Monday, September 17, 2012

Peach Day

The peaches around here have been great, and I've still been able to find them fresh at he farmer's markets. I'm hoping the same is true for you since our friend Lindsey has three fantastic peach recipes she's going to share with you today. 

I love fall.  I love going back to school, buying school supplies, feeling the crisp in the air, watching the leaves start to change, eating apples and peaches.  But my favorite thing about fall is "Peach Day."  Or that is what I call it.  Every year I go to Allred Orchards and buy a bushel of peaches.  Peach day really does take the whole day from the time I wake up until when I go to bed.  This year I made freezer peaches, freezer peach jam, and two peach pies.  

After I purchase the peaches I start by blanching the whole bushel.  This is my least favorite part of peach day because it takes forever, it is hot, and makes a huge mess.  By the end of peach day it looks like war has occurred in my kitchen between me and peaches.  First I made fifty bags of freezer peaches.  Once the peaches are frozen, they can be used to make the best peach smoothies, pies, cobbler, or for general snacking. 

This year I decided to make freezer jam.  If you have never made freezer jam before don't be scared it is very easy.  Just remember to really use all the sugar it tells you to use. 
To reward myself for all the hard work and great food storage I have made, I always end peach day by making peach pie.  The pie was so good we just dug in and ate the whole pie with some friends and I forgot to take a picture.  Oops!  So if you feel ambitious and have a spare day have a "Peach Day" and enjoy peaches for the whole year.        

Freezer Peaches
Recipe by Lindsey

1/2 bushel of peaches
4 cups sugar
8 cups water
1 can frozen orange juice
1 can frozen lemonade
1 box of ziplock bags
  1. Blanch 1/2 bushel of Peaches by putting five peaches at a time in boiling water for about a minute.  Transfer the peaches to ice cold water.  (If you don't cool them they will turn brown.)  The skins should just peel right off.  If they are still to hard to take off keep them in the boiling water longer.  
  2. Cut the peaches in half and set aside.  Mix sugar and water in a large sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Boil for one minute.  Remove from heat.  Stir in frozen concentrate.  Let cool.  Add about 1/2 to 3/4 cup liquid and 4 to 5 peach halves to each freezer bag.  Double bag and freeze. 
  3. To make a peach smoothie: slightly thaw the bag in the microwave or on the counter until the juice is liquid but the peaches are still frozen.  Then pour the whole bag in the blender and voila! Peach smoothie.  
Peach Freezer Jam
Recipe from the Sure Jell Brand Pectin

1 box Sure Jell Pectin
3 Cups finely chopped peaches
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
5 cups sugar
  1. Finely chop peaches and measure out three cups. Add lemon juice and sugar. Mix well and let stand for at least 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  
  2. Stir 1 box of pectin and 3/4 cup water in a small sauce pan.  Bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute stirring constantly. Stir pectin mixture into fruit mixture. Stir constantly until sugar is no longer grainy. Pour into freezer containers. Let stand for 24 hours until set. Freeze.
Peach Pie 
Recipe by Lindsey

1 double pie crust
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp lemon juice
6 cups sliced peaches
2 tablespoons butter
  1. Preheat over to 425 degrees F. Use pre-made pie crust or our recipe here
  2. Mix sugar, cornstarch, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Stir in lemon juice. Add the peaches and gently toss. Set aside.  
  3. Roll out both pastry balls on lightly floured surface. Line a 9 in pie plate. Add peach filling and top with other rolled out pastry. Add a few cuts in the top of the pastry and decorate edges and top how you desire. Cover the edges with foil. Bake for about 45 minutes. Cool for at least 2 hours before serving.  

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