2014-08-15 / Columns

Cooking on Purpose

Peaches are plentiful and delicious
By Connie Wendell
Special to the Leader

One of my favorite summertime memories from childhood is my mother peeling peaches and tossing them with blueberries and cream.

I couldn’t wait for her to finish so we could dive in. Many years later I still love peaches and this is the time to enjoy them. They are very plentiful and get ’em now while the price is right.

I’ve discovered some new peach recipes, while still keeping my favorite with blueberries and cream. Give them a try, I’m sure you’ll like them.

Peach and blueberry slab pie

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour; ½ cup granulated sugar; 3 peaches halved, pitted and sliced; 2 tablespoons orange juice; pastryfora1crustpie;¼cupfreshblueberries(Iusemore); 1 ½ teaspoons turbinado sugar or brown sugar; 1 egg; and 1 tablespoon water.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl combine flour and granulated sugar. Add peaches and orange juice; gently toss to coat. Set aside.

Roll pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 12- by 10-inch rectangle. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet. For scalloped edges, use a 2-inch round cutter to gently press circles around edge of dough, without cutting all the way through.

Using a knife, cut around the outside half of each circle and remove scraps. Arrange peach slices in rows down the center of crust, leaving a 2-inch border. Spoon liquid over peaches.

Do not use all the liquid as pie will spread too much as it bakes. Top with blueberries. Using parchment paper, lift and fold edges of pastry up over peaches, pleating if necessary. In a small bowl combine 1 egg and 1 tablespoon water; brush over pastry. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake 25 minutes. Cool. Makes six servings.

Tip: Easily peel peaches by dropping into boiling water for 30 seconds and immediately putting into an ice bath. If peaches are ripe the skins will slide right off. If not, peel with a sharp knife.

Grilled halibut with peach and pepper salsa

Salsa: 1 1/3 cups coarsely chopped peeled yellow peaches (about 1 pound); 1 cup chopped red bell pepper (about 1 medium); 1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions; 1/3 cup chopped fresh arugula; ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons); 4 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano; 1/8 teaspoon salt; ½ habanero pepper, seeded and minced; and 1 garlic clove, minced.

Fish: 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice; 4 teaspoons olive oil; ½ teaspoon paprika; 1 garlic clove, minced; 4 (6 ounce) skinless halibut fillets; 3/8 teaspoon salt; 3/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper; and cooking spray.

To prepare salsa, combine all ingredients, toss gently. Let stand 30 minutes before serving.

Prepare the grill to medium-high heat. To prepare fish, combine 4 teaspoons juice, oil, paprika and 1 clove garlic in a large, shallow glass baking dish, stirring with a whisk. Add fish to juice mixture, turn to coat. Cover and let stand 15 minutes.

Remove fish from marinade, discard marinade. Sprinkle fish evenly with salt and pepper. Place fish on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 3 minutes on each side or until desired doneness. Serve fish with salsa.

Serves four.

Blueberry-peach cobbler

5 pounds peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced; 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice; 1 cup granulated sugar, divided; 3/8 teaspoon salt, divided; 1 ½ cups plus 2 tablespoons allpurpose flour, divided; cooking spray; 1 teaspoon baking powder; ½ cup butter, softened; 2 large eggs; 1 teaspoon vanilla extract; ¾ cup buttermilk; 2 cups fresh blueberries; and 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place peaches in a large bowl. Drizzle with juice; toss. Add ¾ cup granulated sugar, 1/8 teaspoon salt and 2 tablespoons flour to peach mixture; toss to combine. Arrange peach mixture evenly in a 13- by 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Combine ½ cups flour, ¼ teaspoon salt and baking powder in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Place the remaining ¼ cup sugar and butter in a medium bowl and beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla extract. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined. Stir in blueberries.

Spread batter evenly over peach mixture; sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Place baking dish on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour or until topping is golden and filling is bubbly.

Serves 12.

Enjoy your peaches. Until next time, keep Cooking on Purpose.

Connie Wendell can be reached at conniewendell27@gmail.com.

Return to top