the late peach
Posted on August 2, 2011
We are getting the next and probably final round of Texas peaches right now. These are big and freestone, so great for baking. I am still haunted by the half bushel box of peaches I once brought home to Portland from a trip to Eastern Washington– the land of fruit canneries and extremely sweet peaches. I was so concerned they would rot before I could use them, they were very ripe and gave off wafts of sweet peachiness. I was worried, that is, until I forced everyone I knew to eat a slice. They were not so hard to give away after that candy-sweet first bite. I always wondered why canned peaches were so sweet, and then I had a peach bound for the can.
Texas peaches are not as sweet as Eastern Washington peaches, but they are very flavorful. Also, they are superior to the loads of out of state peaches, mostly because peaches are tender and dont like to sit around very long or ride on trucks. So, in order to avoid the mealy disappointment, we take our hill country peaches over imports any day.
I have this nice jar of wildflower honey I just cant stop opening and smelling, and I think this is going in with the peaches.
But first, a little late summer grill while the peach crisp bakes…
I marinated big pieces of yellow-orange bell pepper, those nice Texas onions, and yellow squash in lime juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, and cilantro. Soaked my kabob skewers in water (but they still burned), and put them on when the chicken sausages were about half-way done. We ate them with some very fresh corn tortillas.
Honey is sort of our southern maple syrup. That and molasses. There is so much variation in flavor and color, just as there is with maple syrup. I am reading this fabulous cookbook from Vermont with a whole chapter of maple syrup recipes– everything from salad dressing to cake. I think it would be interesting to do a similar set of recipes– some savory, some sweet– with honey. So I promise to have something along these lines (a recipe, not a book chapter) by the end of the week. I am also going to share some piloncillo recipes soon, which is another great unrefined sugar that adds as much flavor as sweetness.
So here is your Peach Honey Crisp— it is so easy.
For the peaches:
5-6 ripe peaches (freestone are easiest)
4 tablespoons honey
1/4 tsp nutmeg (I grated mine)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
For the crisp topping:
3/4 cup oats (use thick whole oats, like Bob’s Red Mill, not quick oats)
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, in small chunks (I use Falfurrias)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped pecans
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Slice the peaches into an 8×8 glass baking dish. Toss with honey and spices. In a separate bowl, combine crisp ingredients and mash together with a fork until mixed and crumbly. Spread on top of peaches. Bake for 40 minutes. Serve with a splash of heavy cream, or if you cant help yourself, vanilla ice cream.