Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Peaches

words to ponder

It doesn't get much better than biting into a ripe, juicy, sweet peach especially one that comes from Georgia, South Carolina or Texas. The flavor is superb.

For more than 100 years, since Georgia first began shipping peaches beyond its borders, the state has claimed the fruit as its own.

An image of the peach is on the official state quarter and its license plates. In Atlanta, a giant peach drops from a downtown building each New Year's Eve and a driver can get lost among all the streets with variations on the name Peach tree. But in the last few years South Caroline's peaches are catching up in production and flavor with Georgia as well as Texas.

The peak of the Hill Country peach season in Texas continues through the end of July with great freestone varieties such as Red Globe, Dixiland, Ruston Red and forthcoming varieties Redskin, Jefferson, Elberta, and Jersey Queen. 
Take advantage of the summer months to buy peaches and try some of these recipes. 
Hill Country Peach Glaze
Glazed Peach Chicken Wings
Peach Glaze
serve over grilled ribs, pork roast, pork tenderloin, chicken breasts or chicken wings
Ingredients:
  • 1 TB. peanut oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped sweet yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 TB. Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 cup peach jam
  • 2 TB. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup finely diced peaches
Directions:
  • Heat oil in saucepan over medium high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently about 5 minutes.
  • Whisk in remaining ingredients except diced peaches. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 2-5 minutes until thick and syrupy. 
  • Set aside and add in diced peaches. Glaze can be made ahead one week in advance but keep refrigerated. Reheat before using and use a little orange juice to thin. 
  • Reserve 1/2 cup glaze for serving and set aside. Add rest of glaze (basting) the last 5 minutes of grilling time.  

Peach Upside-Down Cake
adapted from Virginia Willis Southern Living Magazine 

Ingredients: 
  • 1 cup cake flour* 
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1- 1/4 cups sugar, divided 
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened, divided 
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar 
  • 2 cans peach halves, drained and cut into wedges (or 4 whole fresh peaches) 
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1/2 cup sour cream 
  • pecans
Note: If you don’t have cake flour, measure 1 cup of all purpose flour. Remove 2 tablespoons of flour and add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. 
Directions: 
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. 
  • In a small bowl combine cake flour (or all purpose flour and cornstarch), baking powder and baking soda. Whisk together and set aside. 
  • Place a 10 inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup granulated sugar, stir occasionally with a wooden spoon. Cook until sugar is melted and turns dark amber in color. Remove from heat and quickly stir in 1/4 cup of butter. Spread evenly and sprinkle brown sugar over the caramelized sugar. 
  • Place peaches over brown sugar and sprinkle with a handful of peacans. Set aside. 
  • Add 1/2 cup butter, 3/4 cup sugar and vanilla into bowl of electric mixer and beat until creamy. 
  • Add eggs beating until well combined. Add sour cream beating just until incorporated. 
  • Add flour mixture slowly mixing until all combined. 
  • Spoon batter over peaches and spread evenly. 
  • Place skillet on a foil lined baking sheet. 
  • Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. 
  • Cool for 10 minutes in skillet. Loosen edges with a sharp knife. Invert cake onto a serving plate. Slice and serve warm or at room temperature. 
  • Great with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. 
Follow this link to 61 recipes from Southern Living that showcase one of your favorite seasonal fruits peaches. 

To freshen plastic storage containers and remove the residue left by oily salad dressings and tomato based sauces, scrub with a paste of baking soda and water. 


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