Here in Northern California it is time for peaches! We have them on our tree, our neighbors are sending more over, they are at the local farm stands and at the farmers market. We are in the peaches and it is time to get in the kitchen. I have a sweet summer dessert planed for some and baby food planed for others.
Our sweet boy is 9 months old now and is continuing to explore some texture in his baby foods. What I lovingly refer to as the chunky lumpy phase. He makes great faces when he comes across those lumps…eyes wide open…his whole face wondering…What is this? Then comes the exaggerated chewing using his tongue to smash the food against the roof of his mouth. He has two bottom teeth, but those are for biting at foods not really for chewing them. This months we will continue to explore texture and add in some spices. Last week cinnamon peach blueberry was a big hit. This week it will be chunky peach with curried carrot.
The chunky peach is simply, peeled, diced and just simmered fresh peaches. I like to cook the peaches a little to help deepen the sweet flavor and suppress the fresh tartness. I pulse the cooked peaches with their liquid in the Vitamix until it gets to a slightly chunky texture. You have to be careful to purée it long enough to cut through any potential stringy-ness. I freeze them in little oxo containers and we are good to go. Like making most baby food this one is a cinch.
As for the sweet summer dessert, I made a family favorite Peach Blueberry Crisp. The fun part about this crisp recipe is that is was adapted from a bar recipe so their is yummy crisp topping on the top and the bottom and we serve it with a spoon. You can also use any summer fruit combination like peach/strawberry or strawberry/rhubarb-my family thinks peach with blueberry is the best! I have adapted this recipe from the original and it has less fat, more whole grains with whole wheat flour and extra oats. It is still delicious and still a treat!
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (6oz)
- 1 egg, whisked
- 1 cup roasted sliced almonds, walnuts or pecans
- 1 1/4 cup thick rolled oats
- 3 cups peeled and sliced fresh peaches
- 1 cup whole fresh blueberries
- 1/2 cup sugar (more or less-to taste)
- 4 tsp cornstarch
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- In medium bowl combine dry ingredients. Cut butter into small cubes and add to dry ingredients. Cut in with hands or pastry blender until butter is pea sized. Crisp mix should resemble coarse cornmeal in texture. With a fork carefully mix in whisked egg until mixture is moistened. Finish by folding in nuts and oats. Split the mixture in half and press half into a 13x9x2 baking pan. Reserve remaining mix for the topping.
- Combine peach slices, blueberries, sugar cornstarch and lemon juice. Gently fold to combine. When combined and cornstarch is dissolved add peach juice and all to the top of the prepared crisp crust. Spread in an even layer. Sprinkle on the remaining crisp topping.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes until filling is bubbling and the crisp topping has lightly browned.
- Seasonal fruit changes in sugar content, always taste fruit before sweetening it and adjust as needed.
- Additions: Can add flax seeds or wheat bran to the topping for more fiber goodness. I like to add some cinnamon to the fruit for extra warming and for more antioxidants!
- Serve with pure vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or Greek yogurt.
I just love peaches, and its not only because they are ripe and ready to eat and growing in my own backyard. It started when I was a kid in my family home. My dear neighbor had an amazing white peach tree and he would give my family peaches every summer. From those peaches we would make the most fabulous peach milk shakes. A peach milk shake is peaches and vanilla ice cream and that is it. The simplicity, the flavor, the texture of the little bits of skin-It is just beyond amazing!
I have grown up a bit beyond the milk shakes and today would additionally like to share a recipe for a Peach Tomato Salad. Peaches and tomatoes complement each other so well. You will need to try them together this summer. Combining them with Burrata cheese is just cheating, but also a must try. Enjoy the season!
- 2 cups baby arugula or spring mix
- 2 large heirloom or slicing tomatoes, sliced into wedges
- 2 large peaches (I prefer yellow for this recipe), sliced into wedges
- 1 round of Burrata cheese, drained
- Balsamic glaze*
- 1 sprig of basil
- Salt and Pepper
- Arrange arugula on a platter and top with alternating wedges of tomatoes and peaches. Pull apart the Burrata cheese carefully and nestle chunks in between the fruit. Drizzle with the balsamic glaze and finish with a sprinkle of torn basil leaves, salt and fresh ground pepper.
- If your not already a fan of Burrata cheese don't sub-in mozzarella find the real thing get it and use it. Burrata is a creamier mozzarella and well worth it.
- *I purchase my balsamic glaze from Trader Joes. It comes in a convenient squeeze bottle and is ready when you need it. Anyone who has reduced balsamic vinaigrette with all its pungent aroma s will embrace this product and not miss the lingering stink.
- 1 Peach, sliced
- 2 large scoops of Vanilla Ice Cream
- Add peach slices to blender and mash with a wood spoon. Top with scoops of vanilla ice cream and again mash with the wood spoon. Blend until smooth and share with the one you love.
- The peaches supply all the liquid you need to blend these up. If you want a thicker shake drain off some of the peach juice and save for a cocktail before adding ice cream.