The peaches are plentiful at my farmer’s market this month and as a result I have been trying to find some interesting ways to use one of my favorite fruits. Of course, the old standby peaches and cream is still my favorite, but they disappear so quickly when prepared this way that the rest of the house tends not to get any!
This week I have tried two new peach recipes that I wanted to share. The first is a variation of an old household standby: the scone. The second is a slightly modified version of a recipe found in The Joy of Cooking, my favorite kitchen companion.
Peaches and cream scones
These make a fabulous breakfast treat and are a great way to use up one or two pieces of fruit!
Because you are using fresh fruit in these scones, the juices from the peaches will make the dough much more sticky than it would otherwise be. As a result additional flour will need to be added towards the end of the process and worked into the dough. How much flour depends on your fruit and your willingness to work with sticky scones!
2 peaches, pitted, peeled and diced into 1/2 cubes
1 3/4 c all purpose flour + approx 1/2 c
2 1/4 tsp aluminum free baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
approx 1/4c evaporated cane sugar (you can use more or less to your taste)
2 free range eggs
1/3 c organic heavy cream
1/2 stick (4 TBSP) unsalted grass-fed butter, cubed and chilled
1 tsp organic vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to 425.
Combine the 1 3/4c flour with the baking powder, salt and sugar. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender until it is the consistency of small peas. Whisk the eggs together and reserve approx 2 TBSP of egg in a separate bowl. Add the heavy cream and the vanilla extract to the eggs and mix, then add to the flour mixture. Stir a couple of times with a wooden spoon. You will have what appears to be a very dry dough. It does not matter at this point if it is well mixed. Add the peaches and continue to mix until most of the flour is combined. At this point you will have a relatively sticky mess!
Turn out onto a large cutting board or a wooden surface and work up to another 1/2 cup of flour into the dough, until it looses it’s sticky consistency and can be shaped into a 1/2 inch thick disk. Try not to over-kneed if at all possible, as this will toughen the dough and you will loose the light texture.
Cut the disk into 8 pieces, like a pie, then brush the reserved egg on the top of each scone. Sprinkle with sugar if you’d like, then place the scones on a cookie sheet and bake for 12-13 minutes.
Peach Upside-down cake with Pecans
This is a high altitude recipe, adjustments may need to be made for elevations under 7000 feet.
Preheat oven to 325.
Peel and slice 3 to 4 medium sized peaches
Combine in a 10 inch skillet or 9 inch cake pan:
5 TBSP unsalted grass-fed butter
2/3 cup packed brown sugar or demerara sugar
Stir until butter is melted then add:
1/4 c raw honey
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
Remove the mixture from the heat and arrange the peach slices in the syrup then evenly distribute your pecan pieces throughout the mixture and set aside. I used pecan pieces, but you could use halves if you’d like to play with the appearance of the design.
Whisk together in a large bowl:
1 1/2 cups unsifted all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp aluminum free baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
In a medium bowl beat together:
1/3 c (5 1/2 TBSP) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 evaporated cane sugar
1/4 c raw honey
2 large eggs
1 tsp organic vanilla
1/3 c buttermilk
Add the wet to the dry and combine until smooth, then pour over the prepared baking dish. The batter is fairly thick, so it will not spread easily, however it will expand while cooking so if it doesn’t meet the edges of the pan, don’t worry!
Bake at 325 for 40 minutes. Remove and let cool for approx 5 minutes before plating. To plate simply put the serving dish face down on the cake and holding firmly, flip the entire thing over. Tap a few times just in case, then remove gently to avoid disturbing the peach design.
Serve warm. Happy Eating!