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Peaches are SO wonderful right now...

...what's your favorite easy-to-make peach dessert?

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    1. My favorite peach dessert when peaches are at their peak is fresh (uncooked) peach pie. It's a sin to cook them when they're perfect! You blind bake your favorite pie crust, then pile in sliced peaches and pour over a mixture of gelatin, cornstarch, lemon juice and sugar. Serve with LOADS of lightly sweetened real whipped cream.

      12 Replies
      1. re: biondanonima

        Absolutely! If fruit is sweet and juicy, don't cook it.
        Sliced fresh peaches are great for shortcake or as a topping for pound cake or vanilla ice cream. Peel or not - your choice, slice, and sprinkle with just a little bit of sugar in order to draw out the juices. Let it macerate for an hour or so (you may want to add a splash of lemon if you want to prevent any darkening)and serve. Better cool or room temp, IMO, than straight out of the refrigerator.

        1. re: greygarious

          Agreed! Not that I would turn down a good peach cobbler, but I generally don't like my peaches cooked. I turned down a couple of otherwise gorgeous sounding peach dishes in Charleston last week because the peaches were roasted. blah.

          Here's my pet peave: when did all the food mags decide you were supposed to drop peaches in boiling water for a minute, "make an x" and then peel? you don't need to do that! Just get a pairing knife and peel them!

          1. re: danna

            The serrated Messermeister vegetable peeler is much superior to a paring knife. It securely shaves off the peel, taking virtually no flesh with it, and does not slip despite the juiciness of the fruit. Works a charm on tomatoes, too. I got one ($6) upon Cooks' Illustrated's recommendation.

        2. re: biondanonima

          Do you have a recipe you'd be willing to share? I have never heard of this, but it sounds great! Googling produces a number of recipes that are all pretty different from each other, so a tried and true one would be great.

          1. re: Pia

            Sure, here you go. This is the recipe I got from my mother, who I am fairly certain got it from her grandmother, so it has stood the test of time!

            Any good pie crust recipe, blind baked until golden brown
            4 lbs (more or less) firm-ripe peaches, peeled and sliced (to taste - I like them thin-ish because it makes the pie easier to slice/eat, but thick is fine, especially if your peaches are on the soft side. I've also forgotten to peel them and it's still good!)

            1 c. cold water
            1 c. sugar
            3 T. cornstarch
            pinch of salt
            1 pkg Jello (black cherry or black raspberry are my faves with peaches, but you could use anything, even peach flavor. The color contrast with the purple fruit flavors is beautiful, though.)

            Combine water, cornstarch, sugar and salt in a small saucepan and cook until thickened , then add Jello and stir until smooth. Set aside and allow to cool slightly. Arrange sliced fruit in a pre-baked pie crust. Pour filling over fruit, shaking pie plate gently to encourage filling to settle into all crevices. Refrigerate until set and serve with mountains of lightly sweetened whipped cream.

            1. re: biondanonima

              I'm not a baker -- what does the term "blind baked" mean?

              1. re: CindyJ

                You bake the crust without any filling in it (lined with foil and weighted with beans, rice or pie weights to keep it from slumping), so that you have a fully baked shell to which to add your fruit and filling.

                  1. re: CindyJ

                    You could just buy a graham cracker shell.

          2. re: biondanonima

            We do a similar pie with a cream base that's a mixture of cream cheese and whipped cream beaten together and covered with sliced peaches. We will sometimes put fresh raspberries or blueberries in the center.

            1. re: roxlet

              Is this similar to the cream pies from that famous pie place on Long Island? That looks and sounds spectacular!!!!!

              1. re: biondanonima

                Yes! Exactly! The cream that is in the Cook's Baking Book for the strawberry cream cake is Briermere's cream pie cream to a T!

          3. We're not getting any wonderful peaches in the NYC 'burbs right now. Actually, it's been several years since I tasted a sweet, flavorful, peach. And never in NY.

            1 Reply
            1. re: JMF

              Come on down to southeastern PA. The freestones are finally here!

            2. I baked a lattice top peach pie last week with slightly less than perfect peaches. The recipe called for lemon juice but a few reviewers recommended lime juice because it complimented the peaches much better. And boy were they right.

