Food: Palisade Peaches are in season; try this recipe
GRILLED PEACHES WITH TOPPING
4 large, fresh, ripe peaches, halved
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar
Lemon Honey Cream Topping (recipe follows)
8 gingersnaps or vanilla wafers, crushed
1. Heat grill or stovetop grill pan, and grease the grill or pan with a neutral-flavored oil. When grill is hot, place peaches, cut-side down, on it for 5 minutes or until peaches soften and have grill marks.
2. Turn peaches cut-side up; brush with melted butter and sprinkle each with sugar. Remove peaches from grill. Sprinkle half of crushed cookies on each peach. Top with Lemon Honey Cream Topping and sprinkle with remaining cookie mixture. Serves 4.
LEMON HONEY CREAM
2 cups half-and-half
1/4 cup sugar, stevia or agave nectar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 egg yolks
Whisk together all ingredients in a heavy 3-quart saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Boil, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Serve warm or cold. Makes approximately 2 1/3 cups
Peaches are the perfect summer fruit. When they’re ripe, they are the sweet taste of summer, whether eaten out of hand or in your favorite dessert.
There are two types of peaches: Early peaches are clingstone (woody center pit adheres to flesh), and mid-summer peaches are freestone (woody pit falls out easily when fruit is cut in half). Clingstone peaches are firmer and better for canning, grilling or adding to savory cooked dishes. Freestone peaches are softer, juicer and more flavorful. Best of all, peaches are a good source of potassium, vitamin C, vitamin A, niacin and soluble fiber. Peaches also are considered a diuretic and a mild laxative.
Peaches spoil very easily, even when unripe. Choose fragrant peaches that are unblemished and not too hard — they should yield slightly to the pressure of a thumb. Avoid peaches with green coloring, as they were probably picked too early. They’re not as sweet and won’t ripen properly. Peaches don’t get sweeter after they’re harvested, though fruit will become softer and juicer as it matures.
Look for skins that show background color of yellow or cream — the amount of red or pink “blush” on the fruit depends on variety and is not a reliable indicator of ripeness. Watch out for dark-colored, mushy, bruised peaches that are overripe and beginning to spoil. Tan circles or spots on the skin are early signs of decay.
Don’t pack peaches too closely, or they’ll spoil and cause nearby peaches to rot. Unripe peaches can be left to ripen at room temperature. This process can be hastened by placing them in a paper bag for a few days. Peaches taste best at room temperature and will keep for 3-4 days, slightly longer in the refrigerator. Wash the fruit just before eating.
Peaches peel more easily if blanched for 1 minute, then cooled immediately in ice-cold water to stop the effect of the heat … do not soak. The flesh of the peach tends to brown on contact with air. To prevent this, eat or cook the peach immediately, or sprinkle it with lemon or orange juice, or an ascorbic-acid product.
Freezing: Select fully ripe fruit. Peel, pit and slice. Treat to prevent darkening. Sugar pack: sprinkle fruit with desired amount of sugar; gently stir; allow fruit to stand until sugar dissolves; pack fruit into freezer container leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
Syrup pack: Prepare a light, medium or heavy syrup of your choice. Add 1/2 cup syrup to freezer container; add sliced fruit and gently shake to pack fruit, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
Dehydrating: Remove skin and pits. Cut into 1/2 inch slices or circles. Treat to prevent darkening. Dry at 130 F until pliable with no moisture. Drying concentrates the nutrients; dried peaches are especially rich in potassium and iron.
My recipe for Grilled Peaches with Lemon Honey Cream is an easy way to showcase the delicious flavor of summer peaches.
(Additional information provided by Susan Mills-Gray, Nutrition Specialist, Cass County, University of Missouri Extension.)
Angela Shelf Medearis is an award-winning children’s author, culinary historian and the author of seven cookbooks. Her new cookbook is “The Kitchen Diva’s Diabetic Cookbook.” Her website is http://www.divapro.com. To see how-to videos, recipes and much, much more, Like Angela Shelf Medearis, The Kitchen Diva! on Facebook. Recipes may not be reprinted without permission from Angela Shelf Medearis.
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