Wednesday, August 5, 2009
There are oh so many peach cliches out there dying to make there way into this post...but perhaps the most accurate one is that I'm "up to my eyeballs in peaches." My neighbor regularly visits her family in Eastern Washington, passing right through massive amounts of orchards. I was most interested in peaches this time around and she obliged me by picking up a 25 pound box (and two for herself!).
Since getting a truckload of quart jars from my friend last fall, I've been itching to use them. Canned peaches were at the top of my list. So I got to work this afternoon slipping off skins, halving, pitting, slicing, making syrup (light and extra light are the way to go...heavy syrup is bad for the insulin deficient!).
I have the Ball book of Home Preserving. It contains so much information...so many ideas! I filled 9 quart jars with the peach slices, running out of lids part way through...of course you knew that would happen, right? There were problems with floating peach masses no matter how tightly I thought I was packing them. And I kept having jars that wouldn't seal. Argh!
Well, after reheating various jars (quart jars process for 30 minutes...so we're talking all day here), I'm down to 2 unsealed jars still! But I quit for the night. Maybe I'll open those up and make some peach jam tomorrow.
In between all that I did laundry, cooked a low-carbohydrate meal of chicken/bean/pepper/chile burritos in whole wheat tortillas, and then decided to use the last few raw peaches to make a yummy summer crisp.
Back to the cutting board. Fortunately, I had all the hot canning water still, so de-skinning the peaches was a snap. In case you don't know, to easily skin peaches, dip them in boiling water for 30-60 seconds and then plunk them into a cold water bath. The skins (usually) come right off.
Delicious Summer Peach Crisp
5 1/2 c peaches, peeled and sliced
2 TB flour (or tapioca/arrowroot to thicken)
1 TB lemon juice
1 c sugar (or 1/2 c honey, or 3/4 c maple syrup)
3/4 TB cinnamon (or 1/4 TB allspice, or 1/8 tsp cloves)
Stir ingredients into a bowl, then pour into a glass baking dish, taking care not to overfill.
1/2 c unbleached flour
1/2 c rolled oats (not quick or instant)
1/4 finely chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)
1/4 c butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Combine topping and sprinkle over fruit. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes. Get out the vanilla ice cream!