Inevitably, in dealing with local farm markets there’s going to be a couple of repeats in what’s available every season and what I choose to buy. Occasionally, something new pops up… like the parsnips. But more times than not, it’s the same actors in the play every season. Just think of it like a cheesy dinner theater.
Peaches are quite possibly my favorite fruit – so I always buy more than is prudent – and that means I bought two large baskets of them… at $8.00 each. In case you’re wondering… that’s a lot of peaches.
This year’s variety of choice are Flavor Rich Peaches from R&A Orchards. in Ellijay, GA.
Flavor Rich are an early season Cling peach ripening in early may through to mid June in slightly cooler climates.
Characterized by dense fuzz, and rich, deep yellow flesh with swatches of blush into the nipple end of the fruit. Since the pit stay well embedded in the fruit, you’ll leave a fair amount attached to the pit when they’re sliced – making this variety is perfect for pies, eating whole compotes and preserves.
I’ve done a whole gamut of things with peaches over the years, peach butter, pies, and even with pork – so I thought this year we’d keep it simple and roast most of the peaches in order to hold as many of them as possible throughout the summer..
and since two of the recipes today utilize the finished product, we’ll start off with simple directions to get your peaches ready.
1. Preheat the oven to 325
2. Cover a sheet pan with tin foil and spray with a non- stick coating
Slice the peaches off the pit – far enough off the center so that you get good slices without gouging and cutting into the pit.
3. Lay the slices out on a prepared sheet pan in a single layer so that they are barely touching
Lightly spray the tops of the peaches with cooking spray
roast in a 325 oven to 2 hours – until wrinkled and slightly leathery to the touch
Remove and allow to cool completely before storing. (Frozen – the peaches should keep for a good 6 months, and probably only 2 to 3 weeks in the fridge)
4. Remember to retain and save the pits – we’re doing something with them later
First up –
Roasted Peach Crostata
The dough / crust is based on the 1 hour pizza crust from earlier in the month
Serves 6 to 8
For the Crust
1 Package Fast Acting Yeast
2 Cups Flour
1/2 Cup HOT Water
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
Large Mixing Bowl
For the Filling
2 Cups Roasted Peaches
2 Tablespoons SR Flour
2 Tablespoons Sugar
1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla
3 Tablespoons Butter
1 Egg – Beaten
1/4 Cup Turbinado Sugar
For the Crust
Mix together the dry ingredients and add the water
Knead quickly to bring it into a rough ball and add the oil to the bowl
Knead the oil into the dough for 5 minutes
Cover and allow to rise for 20 minutes
Punch down and give it another 2 minute knead
Cover and let rise for another 15 minutes
To make the crust, lightly flour the dough and a flat surface and roll out with a rolling pin until you have roughly a 12″ x 15″ sheet – transfer to an oiled sheet pan
For the filling
Preheat the oven to 375
Add 2 cups of the peaches, flour, sugar, and vanilla to a large bowl and mix well
Pour the filling into the center of the prepared dough and dot with butter
Carefully start pulling the edges of the dough up and over the mound of filling in the center – leaving approximately a 3″ diameter opening in the center of the crostata
Brush the crust with egg wash and dust with turbinado sugar
Bake at 375 for 35 to 45 minutes – or when the crust is nicely browned and has a hollow “thunk” when tapped
Cool to room temperature before serving
We’ll finish up the rest of the recipes in Back to the Peach (Part Two) tomorrow.