Wednesday, August 20, 2008

what’s cooking wednesday – caramelized peaches

With peaches ripe and in season it's a great time to enjoy them. When I was a wee youngin I remember we would can peaches to use during the winter months. We'd also can apricots, cucumbers, and sometimes tomatoes.

I would love to live in the same town as my family and be able to spend time with them and partake in a family activity of canning fruits and veggies. My dad would be manning the propane burners that we would use for the canning pots so as not to heat up the house. Everyone gathered around the tables, peeling, chopping, filling the jars, and chatting up a storm. I must say it was a tad different when I was smaller, I didn't have those warm fuzzy feelings.

My sisters and I would complain about having to do this 'chore'. Peach juice would cover your arms, standing your back would get tired, and it seemed like an endless task when we really wanted to go play or watch cartoons. It seemed like the crates of whatever we were canning would never end.

If we were canning cucumbers we'd need to peel a ton of garlic and cut up fresh dill. I did really enjoy the smell of fresh dill stored in the garage waiting for canning day even though I knew what work was ahead, but don't tell my mom, cuz we complained a lot. Us girls must have given every excuse in the book trying to get out of doing this, but usually to no avail.

When we'd cut open a peach and the pit split in half exposing the almond shape seed we'd give it a taste because it looked just like an almond. Yuck! It was sooo bitter, my parents would get a good laugh, but that only happens once as we weren't dumb. I did that too with olives when my dad canned them.

Oh, what memories. Ok, back to the dish.

I found some yummy white peaches at the market the other day and picked some up. One evening I wanted something a little tastier then just a plain peach so I decided to heat them up and caramelize them making a nice reduction to go on top.

Again no measurements but it's too easy to mess up. Though I'd play around with the juices you use as mine was a little on the sweet side, I bet a touch of citrus would have been good.

Caramelized Peaches
-Apple juice
-Amaretto Liqueur
-Amaretti Cookies

Half peaches and take out pit. In a non-stick skillet pour in the juice(s) that you want to use (see above comment). Set peaches cut side down into juice and bring to a simmer. You can turn peaches over for a bit to cook skin side. When liquid has reduced pull off the burner and add the liqueur and stir. Put back onto heat and let cook a bit longer until it's to the thickness you want

At this point I put them on a dish, drizzled with the glaze and topped with crumbled amaretti cookies. It was good. It would have been even better if I'd have melted a cold pat of butter into the reduction or a tablespoon or two of heavy cream. Mmmm.

A BIG scoop of ice cream or gelato would make it even better. I'd like to say I was trying to be good but I really didn't have any of that in the house. Had I I'm sure I'd have gone all out.

Tip: I did not peel the peaches before cooking them. If they are fresh and in season you won't need to but if you are making them for guests I would. It would give it a more finished look.

Buon Appetito

Today’s Temperature
High: 106°F/41°C
Low: 79°F/26°C
Humidity: 15%

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