Tag Archives: peaches

Peach Poblano Jam

We switched to a different variety of poblanos in the garden this year. Last year’s would have been way too hot for this jam, although if you like a jalapeno jelly, you might like the heat. This year’s poblanos started turning red much quicker and are mild enough that you get a chance to taste the pepper. The result in the jam is that you don’t get any heat at first, but then it starts showing up as an afterthought. We kind of liked that.

If you have hotter poblanos, whether or not you like that effect or not, you might consider using fewer in your jam.

My husband says he would eat the jam on biscuits, but I’m mostly planning to serve it with pork or chicken. I think it could work in a fajita as well. Anything savory where a little sweet would complement.

I looked at a lot of recipes for peach jam to compare the amounts of sugar used. For my 3.5 lbs of peaches, I settled on 3 cups of sugar. I didn’t want to use pectin, and I found a number of recipes that didn’t, but I found their cooking directions to be way off—some said to cook it for as little as 10 minutes!! Mine cooked for about as long as my tomato jam, because I was looking for that moment when the wooden spoon dragged a clear path in the jam.

How I decided on the number of poblanos to use is still a mystery to me. I used 4, cut in a small dice. It was enough that they are well distributed throughout like little red jewels. đź‘Ť

Peach Poblano Jam

  • Servings: about 5 cups
  • Difficulty: time-consuming
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Ingredients

  • 3.5 lbs peaches (peeled and seeded weight); 16 medium peaches
  • 10 oz poblano peppers (seeded weight); 4 peppers
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Preparation

  1. Blanch peaches for 1-2 minutes and cool in ice water. Peel peaches and remove pits.
  2. You can chop the peaches by hand to your desired size or pulse them in a food processor or both. I did both, giving me enough tiny pieces to make a thick jam base, with some larger pieces for texture.
  3. Mix peaches, diced peppers, sugar, salt, and lemon juice in a large stock pot. Some recipes let the mixture sit to draw out the fruit’s juices first, some for as long as overnight. I didn’t wait, and that could have affected my cooking time.
  4. Bring to a boil over medium to medium-high heat, then lower to a simmer that keeps the mixture bubbling without a lid. On my gas burner, it’s the LOW setting.
  5. Stir occasionally until the mixture stops foaming and begins to thicken. That happened for me after 1 hour. It just clicked over like a switch.
  6. After the jam begins to thicken stir more often to prevent sticking until you can drag a wooden spoon through it and it leaves a trail in the bottom of the pan. That took another hour. It all depends on how juicy your peaches are. Just keep at it and it will thicken. I set up my thermometer, because I was curious. It hovered at about 175Âş until the end.
  7. Spoon into clean jars or containers and refrigerate for 1-2 weeks or freeze. I can’t advise you on canning.

Grilled Blueberry-Peach Crumble

Back in September 2015 I saw this terrific Skillet Peach Cobbler made in individual cast iron skillets, and wondered how it would translate to one big skillet baked on the grill. I waited all winter to give it a try, and here it is. I only made a few changes, other than the size of the skillet, to Shari’s recipe:

  • First, I made it mostly blueberry, with just a few peaches scattered around. I used 3 pints of blueberries and 3 peaches.
  • Because it seemed like a lot of fruit, I increased the lemon juice to 2 tablespoons.

Everything else is exactly as you will find it in the original. In the fall, I like oatmeal in such a dessert, but in the summer, I think that’s a little heavy, so I like this kind of topping that is very much like a streusel topping.

Of course, the blueberries I found had almost more stems than blueberries, so I had to do a lot of stemming, and the peaches were the kind where the flesh sticks to the pit, so I had to cut it off the pit before I could slice it. Luckily, a crumble or crisp or cobbler or whatever you call it is forgiving about the appearance of the fruit.

I used the indirect grilling method, with the skillet in the center between coals in side baskets. It was 400° when I put the pan in, but it quickly settled down to between 300°-350° and stayed there. I checked it after 20 minutes and the fruit was bubbling around the edges, but the crumble was not yet browned. Because I had it all in one pan, I figured it might take as long as 45 minutes and it did. I think you could translate that longer time to oven baking, as well.

Don’t forget to stop by Cook AZ I Do for the original recipe and other great recipes: Skillet Peach Cobbler

Pound Cake with Grilled Peach Compote

This is the basic pound cake recipe from Michael Ruhlman’s Ratio (2009) 61-62, which he notes could become a sponge cake if the ingredients are mixed in a different order. How cool is that? Just working together the same ingredients differently creates a different texture. It’s mostly a matter of whether you cream the butter and sugar together first or whip the eggs and sugar together first. I’m doing the former, which produces a pound cake. The only alteration I made to the recipe was to leave out the lemon-lime flavorings.

Since we’ve got a lot of pulled pork left from yesterday’s Dutch oven adventure, there’s not much dinner prep to serve it in tortillas with some of that cilantro pesto I saved in the freezer. So, I’m putting my effort into the dessert—grilling peaches. After grilling, which cooks the fruit a little, making a compote will be just a matter of heating some honey and vanilla, and then slicing and stirring in the grilled peaches. I was a little impatient about getting good grill marks on the peaches, although I’m sure some food photographers draw them in with markers, but the taste result was exceptional.

Pound Cake with Grilled Peach Compote

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Pound Cake, adapted from Michael Ruhlman’s Ratio (2009), 61-62.

Preheat oven to 325°; butter a 9 inch loaf pan.

*Note that I weighed the ingredients for this recipe.

