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David Ross

eG Cook-Off #73: The Fruits of Summer

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I have a recipe from American Country Living for Apricot-Pineapple Jam, the introduction to it says to heat it with soy sauce and white wine and baste a pork tenderloin in the oven or on the grill.

 

7 lbs. apricots

2 cans (8 1/2 oz ea.) crushed pineapple in heavy syrup. Do not drain

1/3 C. bottled lemon juice

6 Cups sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

 

Dice washed and pitted apricots, put in sauce pan with rest of ingredients and  heat over low heat until sugar melts.  Boil softly, stirring frequently until mixture is clear or registers 220ºF, skimming off foam as it cooks.  Let rest off heat for 5 minutes, then ladle into hot sterile jars, clean tops; seal and process in water bath for 5 minutes

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Yesterday was the class where I made the strawberry salad with a mint-basil vinaigrette.  Went over very well and we all agreed that including feta cheese really set off the strawberries, cucumber, cantaloupe and watermelon.  Just assembled on a platter then spooned the vinaigrette over the top.

 

This is a photo of the nectarine clafouti.  I have been on a clafouti dash this summer.  Originally the class was planned for July and I was going to use bing cherries and apricots.  Now a month later in August I had to adjust things since the cherry season is over and the apricots are waning, so I used nectarines.  I rarely even think of nectarines in the summer, but it was the perfect choice.  They are large this year and incredibly juicy, and they held up well baking in a clafouti. 

 

I used the same shortbread crust that I did for the huckleberry clafouti and the same custard base.  The exception this time was adding 1 tsp. black pepper and a tsp. of five-spice powder.  The idea was to add some spice to the nectarines.  I wasn't sure how it would work, but it turned out really well.  We served it chilled and dusted with powdered sugar just before slicing.  Only problem was for a class we had to cut small slices and we could have passed around some whipped cream.  Now I won't forget nectarines in the summer.

 

In addition to the strawberry salad and nectarine clafouti, we did roasted game hens with chimichurri sauce-

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image.jpegimage.jpeg

 

peach crisp for one.  Not very photogenic but still very good 

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46 minutes ago, Anna N said:

image.jpegimage.jpeg

 

peach crisp for one.  Not very photogenic but still very good 

That is delicious

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image.jpeg

 

 Another iteration of a peach crisp this time with some homemade mixed berry jam and cooked in the Philips air fryer (see that topic for details). I bought the peaches in order to make popsicles but after I made some strawberry and cream popsicles I had no more molds and I can only eat them so fast.xDxD

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My husband found some Colorado peaches!

 

Now....what to make....what to make.....

 

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I will be canning, too.

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@Shelby

 

 Few things bring me greater pleasure than an abundance of an ingredient.  Chutneys, jams, crisps and crumbles but the top of the list would be roasted peach and bourbon popsicles!  

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Blackberry Pie Bars! A cross between a crumble and a pie, no pastry rolling. I divided the recipe in half (roughly) and used a 8X8 inch pan and reduced the cooking time a bit. 

 

Edited to add: This recipe would work with different fruits, of course. 

 

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Edited by FauxPas (log)
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37 minutes ago, Anna N said:

@Shelby

 

 Few things bring me greater pleasure than an abundance of an ingredient.  Chutneys, jams, crisps and crumbles but the top of the list would be roasted peach and bourbon popsicles!  

 

I must say those roasted peach & bourbon popsicles were stellar.  Roasting the peaches really intensifies the fruit flavor.  Here's the photo I posted over in the popsicle thread:

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Even better when served with a little glass of bourbon alongside for dipping - highly recommended:

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Sort of like a roasted peach Old Fashioned!

 

Recipe below is from the people's pops cookbook.  I made a half recipe (2 big peaches) that yielded 5 pops.    Since the peaches get roasted and blended, fruits that are a little over or under-ripe work fine.  The recipe suggests that very ripe fruit doesn't have to be roasted, but I think that bit of caramelization adds a lot.

