You know when you read a somewhat complicated recipe and think to yourself, “Hmmm.. right… YA, I’ve got this!”? My sentiment exactly when I came across the Local Kitchen Blog‘s Nectarine Ginger Pie Filling recipe. I even made the effort and for the FIRST time in 5 year bought Clear Jel. I figured with 6 plus pounds of fresh stone fruit courtesy of Washington State Stone Fruit Growers, a bottle of white wine, and a whole LOT of patience I’d be fine. Four YouTube videos later, and I still couldn’t figure out a pretty way to peel, slice, and de-pit my fruit. The result: 3 nectarines in my belly, frustration, and aside from a bunch of mush, a bowl full of “perfectly” sliced stone fruit. 🙂
Being August, things are super busy in my personal life right now, so it was great that I was able to let my nectarine/peach mixture macerate for an extra night. The flavor of this pie filling is phenomenal: tangy, bright, and ginger spicy. A great way to preserve the fresh taste of summer. Next year I’ll be doubling the recipe as I doubt this will even make it atop an actual pie crust.
“These are fall peaches, firmer on the outside, but sweeter on the inside… try one, I swear you’ll love them.” And I did, loved them, I swear. 🙂 Last Wednesday I picked up several pounds of locally grown “fall” peaches from the boys over at Kalawi Farms located in Eagle Spring, NC. Essentially my last opportunity to get some peach canned goods out this season, I’m glad I snagged up these stone fruits. In keeping with my savory peach jam tradition, I was playing around with a couple savory/sweet ideas. After a bit of inspiration, I decided to go with this rum and thyme based peach butter.
Initially I had planned on making a jam, but being a firmer fall variety of peach, the flesh did not break down as much as I would have liked. Impromptu, I decided to grab my immersion blender and turn this into more of a thick jam/peach butter. Low in sugar, with hints of thyme and demerara rum. Great with cheese and crackers, or reduced down to a pork glaze. With the Bull City Food Swap coming up at Beer Durham on the 19th, this rum & thyme peach butter should do just the swap trick.
Stone fruit for dayzzz! Ever feel up to your ears in fruit? The feeling where you have so much goodness to preserve with so little time and space? Add the lack of canning supplies to that feeling and you get my peach stress situation. The day after I moved to NC I received my second shipment of stone fruit from the Washington State Fruit Commission and Sweet Preservation as part of their Canbassador program. Awesome, right? Well, kinda yes, and kinda no… As my canning supplies were stuck in moving limbo with the rest of my furniture in MA, meanwhile these poor peaches sat patiently waiting in my fridge. Luckily, my stuff arrived safe and sound (mostly) and I was able to put up these beauties in jars.
With little time to get creative I borrowed this recipe from Kaela over at the Local Kitchen blog. Yum! The taste, the color, and the aroma of this jam is amazing. Perusing the Durham Farmer’s Market last Wednesday I picked up a couple canning ingredients including red onions from Four Leaf Farm from Rougemont, NC. The basil came right from my front yard garden. A sweet and savory jam that I suggest pairing with cheese & crackers.
Didn’t I promise more peach and tomato recipes? Well here you have it. Since moving to New Hampshire earlier this year (buying a car helps) I’ve been on a bit of a PYO fruit kick. First blueberries, then raspberries, herbs, peaches, and now apples… A couple weeks ago I put up some pickled yellow peaches that I acquired from Union Lake Peach Orchard in Barrington, NH. Not only did I promise the two sisters at the Orchard that I’d be back for more, but with news of their Belle of Georgia White Peach harvest I honestly couldn’t stay away. Bouncing around the Seacoast region (i.e., let’s pick a green spot on Google maps and go there) the weekend before last, we decided to pay the Orchard a visit, and boy am I glad we did. When we arrived at the peach stand they only had a couple dozen of pre-bagged lots left. As usual, I bought a bunch of something without a specific recipe in mind. With another 15 pounds of small tomatoes from the beau’s garden in haul I started exploring peach and tomato concoctions. This recipe is a slight modification on a recipe I found in Southern Living, the big difference is that I decided to can my preserves as I don’t have nearly enough fridge space for this tripled recipe.
After jarring up 7 half pints of this fruity, herby preserve, I had tons of leftover syrup/liquid. Instead of tossing it, I figured with all the added pectin I could easily make a jelly. To do so I simply poured the liquid through a fine mesh strainer then canned it per usual. Easy peasy and I had 7 quarter pints of jelly to take to the Seacoast Food Swap last Sunday! Don’t you just love byproducts?!
Happy Labor Day… happy September! Did you know that peaches and nectarines are the same species?!? Late night science here: while peaches are characterized by a fuzzy skin, nectarines are characterized as a fuzz-less fruit. “Genetic studies suggest nectarines are produced due to a recessive allele, whereas peaches are produced from a dominant allele for fuzzy skin.”
Smack dab in the middle of peach season here in New Hampshire and I’ve had a pretty hard time resisting stopping at every farm stand labeled PYO peaches that I come across. There is nothing worse (OK, maybe there’s a few worse things) than splurging on a ripe’ish peach to find an un-sweet and mealy fruit. But a great peach… a great peach is stopping by a roadside stand, buying the biggest and juiciest fruit possible, and then slicing off peach pieces in just the right way. As a matter of fact, just last night I led a previous peach naysayer towards peach enlightenment with just one bite of a locally picked peach. When it came time to put up this peach and corn combo., I was having a hard time deciding, if not deciphering the difference, between a corn salsa and a corn relish. I ended up going the salsa route as I didn’t think adding sugar was necessary with the sweet peach flavors.
Except for the bell peppers, the rest of the produce used in this salsa came from a cornucopia (can you tell I’m ready for fall?) of local sources: peaches (Applecrest Farm Orchards), corn (Barker’s Farm), jalapeños (Wake Robin Farm), tomatoes (beau’s garden), and white onions (Black Kettle Farm). Stay tuned for more peach’tastic recipes.
© 2017 Erin A. Urquhart All Rights Reserved.