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Yummy Peaches

It’s summer and that means it’s time for peaches, when this incredible fruit is abundant, juicy, and sweet. Don’t limit yourself to desserts when you think of fresh peaches. These recipes will take you from shortcake to jambalaya.

PEACH COBBLER
2 cups sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
1/4 cup cold water
4-6 large peaches, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
6 pats butter
Heavy cream, optional

Preheat oven to 400°. Mix flour, salt, shortening, and cold water. Roll out on a floured board, about 1/4 inch thick. Put a layer in a buttered baking dish, using half the dough. Mix peaches with sugar and cinnamon; pour on the crust. Put remaining crust on top of peaches. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs on top and top with pats of butter. Bake in 400° oven until golden brown and bubbly. Spoon into individual dishes and pour heavy cream over top if desired. Serves 6.

GEORGIA PEACH SHORTCAKE
8 large ripe peaches, peeled and sliced
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup pecan pieces
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
Sugar to sweeten peaches to taste
1 cup heavy cream, whipped
1/4 teaspoon almond flavoring

Peel and slice peaches. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. In a large bowl, combine flour mixture with brown sugar. Cut in butter with pastry blender or two forks until crumbly. Stir in pecans. Beat egg slightly with milk and add all at once to flour mixture. Stir with fork until blended. Spread dough in two 9-inch-square cake pans to within 1/2 inch of top edge. Bake at 450° for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Sweeten peaches to taste with sugar. Flavor whipped cream with almond flavoring. Place one shortcake layer on serving plate and top with 1/2 of peaches and 1/2 of whipped cream. Repeat layering and serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.

FRESH PEACH SALAD
2-1/2 pounds fresh peaches, peeled and sliced
3 Tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1-1/2 teaspoons ground roasted cumin seeds
1-1/2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients in a glass serving dish. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

PEACH JAMBALAYA
1 medium green pepper, diced
1 medium onion, sliced
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 pound ham, diced
1/4 pound smoked sausage, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup chicken broth
3 peaches, peeled and sliced
1/4 pound shrimp, deveined
Salt and pepper to taste
3 cups cooked rice

Sauté green pepper, onion, tomatoes, garlic, thyme, ham, and sausage in oil for about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and chicken broth. Simmer an additional 5 minutes. Add peaches and shrimp and cover and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes until shrimp turns pink. Add salt and pepper to taste; serve over cooked rice. Serves 4.

PEACH BREAD PUDDING
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
10 slices homestyle white bread, 1/2- to 3/4-inch thick
4 ripe peaches, peeled, sliced, and drained on paper towels
3 large eggs
3 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly butter a 2- to 3-quart baking dish. Lightly butter the slices of bread on one side. Cut each slice in half diagonally. Arrange pieces buttered side down in the baking dish. Lay peach slices over each layer of bread. Beat eggs, yolks, sugar, and spices in a large mixing bowl. Whisk in the milk and cream and add remaining ingredients. Pour mixture over bread. Place pan in a larger pan and fill halfway up the sides with warm water, creating a water bath that pudding will bake in. Bake 40-50 minutes or until just set. Cut into squares and serve with a dusting of powdered sugar. Serves 8.

Coming Next Month: Blackberries

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