8 oz butter (2 sticks), room temperature

8 oz sugar

1 teaspoon salt

8 oz eggs (it took 5 of my large eggs to make 8 oz)

1 teaspoon vanilla

8 oz all-purpose flour

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip butter for a minute.
  2. Add the sugar and salt and beat until very light in color, 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated. Add the vanilla.
  4. Add the flour, mixing at a low speed, until incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
  5. Pour  and spread batter into buttered loaf pan.
  6. Bake at 325° for 1 hour. Test the center with a toothpick. Mine was done in the hour.

Grilled Peach Compote

4 ripe peaches, halved and pitted

melted butter, for brushing both sides of fruit

1/4 cup honey

1 teaspoon vanilla

splash of lemon juice

pinch of sea salt

  1. Set up grill for direct heat.
  2. Brush peach halves on both sides with butter.
  3. Wipe oil on hot cooking grate to prevent sticking. Place peach halves, cut side down, on grate. Close cover and grill for about 2 minutes.
  4. Turn peaches over, close cover and grill for about another two minutes.
  5. Cooking time will depend on the ripeness of your peaches, and whether you have the patience to wait for those attractive grill marks.
  6. Remove peaches to cutting board and slice or chop into edible-sized pieces. You could slide off the peach skin, but I left it on, unless it came off in the slicing.
  7. In a medium saucepan, heat the honey, vanilla, lemon juice, and salt over medium-low heat, until it begins to foam up. Toss in the peaches and stir until all the peaches are coated and heated through. The peaches should be cooked from the grilling and just need to be coated with the honey sauce. It will draw a lot of juice from the peaches and will not be a thick sauce, which is fine, because the pound cake will soak up a lot of juices.
  8. Serve peaches over sliced cake with optional whipped cream or ice cream.

Peaches and Cream Pie

My old Betty Crocker says that you can make either an apple pie or a blueberry pie “Dutch” by pouring a little heavy cream into the filling, either before you put the top crust on your blueberry pie, or 15 minutes before your apple pie is done through the pie slits. They don’t say and I have no idea what makes this Dutch, but it seems to me a no-brainer to add cream to a peach pie. So, I’m just going to make a regular peach pie with a cutout top, and pour in some cream before it’s completely baked, as suggested for the apple pie. I think a lattice would look nice, but I’m not in a weaving mood, so I’m cutting out some shapes from what would be the top crust to semi-cover the top—and make it easier to pour in the cream. I have a pretty good idea about the mess I would make trying to pour cream through pie slits.

Since I still have buttermilk from the recent pot pie, I’m going to make another buttermilk crust, but this time with the food processor. The only hard part of this pie is peeling the peaches—the boiling water, the ice water, the mess. I better go do that now. Take note that if your peaches are firm, like mine are, the peel may not peel off after dropping in boiling water then ice water, but you should still do that routine, because it makes it easier to peel with a vegetable peeler without taking off too much valuable flesh.

After sitting in the sugar-flour-cinnamon mixture, my peaches created a ton of juice. I think it might be a messy pie. One advantage of making a pie with a lattice or cutouts is that there are a lot of open spaces so juices will not have to bust out of the edge. If such a pie makes way too much juice, use a baster to remove some of it before it boils over.

Buttermilk Pie Crust

  • Servings: makes one double crust
  • Difficulty: easy if you're used to making pie crust
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2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon salt

Optional: 1-2 tablespoons sugar (better in a dessert pie)

1 cup cold butter (2 sticks) cut in small cubes

1/2-3/4 cup whole buttermilk, depending on your humidity

heavy cream and decorating sugar for top

  1. Mix together the flour, salt, and sugar (if using) in a food processor.
  2. Pulse in cold butter until uniformly distributed, but not too finely.
  3. Add in buttermilk through the processor chute until the dough holds together but is not overly sticky. I had to use a little more than the 1/2 cup, but not quite as much as 3/4 cup.
  4. Knead the dough lightly into a fairly smooth ball, cut in half, and shape each half into an 8 inch disc. Wrap each disc in plastic and refrigerate for about an hour.
  5. Roll each disc to a circle about 2 inches bigger than your pie dish. My dish is a regular 9 inch dish, not too deep.
  6. Fit one crust into your dish, trimming the overhang. Turn under the edges and crimp. Cover the edges with foil if you think the crust will become too dark. I did not.
  7. Fill the crust, then place crust cutouts in pattern of your choosing.
  8. Brush the cutouts with heavy cream and sprinkle decorators sugar on top.
  9. Bake at 425° for about 45 minutes.  About 30 minutes into the baking, pull the rack out and pour 2-4 tablespoons of heavy cream into the filling, trying not to hit the cutouts. I put a large piece of foil under my dish, because I could see there was going to be a juicy overflow.

Peach Filling from the old Betty Crocker’s New Picture Cook Book (1961):

6 large peaches, peeled and sliced

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/3 cup flour

My addition: 2-4 tablespoons heavy cream

Mix all together and let sit while the dough chills. If you are concerned that all the juice won’t thicken in the pie, you could always cook the filling first in a saucepan, which wouldn’t be much different from using a canned filling, but it would still be your own. I have made many pies in my life that just didn’t work right, when either the fruit didn’t cook enough or the juices didn’t thicken. Oh, well.

It turned out very well, if a little juicy. I might try cornstarch instead of flour next time so more of the juice thickens. The cream adds a little richness to the filling and it looks nice swirling among the thickened juices—I’m not sure that shows in my pics.