Monday, September 5, 2011

Peachy Monday - Recipes included!

Saturday, we stopped at our little farm market to see what my favorite Amish sellers had. We are so lucky to be surrounded by farms (Amish & Non-Amish) thus this time of year is filled with wonderful local produce. Since Mouse (7.5 months old now) has started on "solid" food, I've been making everything he eats. Two reasons for that: 1) It's simply cheaper. Getting produce directly from farmers is cheap and we are friends with several farmers who simply just give us produce out of friendship. 2) I know exactly what goes into the food. It's the fruit, the vegetable and, if needed, water.

I was thrilled to see one of my favorite vendors at the farm market had fresh peaches. Don't let anyone tell you differently, fruit and vegetable DO taste better the fresher they are from the vine/tree/plant. And the peaches I bought were picked that morning. We also got some snap beans (aka green beans), peppers and eggs.

But today was all about peaches! I made Mouse some peach puree and Mr. Mouse & I a peach crisp.

Peach Puree Baby Food
* Wash Peaches
* Cut peaches in 1/2 and pop out pits
* Place cut side down in glass baking pan (I used 2 8X13 pans. I suppose you could use metal, but I've always used glass) & add water to cover peaches by about 1/2 inch or just over. (Err on the side of extra water rather than too little)
* Place pans in 400 degree oven for about 20-30 minutes. More important than time though, is that the skin should start to wrinkle slightly. When that happens, pull them from the oven. Don't cook too long though because you'll evaporate your water and burn them.
* Pull peaches from pan (reserve excess water in measuring cup) and place on chopping board.
* Cut peach halves in half again. Peel skin from peach quarters. Use a small sharp knife if needed, but skin should really just peel off.
* Put skinless peach quarters into blender and puree. If needed thin with reserved excess water. Although I've never had to do that.
* Pour peach puree into clean ice cube trays. Cover trays with plastic wrap, gently pressing plastic down so it touches the puree. (This helps retard formation of ice crystals on the top of the peach puree cubes when they freeze.)
* Freeze over night. Then pop from the ice trays (can run warm water over bottom of trays if you need help releasing the cubes) and store in labeled freezer bags.
* Pop out cubes as needed; thaw & watch your baby's face light up when they taste peaches for the first time!

Now for the grown ups...try this recipe.

Peach Crisp

2 - 2.5 lbs of the freshest peaches you can find!
1/2 cup sugar
3 TBLS Flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg (optional)

Preparing peaches:
* Wash the peaches
* Bring a saucepan of water to boil on the stove
* Fill a clean sink or large bowl with very cold water
* Place peaches one or two at a time in the boiling water and boil for 30-45 SECONDS
* With slotted spoon, transfer peaches from boiling water to cold water-let them sit in the cold water for a couple minutes then transfer them to your work surface-repeat until all peaches are processed
* Cut peaches in 1/2 and remove pits.
* Peal skin from peaches using a small sharp knife if needed.
* Slice peaches and put into a bowl
* Add 1/2 cup sugar & 3 TBLS flour to peach slices and toss or stir till coated.
* Place peaches into an 8 X 8 baking pan (butter the pan if using a metal pan)

Prepare topping:
* Slice up softened butter
* Combine flour, sugar salt & cinnamon in separate bowl
* Cut flour mixture into the butter using pastry cutter or fork until mixture resembles course meal. (OK...I admit that I put the butter into my Kitchen Aid Stand mixer, put everything else in on top and let the mixer do the work.)
* Cover peaches with topping and toss a dash of nutmeg on top.
* Bake at 375 degrees for about 45-50 minutes.

If you want truly country style (per Mr. Mouse), serve warm with covered with a generous helping of cold cream.


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