 

Peach & Bourbon Pops

1 1/4 lbs peaches (4-5 tennis ball-sized), halved

6 fl oz simple syrup (1:1)

3 fl oz bourbon

2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice

 

Put the peach halves cut side down on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 deg F until they have softened.  I used 20 min steam-bake at 350 in the Cuisi steam oven.

Once the peaches are cool, remove the pits and buzz them up in a blender or food processor.  Make it as chunky or smooth as you like.  The recipe says to leave the skins on, I removed what was loose and left the rest.

Add the simple syrup to taste, bourbon and lemon juice.    Pour into molds, insert sticks and freeze until firm (4-5 hours or overnight) before unmolding.

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I like the sound of those popsicles very much, @blue_dolphin.  Looking at the recipe, I think the roasting treatment and addition of bourbon to my standard peach ice cream might work very well. It will be a few days before I can get to something like this.  In the meantime: can anyone (not just blue_dolphin) think of a reason that roasting peaches and adding a touch of bourbon to this ice cream recipe would not work? It would depress the freezing point slightly, but I don't know that that's necessarily bad.

 

Along different lines: I think a bourbon/roasted peach sauce over, say, roast pork? would be excellent. Any ideas on that one?  What other meats would take well to a stone fruit sauce? Roast chicken and apricots can be mighty fine.

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33 minutes ago, Smithy said:

Along different lines: I think a bourbon/roasted peach sauce over, say, roast pork? would be excellent. Any ideas on that one?

 

I didn't try adding bourbon, but the peaches worked very well with a roast pork loin.  I adapted this pressure cooker recipe for Hasselback Pork Roast with Apples, Coppa & Sage using peaches, prosciutto and sage.  

The pork gets sliced most of the way through, slices of fruit and cured meat are layered in between, then secured with skewers and string before browning with the sage leaves and then pressure cooking with white wine.  

I had some extra peach slices so I put them in on top of the pork.

Using some of the cooking liquid (not all - it was rather salty from the prosciutto) and bourbon to deglaze the browned bits on the bottom of the pan and adding some of those extra peach slices to make a peach-bourbon sauce as you suggest would be a nice addition.

 

I just brushed on some ancho chili jam and called it day:

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Edited to add - I posted this over on the Instant Pot thread the other day.  


Edited by blue_dolphin (log)
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You did indeed post it on the Instant Pot topic; I thought at the time it looked good. Now that you've reminded me I think I'll have to go find a pork roast and try it!

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Thanks to @blue_dolphin, I roasted some peaches and pluots alongside some biscuits I was baking for dinner. The twelve minutes for the biscuits at 450 F/232 C was just enough to soften them, bring out their natural flavor and sweetness and just start to release a little thick, syrupy juice into the pie pan I cooked them in. I poured the juices over after turning the halves cut side up to serve. I just sprayed the pie pan with oil. It's almost like eating a delicious pie without all the added empty calories!

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I've used a peach/chipotle sauce to good effect on grilled chicken before, as well as pork chops and pork loin.

 

But I've got to try peach-bourbon ice cream.

 

 

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11 hours ago, kayb said:

I've used a peach/chipotle sauce to good effect on grilled chicken before, as well as pork chops and pork loin.

 

But I've got to try peach-bourbon ice cream.

 

 

That sounds really good.  Another combo with chipotle I make often is guava paste blended with chipotle in adobo.  I keep a jar of this in the fridge at all times.  The flavors really work well together. Fabulous on grilled food and in stews as well as other things. Very stable in the fridge and will last a long time 

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More local peaches, this time from the Green Bluff area North of Spokane.  It's a co-op of fruit and vegetable growers with many farm stands and shops dotted along the farm roads.  Bought these beautiful "Angelus" peaches.  Incredibly sweet and juicy, not too small but not gargantuan in size.  We sliced and froze some to use throughout the year, but I'll be using fresh peaches in three recipes today.  I love the branded boxes.

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Can't wait to see what you're making today, David!

 

When you freeze your peach slices do you just simply peel, slice and put in freezer bags?  

