Wednesday, August 12, 2009

It’s Peach Season! by Gardener Janet

One of my favorite times of the year is when the peaches from the western slope of Colorado arrive at local farmer’s markets and grocery stores. They are here now and I’ve already been enjoying them with breakfast, for snacks and, well, all day long!

Last year we harvested hundreds of little sweet peaches from my neighbor’s peach tree. He didn’t know what to do with them all and we were happy to help out. Growing peaches in the high plains area of Colorado is certainly not without challenges. In fact, that bumper crop last year was the exception. Sadly, there are no peaches on the tree this year. Click here for the CSU extension website and a very helpful guide to growing peaches in the home garden.

Whether you get your peaches from the market or your garden, here is a recipe that a friend of mine, who was a pastry chef on Martha’s Vineyard, shared with me years ago.

Peach Cups

Slice 5-6 Peaches (3-4 cups)
Toss w/ 2 TBSP sugar and 3 TBSP flour
Place in 9x13 pan or 6 custard cups

Prepare a dough to place on top of the peaches.

(This is the secret my friend shared and it is true for all types of pastry: Mix the dry ingredients with the shortening (in this case, butter) in a food processor. THEN add the liquid by hand (whisking with a fork in a separate bowl).

Mix the following in a food processor:
1 ½ cups flour
1 ½ TBSP sugar
2 ¼ tsp baking powder
6 TBSP butter

Transfer this mixture for the dough into a bowl and toss w/ ¾ cup whipping cream using a fork until mixed (be sure not to mix liquid and processed ingredients in food processor)

Roll out dough to about ½ thick. Lay over the peaches in the 9 x 13 pan or cut out circles with a glass about the same diameter as the cups and place one circle on each cup of peaches.

Brush the tops with cream. If you are using cups, place them on a cookie sheet.
Bake 15 min at 350 in the lower 1/3 of the oven.