rolls. Pour Mountain Dew overall. Bake 40 to 45 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm sprinkled with powdered sugar.
This is a sweet and spicy dish that is put into custard cups or a glass baking dish and baked for 5 minutes to get it really warm. It is from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook.
3 ripe medium peaches, peeled and sliced
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons snipped fresh basil or teaspoon snipped fresh mint
In a medium bowl combine sliced peaches, sugar, cinnamon, orange peel, vanilla and nutmeg. Toss gently to combine. Divide peach mixture among four 5-inch individual custard dishes or into a glass baking dish. Bake covered in a 350 preheated oven for 5 to 10 minutes or until warm and bubbly. Sprinkle with basil if desired.
I changed this recipe around a bit. Lamont tells me I do that with all recipes I make. Helen McDiffit, author of the family recipe book "Let's Get Cooking," used tangerines in her ham glaze, but I changed mine to peaches and orange juice. It was very good. I only made half the recipe as I had a small ham.
1 cup butter
2 peaches, peeled and sliced thin
2 cups orange juice
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
Place saucepan over medium heat and add butter, peaches, orange juice, brown sugar and spices to water. Cook slowly. Liquid needs to cook down to a syrupy glaze, about 40 minutes. Start basting the ham after two hours of baking.
Note: My suggestion is to baste every 15 minutes after 2 hours of baking.
This recipe is from Dawn Hall's Slow Cooker Cookbook for Busy People. This calls only for two ingredients and is 203 calories per serving, with 12 servings per dessert. She made it with light cherry pie filling but it is yummy with peach filling as well.
Peach Cobbler Spoon Dessert
18.25-ounce box yellow cake, do not make as directed on the box
20-ounce can light peach pie filling, or any fruit of choice
Spray a slow cooker with nonfat cooking spray. Spread half the dry cake mix in the bottom of the slow cooker. Spread half the can of pie filling over the dry cake mix. Repeat layers. Cook, covered, on high for 2 hours. Remove the servings from the slow cooker. Do not invert the dessert. Serve directly from the slow cooker. Makes 12 three-ounce servings.
This is another recipe from Dawn Hall, who publishes such great low-calorie recipes. She notes that it is super moist and super delicious.
Peaches and Cream Spoon Cake
15 1/4-ounce can peaches in light syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus additional for topping, optional
18 1/4 ounce white cake mix, dry (Dawn uses Duncan Hines.)
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
24 tablespoons fat-free whipped topping
Preheat a slow cooker on high. Spray the slow cooker with nonfat cooking spray. In a blender, puree peaches with the peach syrup, allspice and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon until smooth and no peach pieces are visible. Pour the pureed peaches into the cooker. Set aside 1/2 cup dry cake mix for later. Pour the remaining box of dry cake mix into the slow cooker with the pureed peaches. Stir for 2 minutes. There still may be lumps in the batter.
In a bowl, stir together the dry oatmeal and the reserved 1/2 cup dry cake mix until well mixed. Gently sprinkle the mixture on top of the batter in the slow cooker. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon top. Place a paper towel over the slow cooker. Put the lid on over the paper towel to cover. Cook on high for 2 hours. Spoon the cake out while still warm or hot onto each serving dish. Do not invert. Top each serving with 2 tablespoons lite or fat-free whipped topping. If desired, sprinkle with cinnamon. Refrigerate unused portions. Makes 12 half-cup servings at 225 calories.
(McCoy, a resident of Smithfield, is food editor and a staff columnist for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. She can be contacted at email@example.com.)