By Deborah Eisenhut
Peaches are one of America’s most popular fruits and simple desserts. Their great versatility make a perfect ending to any summertime meal. Peaches date back to the 10th century, originating in China, a favorite of emperors.
Often called the Persian apple, peaches were first brought to the colonies in the 17th century. Peaches are part of a large fruit family which includes cherry, apricot, plum and the rose family. Low in fat, high in fiber and natural sugars, peaches remain one of the most healthy and popular fruits on the market.
There are two types of peaches, Freestone and Clingstone. Freestone are usually enjoyed fresh because of the ease in which the fruit separates from the pit. Clingstone peaches “cling” to the pit are commonly processed and preserved for year round enjoyment. California is the leader in Clingstone production, S.C. and Georgia grow Freestone and 40 other commercial varieties.
Try the following easy, delicious recipes to end perfect summer meals.
Classic Easy Peach Cobbler
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar, divided
1 Tbls. baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup milk
4 cups fresh peeled sliced peaches
1Tbls. lemon juice
Ground cinnamon or nutmeg (optional)
Melt butter in 13X9 baking dish
Combine flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder & salt; add milk stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour batter over butter (do not stir). Bring remaining ingredients to a boil over high heat stirring constantly; pour over batter (do not stir). Sprinkle with cinnamon if desired & bake at 375 for 40-45 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm with ice cream or cool with whipped cream.
Grilled Peaches with Cinnamon Sugar Butter
1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
1 tsp. cinnamon sugar
Pinch of salt
4 ripe peaches, halved and pitted
Mint for garnish
In a small bowl, stir butter until smooth. Add the cinnamon sugar, granulated sugar & salt & mix until combined. Heat grill to high. Brush peaches with oil and grill until golden brown and just softened. Move to serving dish and top each halve with a dollop of cinnamon sugar butter and let melt. Garnish with fresh mint leaves.
Ginger Peach Sangria
1 bottle white wine, Pinot Grigio, Chenin Blanc or similar quality wine.
1 cup Grand Marnier
3-4 fresh ripe peaches, sliced or cubed
Splash of ginger juice or a bit of freshly grated ginger, optional
1 lime sliced
Handful of mint and or basil
Handful of ice
Stir all ingredients together. Chill until ready to serve. Garnish with fresh mint or mint infused fine sugar on glass rims before filling glasses.