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3 hours ago, Shelby said:

Can't wait to see what you're making today, David!

 

When you freeze your peach slices do you just simply peel, slice and put in freezer bags?  

Just cut in half, twist to open the peach, remove the pit.  Then I cut the halves in quarters, don't peel, then vacuum seal.  They are really good throughout the year in dishes where I don't need the texture and semi-firmness of fresh peaches. 

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Here's a link to Vivian Howard's episode "Pretty in Peach" on PBS where she does a lot with summer peaches, including a home-canning session with her mom, and survives a crisis at her restaurant where someone booked a reservation for a party of 35 on the day after it was supposed to be. Yikes!

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I just can't stay away from huckleberries this time of year.  This is a very easy, old-fashioned coffee cake recipe usually made with blueberries.  I used huckleberries and added almonds to the topping. 

 

Huckleberry Almond Buckle-

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I thought I would have this dish ready last weekend, but I had to keep tinkering with it.  Our peach crop this year has been one of the best in recent memory.  The ripened about 3 weeks early, but our hot temperatures have really brought out the natural sugars in the peaches.

 

I make a custard-style base for my ice creams, a blend of egg yolk, sugar, then tempered and cooked with milk, cream and vanilla bean.  Chilled overnight then into my electric Cuisinart ice cream maker.  It's a real beast of a machine, heavy and terribly loud, but it's done the job for about 15 years.  For the peaches, I blanch them in boiling water about 90 seconds to loosen the skin, then peel and puree the peach with a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg.  No extra sugar was needed for these peaches.  Then when the ice cream is running through the Cuisinart, I pour in the peach puree.  I've tried making this ice cream with chunks of peach, but ended up with frozen peach nuggets suspended in vanilla ice cream.  The peach puree method gives a good measure of flavor in the ice cream.

 

The grilled peach was simply cut in half, the pit removed and grilled for about 2 minutes on a cast iron grill pan.  The peach puree on the plate was the same puree used in the ice cream, but warmed up slightly for serving.

 

The empanada still needs some work.  I used my standard pie crust dough, a blend of flour, cake flour, butter, shortening and sugar.  But this time I didn't get the amount of ice water just right, so the pasty was too loose and I couldn't get it rolled out properly to form the empanada.  That was just a presentation issue though because the pasty was light, crispy and very buttery.  The filling was simply diced peach.  No sugar or spices added.  The empanadas were deep-fried at 350 for about 3 minutes, then dusted with powdered sugar.

 

Peach Ice Cream, Grilled Peach, Peach Empanada and Peach Puree-

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We tried this: Grilled Pork and Peaches from NY Times Cooking. Well, we wanted to, but couldn't find peaches that weren't rock hard (yes, we live in Georgia; go figure, but it is pretty late in the season), so had to settle for decidedly non-local nectarines (they're really peaches anyway). Then we couldn't find the suggested pork butt in a two-pound size -- everything was four pounds and up, and I didn't want to bother the meat dudes. So we settled for, well, they're called "shoulder country ribs" here, but I think it's one of those cuts that goes by different names in various parts of the US.

 

Anyway, it was pretty good, though the technique of using a pan over a hot fire created the most amazing mess, leading me to have to reseason a cast-iron skillet. The technique of "a burn that is not burned" is a little tricky, but worth the try if you can cook outside. Sorry, no photos, but I'm sure you'll believe me when I assert that what we made looked exactly like what's in the Times' version. Right.

 

Another dish -- this one more of a straightforward success -- was watermelon sorbet. The recipe started with this, from Alton Brown. It seemed to us like he missed a couple of tricks, so we tweaked a bit to come up with:

 

18 ounces watermelon 

1.5 oz lime juice

1 oz gin (Beefeater)

9 oz white sugar

Puree the melon, then add everything else and process to combine and dissolve the sugar. Chill, then freeze in an ice cream maker.

 

This was great. It tasted, if possible, more like watermelon than watermelon itself -- maybe a little too sweet, but well worth another try.

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