peaches: from blanching to preserves.

11 Jul

An impromptu Sunday afternoon peach blanching how-to quickly turned into the most delicious summer treat (not to mention a noteworthy way to escape the humid Charleston weather that only comes after seldom seen evening rain showers or well, let’s be honest- this is just typical July climate).

Peach blanching led to peach preserves which naturally led to ice cream and cookies.

Blanching, a first for this chocolate chip cookie connoisseur, is quite the magical process. Place the peach, either one by one or in small quantities, into a pot of boiling water for about 2-5 minutes.

Then plunge those tender peaches into a bowl of ice water. Here’s where all that small child wonder is realized, the transfer from heat to cool allows the skin of the peach to be easily peeled away.

But the surprises aren’t over yet. When slicing the peaches, you will discover that the blanching process has made the pit ever-so soft, allowing you to cut right through the entire peach. Slice the peaches, sneak a bite… or two or three, or sweeten the whole batch for peach preserves.

Equal parts peaches and sugar- that’s all you need to know to can your own peach preserves or to make vanilla ice cream yearn for a sweet, sweet topping. I combined one cup of sugar and one cup of peaches over low heat until the peaches appeared transparent. Stirring is essential throughout the process to prevent sticking and burning, never outcomes you want to accompany your trial recipes. Crank the heat up to medium-high heat and boil until the mixture of fruit and syrup drops from the spoon. I couldn’t resist the in-between stage of syrup and preserves as vanilla ice cream and ginger snaps made their way onto the counter. The combination of vanilla and warm, peach preserves syrup was quickly matched with the spicy crunch of old-fashioned ginger snaps.                                                        

Remove the leftover peach mixture from the heat (if you exerted enough self-control and actually have leftovers), stir to rid of foam, place in hot jars and seal. On a side note, blanching is also useful in preserving the color of vegetables and removing the skins from nuts. So go on and please the little kids or picky eaters in your life with bright, crisp vegetables, skinless fruits, and perfectly peeled nuts.

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One Response to “peaches: from blanching to preserves.”

  1. Kristen 07.12.10 at 2:08 pm #

    Anne Marie,

    I’m so excited about your blog. The idea is wonderful! We’ll have to have some peaches and ice cream soon, and when we do, we’ll raise our spoons to toast you and your creativity!

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