It’s the season of peach picking. So one morning my mom brought up going peach picking. Of course we had to say yes. Who doesn’t love going to an orchard and picking fresh, delicious fruit? So off we went to the orchard. And what did we come back with? Nearly 30 pounds of peaches. 30 pounds. Now you must be thinking “Are these people out of their minds?” And as a matter of fact we most certainly are out of our minds. They weren’t quite ripe enough the day we got them to make anything with them, but the next day they were just perfect enough to make some peach jam. Which we have to give credit to our mother for because it was her idea. Although we used maybe about 13 or 15 pounds of the peaches for the jam, we still had quite a large amount of peaches left just sitting on our counter, ready to be baked up into something. Thats when we went searching through pretty much every cook book we owned looking at all of the peach recipes. And we ended up deciding upon peach cupcakes with brown sugar frosting, peach shortbread, peach and blackberry tarts, and to add a little savory we made peach salsa.
Peach cupcakes with brown sugar cream cheese frosting
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
This cupcake was delicious enough that our older sister, that happens to be getting married in May, asked if peaches were in season in May so she could have them at her wedding. And if their good enough to be at her wedding, they must be pretty amazing tasting.
3 cups of all purpose flour or cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch of nutmeg (we also added a pinch of cinnamon)
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar (dark or light)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, sour cream or full-fat yogurt
3 large peaches, peeled, cored, and chopped (whatever size you’d like)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line cupcake tins with cupcake liners.
Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt cinnamon and nutmeg. In the bowl of a standing mixer cream the butter and sugars together until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and then the vanilla. On the low setting of the mixer gently mix in the buttermilk, sour cream or yogurt until combined. Then mix in the dry ingredients and fold in the peach chunks.
Divide the batter among the prepared liners. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes for 5 minutes and then take them out of the tins to let them cool the rest of the way through.
Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whisk together the brown sugar, cornstarch and powdered sugar in a separate bowl. In a large bowl fitted for a standing mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add the sugar-cornstarch mixture and vanilla, beat until frosting is smooth. If you’d like put the icing in the refrigerator until it thickens up a little, or you could go right ahead and dollop the icing right on top of the cupcakes.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
The dad’s was born and raised for a few years in Britain. So just like any other normal British person, he loves shortbread. The second we told him that we were making peach shortbread, his face lit up. And when everyone finally got to taste them, we got praise for the amazing taste of them.
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
1 large egg
2 peaches, pitted and thinly sliced
You could brown the butter which would mean melting the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. It will melt, then foam, then turn clear golden and finally start to turn brown and smell nutty. Continually stirring and scraping up any bits from the bottom as you do. Keep your eyes on it; it burns very quickly after it browns. Put it in the freezer until it is solid. Or if you do not want to brown the butter you just cut the butter into the flour but have 3 full cups of flour instead of 2 and 3/4 cups of flour plus two tablespoons.
Then preheat the oven to 375°F. Line the bottom of a 9×13 baking pan with parchment and then spray it with cooking spray or butter it. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, baking powder, flour, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Use a pastry blender, fork or your fingertips, blend the solidified brown butter, or plain old regular butter and egg into the flour mixture. There should be crumbs now. Firmly press 3/4 of the crumbs into the bottom of the prepared pan. Then take your sliced peaches and lay them on top of the crumb bottom. Take the remaining crumbs and scatter them on top of the peaches and bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the top is slightly browned. Cool it completely before cutting it up and enjoying.
Peach and Blackberry Tarts
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Pies and Tarts book
We had never really heard of putting cornmeal into a pie or tart crust before, so when the recipe called for it we were a little skeptical, but it turned out that it gave the crust this amazing texture. It gave this plain and simple tart more depth.
For the crust:
3/4 cup of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of yellow cornmeal
3 Tablespoons of sugar
1/4 teaspoon of salt
7 Tablespoons of unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the filling:
4 ripe peaches, pitted and sliced
3/4 cup of blackberries
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon of sugar
Preheat the oven to 400 °F. Then in a food processor, pulse the flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, butter, egg yolk, and vanilla until the dough begins to come together (if needed add small amounts of cold water to the dough if it is too dry). Take the dough and press it into the bottom of a buttered tart pan or 8 inch spring form pan (we had to double the recipe to make enough for 4 smaller sized tarts). But the pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until it is golden and slightly puffy, which should take around 15 minutes. Flatten the bottom of the crust with an offset spatula.
Reduce the heat of the oven to 350 °F. Make the filling by stirring the peaches and berries together with the sugar. Arrange the fruit in the crust and bake until the peaches are tender and juicy. About 30 to 35 minutes. Put the tart or spring-form pan on a rack to cool. Then serve warm or at room temperature.
Salsa is pretty much a be your own chef type of thing. You can throw in anything you want almost. So we took the liberty to put some chopped up peaches, onions, jalapeno peppers, tomatoes, and mint. You can do the ingredients in any proportion you’d like. And then you squeeze some fresh lime juice into it. Season it with some salt and pepper. Toss it around. And wa-la! You have yourself some salsa. And this stuff, in our opinion was amazing. We kept taking spoonfuls of it without any chips or anything and putting it in our mouth and enjoying. It has just the right amount of sweetness from the peaches, and that slight bit of heat from the jalapenos. And after sitting in the fridge for a day it still tasted amazing.
After making everything we realized even for our large scale family it was quite a lot of food to eat. So we decided to send some of the dishes we made off to some of our family friends.
Now this peach making extravaganza was enough to turn anyone away from peaches for quite sometime. We don’t even know if we want to look at anymore peaches. But all of the delicious dishes that came from them certainly were well worth the day of baking.