June 12, 2015
White peach season has arrived, surprisingly early and in full force. I’ve been harvesting them all week from our tree. Of course, they all ripen at the same time — and birds seem to have a sixth sense on that timing. It’s been a race to grab them off the tree before the birds make off with all of my stone fruit treasure. Judging by the huge basket on my counter overflowing with white peaches I’m the winner. Hear that, birdies?
Super juicy with a great balance of sweet and tart, white peaches are delicious. While great for snacking they’re less than ideal for baking. I often end up with a watery mess of crumble or pie. If you have your own stash of white peaches (whether from your own backyard battle or the farmers market stalls) here are some of my favorite things to do with them.
Give some away.
This is an easy way to make your neighbors or family members happy.
I’ve blogged my love affair with the Excalibur dehydrator. It’s a lifesaver come harvest time. It’s super easy to use and no switching trays around. Yes, it’s a pricey purchase, but so is dried fruit – especially the organic, unsweetened kind. I slice the white peaches to a similar thickness and dry them at 220 for 14- 20 hours. These are a snack time hit with everyone.
A big part of my harvest went into Ziplock bags. I slid them into the fridge until I’m ready to use them. They stayed crisp and delicious for a week until I got my act together to make some jam. I figured out that it’s best not to wash them before refrigeration; they last longer and don’t get mushy. When you are ready to use them, bring to room temperature and give them a wash.
White Peach with Lemon Verbena Jam
Call me crazy, or lazy — but I don’t remover the peel from white peaches. They seem to be thinner than the yellow varieties and I like that touch of texture they give the jam.
Makes about 18 ounces
2 lbs thinly sliced peaches (about 12 slices per fruit)
10 ounces sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 large sprig on lemon verbena
Add all of the ingredients in a heavy bottomed pot and bring to boil, stirring occasionally as it comes to a boil. As it bubbles, aggressively skim the foam from the top (the foam will be most abundant in the center of the pan). Most of the time, when the foaming subsides the jam is done. Give it a stir and see if it seems thicker.
Remember the trick about reserving the foam for cocktails?…do it here as well. Place the jam in a clean glass jar and store in fridge or use this method for sterilizing the jars.
Rustic White Peach & Greek Yogurt Galette
Start with frozen puff pastry, thawed as instructed. Score the edges and brush with an egg yolk wash. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 F.
After it puffs up beautifully and golden in color, mix labneh (strained Greek yogurt) with a little honey and spread that all over the middle.
Follow with a good amount of jam and then heaped fresh cut peaches over the top and a sprinkle of some fresh mint from the garden.
This is easy to pull together and it just looks and tastes like summer.