              1. I bought a box of white peaches from Costco to make a peach dessert that was featured here not too long ago but they were so juicy and sweet that my family just ended up eating the whole thing in a few days.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Monica

                  This time of year I hesitate to buy fresh produce from Costco. When the local farm stands are flush with the season's bounty, I can't see buying fruit and veggies that have had to travel great distances.

                  1. re: CindyJ

                    True but so easy to pick up those delicious box of peaches when I am at Costco!

                2. We went picking a couple of weeks ago and got almost 3 trash bags full (not sure ho many it was!). If you are into canning, you should try canning quartered peaches, or peach bourbon jam, or peach peel jelly. I have canned 7 quarts of sliced peaches for my boys this winter.... They will request them over ice cream! Although right now their favorite is vanilla ice cream with diced fresh peaches, a spoonful of peach peel jelly, and whipped cream.

                  1. I let peach halves sit for an hour or so in melted butter, cinnamon and rum. (you can futz with this a lot... cloves, other liqueurs, etc.) Then grill them over a hot fire/gas grill while warming the remaining marinade. Serve the grilled peaches with the warm sauce over vanilla ice cream. The first time I tried this my friends scoffed... grilled peaches? Gross. Now they beg for these in the summer.

                    5 Replies
                      1. re: CindyJ

                        I do not peel! And love the other deas here.

                      2. re: Tom P

                        That sounds lovely. I love grilled peaches with ricotta and a balsamic reduction.

                        1. re: Tom P

                          I've made this with amaretto and vanilla instead of cinnamon and rum... really good! Broiling works too, with a little sugar sprinkled on top.

                          1. re: Tom P

                            We usually grill peaches but I didn't want to mess with the grill for just that. So I peeled them, halved, removed the pit and roasted at 425 for 20 minutes. Coarsely chopped and will serve with vanilla ice cream. They taste super and my avatar can attest to that also.

                            1. re: Ruthie789

                              THAT is exactly what I'm thinking of for this weekend. Get some fresh raspberries, some vanilla ice cream, and call it dessert. But I'm thinking I'll use the peaches fresh, rather than poaching them in a sugar syrup. They're sweet enough on their own.

                              1. re: CindyJ

                                Peach Melba's peaches can be fresh or cooked, but the sauce is raspberry puree, not whole berries. I've most often seen the sauce being made from cooked raspberries, probably because raspberries usually need extra sweetening, and so it clings to the peaches and ice cream rather than running to the bottom.

                                1. re: greygarious

                                  Yep! I meant to say I'd not poach the peaches, but that I'd use the raspberries in a cooked, pureed sauce.

                                  1. re: CindyJ

                                    It is the best time of year to make all this. It is quite an elegant dessert once all put together. I love the vibrant colour of raspberries and taste as well. I made my using the recipe from Chef John's Foodwishes website link below:

                                2. re: CindyJ

                                  Was thinking the same myself. Just had peach Melba for the first time at a local restaurant last week and thought it was absolutely delicious. And they used fresh, not poached or grilled. I think really good vanilla ice cream is key as well.

                                3. re: Ruthie789

                                  We're having the peaches with Vanilla Bean ice cream and Chambord, our delicious variation on Peach Melba.

                                  1. re: MacTAC

                                    Sounds delicious, a dessert like this always looks spectacular in a nice glass or serving dish. I bought peaches and raspberries this weekend but got sidetracked so just eating them out of the basket will have to do!

                                4. Super simple. Buy amaretti cookies. Crush some in plastic bag and then toss with melted, salted butter to form kind of a crumble. Halve peaches, remove pit and scoop out a little bit from the center. Fill that hollow with the cookie/butter mixture and bake in hot oven util brown and softened. Serve with vanilla, pistachio or raspberry ice cream.

                                  1. So I prepared peach melba last night. I (loosely) followed Dorie Greenspan's recipe from "Around My French Table." I halved and pitted the peaches then dropped them in simmering water for about a minute to facilitate peeling. Next, I simmered lemon verbena (I was glad to finally find a use for it -- I've got some growing in my small herb garden) and wide strips of lemon zest in a simple syrup. I added some vanilla extract, Chambord and fresh lemon juice to the syrup and poached the peach halves briefly in that mixture. The recipe said to poach for 10 minutes; I poached for 5 because I didn't want them really soft. I put the poached peaches in a container, covered them with the poaching liquid and let them chill in the fridge.

