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Peaches & Plums

Who doesn’t love fresh fruit in the summer? And when it comes down to it, not much can beat the sweet taste of a ripe plum or peach. Because of their subtle sweet flavors, peaches and plums can be paired with almost anything, but are equally delectable when eaten on their own. But don’t limit yourself to eating them uncooked. They can be poached, grilled and sautéed, too!

 

PEELING

While we tend to eat and cook plums with the skin on, peaches can be used and eaten with or without the skin.

 

  1. The easiest way to peel a peach is with a paring knife. If you pierce the skin from top to bottom with a pairing knife, marking the peach into quarters, then, you should be able to peel back the skin in each section. If peeling doesn’t come easily, then just use the paring knife to remove each quarter of skin.

 

  1. Boil a pot of water. Place the peach in the water for 20-30 seconds. Remove the peach from the hot water with a slotted spoon. Let it cool off and then make a nick in the skin near the top and start peeling. The skin should peel off easily. This is a particularly useful method for peeling peaches for pies and crisps or canning. Basically, when you have many peaches to peel.

 

STORING

Stone fruits are tender. You can’t just drop them in your grocery bag like an apple. They can get crushed and bruise easily. Pack them carefully. If they’re not ripe, leave them sitting out for 2 or 3 days stems down. Once ripe, they should indent slightly by finger touch. To speed up the ripening process, peaches can be stored in a paper bag at room temperature.

 

Once ripe, plums and yellow peaches will last in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. White peaches ripen quicker and will only last a day in the fridge.

 

BASIC YUMMINESS

Peaches and plums go well with light cheeses such as mozzarella, manchego, parmesan or goat cheese. For light appetizers try this:

 

  • Wrap a peach with prosciutto and a piece of mint…drizzle with balsamic reduction
  • Pair a slice of peach with a slice of Manchego cheese and crackers of your choice
  • Pair a slice of plum with a small slab of goat cheese on a thin slice of toasted French baguette and drizzle with balsamic reduction

 

 

GRILLING

 

Grilled Chicken & Plum Skewers

2 boneless breasts of chicken cut into squares to fit on skewers

Olive oil

Salt and pepper and seasonings to taste, try garlic powder, onion powder and oregano

Half a lemon

4-6 plums cut into wedges

 

Mix your favorite light seasoning in a bowl.

Place cut chicken in a bowl and drizzle with 2-3 tablespoons of olive or avocado oil.

Sprinkle seasoning over chicken and mix together until chicken is covered with seasoning.

Squeeze a bit of lemon juice over chicken.

Place cut chicken pieces on skewer.

Between every 2 to 3 pieces of chicken place a plum wedge. You can even place plum wedges with every piece of chicken if you prefer.

 

Place on grill on medium heat and cook for 5-6 minutes a side.

 

Serve with quinoa or baby potatoes, corn on the cob and a salad.

 

Grilled Peaches

To grill a peach, simply cut an unpeeled peach in half lengthwise, and remove the stone. Brush each side of the peach with olive oil or grapeseed oil, or any light tasting oil.

 

Place it on the grill cut side down for 2-4 minutes, until the grill marks show. Brush the top side of the peach with oil, flip over and move off direct heat for another 1-2 minutes.

 

Chop up the grilled peach and serve in a salad, or serve with ice cream or homemade whipped cream. Yum!

 

SALADS

Plums and peaches are a welcome flavor to add to any salad. They go well with seeds and nuts such as cashews or pecans. They work with any type of lettuce or spinach, and pair well with grilled corn, tomatoes, avocadoes and cucumber.

 

Try these tasty options:

Tomato and Peach Burrata Salad from twopeasandtheirpod.com

http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/tomato-peach-burrata-salad/

 

Corn, cucumber, peach & avocado salad from loveandlemons.com

http://www.loveandlemons.com/corn-cucumber-peach-avocado-salad/

 

Grilled Plum Salad with Maple-Nut Clusters

http://www.floatingkitchen.net/grilled-plum-salad-with-maple-nut-clusters/

 

MORE SWEETNESS

Peach & Raspberry Crisp

This recipe can also be made with plums. Plums and apples make a good mix.

 

Ingredients:

6 peaches

1/2 pint raspberries

zest of 1 orange or 1 lemon

1/2 cup granulated sugar (and 3 tbsps.)

1/2 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup all purpose flour (plus 1-2 tbsps. separate)

pinch of salt

1/2 cup quick-cooking oats

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 pound unsalted butter diced

 

Lightly grease an 8x8x2 pan. Turn oven on to 350 degrees F

Peel peaches (use a pairing knife or dip them in hot water for 30 seconds, cool and peel). Slice peaches into wedges and place in a bowl. Add orange or lemon zest, 3 tbsps. granulated sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1 tbsp. flour. Mix together. Fold in raspberries. Pour mix into baking dish.

 

In an electric mixer place flour, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, salt, oatmeal, cinnamon, and diced butter. Blend ingredients together until mixture appears crumbly. Sprinkle mixture over peaches. Bake for 45 minutes until crisp is browned.

 

Something different:

Plum Clafouti from pastryaffair.com

http://www.pastryaffair.com/blog/2011/7/23/plum-clafouti.html

 

THERE’S MORE

Beyond the basic peach crisp or salad try these fun recipes for stone fruit from food52.com:

 

Chilled tomato peach soup

https://food52.com/blog/7457-chilled-tomato-peach-soup

 

Tomato plum galette with black pepper parmesan crust

https://food52.com/recipes/37416-tomato-plum-galette-with-black-pepper-parmesan-crust