I got an email last week from a friend who used to live in Julian - a small town in the mountains east of San Diego. In the summertime, she helped out at a local fruit stand called Meyer's Orchard. Mr. Meyer gets up at around 2am each morning at this time of the year and drives for several hours to his orchards. There, he picks the peaches which are ripe for that day, as well as the ones which will be ripe within the next 4-5 days. Anyway, this friend told me that she was making a "peach run", and would I like any?
Is this actually a question? Of course!
The peach (prunus persica) is native to China. The word "persica" is indicative of the fact that early Europeans believed that the peach was native to Persia, but modern botanical consensus is that it originated in China and was brought to Persia along the Silk Road. There are several different crops each season, and this is the first one. This particular variety is called "Fair Lady." As the season goes on, the peaches get larger and sweeter, so by the end of season, it becomes difficult to bake anything with them. They are so incredibly sweet and delicious, it almost seems a travesty to be doing anything but eating them.
I am gobbling up this first batch as fast as I can, and haven't made anything with them yet. I will include Mrs. Meyer's recipes for peaches here. To me, they are reminiscent of the recipes from the 50s - they're so....Donna Reed. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that Mrs. Meyer has been using these recipes since Betty Crocker was in full swing.
What do you like to do with fresh peaches, other than eat them fresh or on top of your cereal? Do you have a favorite recipe? A grandmother's pie or crumble?
Helen Meyer’s Peach Recipes
Meyers Orchard, Julian, Ca.
Make a regular single pie crust.
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 ½ cup COLD water
3 oz peach jello
¼ cup + 1 Tablespoon corn starch
Slice peaches 1/2 inch thick (use your prettiest ones)
Let crust cool.
Mix cornstarch, sugar, jello.
Add cold water
Bring to boil and stir often til thick (est 3-min)
Lay peaches in crust, pour ½ glaze over all.
Refrigerate until firm.
Save remaining glaze for next pie.
Peach Pie II
Need peaches, pie crust, sugar, corn starch, water, powdered sugar.
Bake a pie crust
Mix in sauce pan:
1 cup puree peaches (use the ones with blemishes for this)
¾ cup sugar
2-3 Tablespoons corn starch
½ cup water
Use a slow heat to the boiling point
In baked pie crust, layer:
3-oz softened cream cheese
2-3 Tablespoons of powdered sugar
Angels with Peaches ‘n Cream
1 baked Angel Food cake
1 small package of instant vanilla pudding
Fresh peaches cut into small chunks
8-oz sour cream
Pull apart the cake into bite size pieces and fill a cake pan (12x12 or 9x13)
Mix the pudding by the box directions, let set til it thickens.
Mix sour cream into thickened pudding.
Add cake, peaches – mix.
Cover and refrigerate.
And, don’t forget, peaches….
…over ice cream
…under peach schnapps
…over pound cake
…at lunch time.