                                    For the sauce, I pureed 1/2 pint of raspberries in the blender, strained the puree and added a few tablespoons of the peach poaching liquid for sweetness. No cooking.

                                    For serving, I put about a tablespoon of the chilled poaching liquid into a goblet, then spooned in one peach half, a scoop of vanilla ice cream (from the local creamery), and another peach half and drizzled it with the raspberry sauce. Topped that with a dollop of freshly whipped cream (from the dairy farm down the road) and sprinkled that with sliced almonds.

                                    It was delicious, but the next time I'll either poach the peaches a little longer or dice them before adding them to the goblet. It was a little challenging to "cut" the peach halves with a spoon. I'll also use much less sugar in the poaching liquid (my recipe called for 3/4 cup of sugar to 2 cups of water) because it was waaaaay too sweet for my liking.

                                    Anyway, it was a decadent dessert and a great way to serve these fabulous freestone peaches.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: CindyJ

                                      Mmmmm-mmm! Yes, I would like to have that!

                                      BTW, I find that it is really easy to peel peaches with a serrated peeler. Years ago, when we had a big BBQ every year, I used to make vats of peach crisp. After putting all those peaches in boiling water, and standing over a pot of hot water, I'd be in a real sweat by the time I was done. When I discovered the serrated peeler, it was a real eureka moment for me.

                                      1. re: roxlet

                                        I tried peeling the peaches before dropping them into water, but the "rosy blush" color came off along with the peel, so I opted for the dunk-in-simmering-water approach instead.

                                        1. re: roxlet

                                          Picnics with stone fruits and crumbles seem to be your trademark!

                                        2. re: CindyJ

                                          Last night I prepared a variation of my first attempt at peach melba, and I was very pleased with the result. I had saved the leftover poaching liquid from the first attempt, and I had raspberry sauce left over, too. So what I did this time was halve and pit the peaches and simmer them in plain water for about 8 minutes. The halves were tender but firm, and easy to peel. I assembled the dessert in goblets as before -- a couple of tablespoons of the leftover, sweetened poaching liquid, a peach half, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, another peach half, raspberry sauce, whipped cream and a sprinkle of sliced almonds. Perfect! Not nearly as sweet as the first time around and that was an improvement.

                                        3. Anyone ever smoke some peach halves over hickory or applewood? I'm thinking of smoking some herbed peach halves (thyme & rosemary) and using some for a dessert with either ricotta or some local goat cheese & a reduced balsamic. The rest I may use to make a bbq sauce for pork.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: lynnlato

                                            I never have, but maybe when my husband has the smoker lit next week, I'll give it a whirl. My son adores grilled peaches.

                                          2. I've had so many peaches this month! They are so perfect!

                                            I've made two desserts. One was kind of a nothing, but still so very good…fresh peach slices with whipped cream. That's it.
                                            The other…I peeled and diced a few peaches, tossed them with cinnamon, sugar, and a bit of nutmeg. Put them in a saucepan with a cup or so of water. Brought to a boil, then reduced heat and stirred, until it was a chunky jammy consistancy. While that was happening, I took some ready made pie crust, cut them in two inch rounds, brushed with melted butter and honey, then topped with cinnamon and sugar, and baked until crisp. I them spooned a large dallop of the peach mixture on top, and repeated until I had a dozen of them, and served them as "deconstructed peach pie bites" at a dinner party. They were a huge hit!

                                            1. Our local farm area only has Early Red Havens right now, so we're holding out a few more days for the freestone varieties. We go out every year and pick several boxes worth. We give away about half and eat most fresh, but I also like to make this easy cobbler:

                                              It's wonderful with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream. It's really best the first day when it's still a bit crunchy, so I like that it doesn't make a huge pan.

                                              1. I just made an open faced peach custard pie from the Joy of Cooking. I've been looking at this recipe for a while, and finally made it happen. It's a really good "pie" and smells delicious, more like a Blondie pie smell. Mine came out much firmer than this picture in the link, and edges did not burn. Now wondering if I can do it with other fruit.