Just Peachy

Peach capreseProduced by Brett Levine

Food Styling by Lily Plauché

Photography by Becky Stayner

Nothing says summer like fresh, juicy peaches. In Alabama, we’re lucky that peaches are one of our most delicious local fruits. Peaches are perfect on their own and often so sweet that they can be enjoyed straight from the tree as a summertime dessert. But if you’re looking to take advantage of summer’s bounty of the fruit, these delicious recipes take your table from simply peachy to delectably divine.

Pickled peaches might be unexpected, but they deliciously combine the sweetness of the fruit with the tartness of lemons and cider vinegar. A touch of sugar keeps it sweet and cinnamon adds a hint of spice.

Peach Caprese Salad brings the fruit into a classic salad. Here, sweet peaches and vinaigrette mesh for a flavor and texture combination that simply says summer.

Finally, for those late summer evenings, combine peaches with ice cream, whipped cream, or crème fraiche to top a Peach Tarte Tatin. Given the bounty of peaches Alabama offers at the farmers’ markets or in your local store, it’s easy to pick up a bushel and go to town.

Pickled peachesQuick Pickled Peaches

Serve these as part of a cheese board, in salads, or over vanilla ice cream.

Makes three pint jars

4 medium firm-ripe peaches, pitted, each cut into 8 wedges

½ lemon, thinly sliced

3 cinnamon sticks

6 whole cloves

2 cups water

2 cups granulated sugar

2 cups apple cider vinegar

1. Divide peach wedges and lemon slices evenly among three pint jars. Place one cinnamon stick and two cloves into each jar.

2. Bring water, sugar, and vinegar to a boil in a medium saucepan. Immediately pour hot liquid over peaches (you may have some liquid left over.) Cover jars and let cool to room temperature (about two hours). Refrigerate at least one day and up to two weeks before serving.

Peach tart tatinsPeach Tarte Tatins

Serves 6

3 tablespoons butter, softened

1 package frozen puff pastry, thawed

¾ cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons water

3 peaches, halved and pitted


2 tablespoons butter, melted

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter 6 (10 oz.) ramekins.

2. Roll out puff pastry onto a lightly floured surface. Using a ramekin as a template, cut out 6 rounds. Refrigerate pastry rounds while preparing the caramel.

3. Combine ¾ cup sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook, swirling the pan occasionally, until the mixture turns an amber color (do not stir). Immediately pour the caramel evenly into each ramekin.

4. Place one peach half, cut side down, on top of the caramel in each ramekin. Place a pastry round over each peach, tucking edges around the fruit.

5. Brush tops of each pastry with melted butter. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl; sprinkle evenly over the tops of each pastry. Bake 30–40 minutes or until pastry is golden brown. Allow tartes to cool five minutes, then immediately invert each tarte onto a serving plate. Drizzle any caramel remaining in the ramekin over the top of the tarte. Serve warm with crème fraiche, whipped cream, or ice cream.

Peach Caprese Salad

Serves: 4-6

Peach Vinaigrette:

cup white wine vinegar

1-2 tablespoons honey

1 small ripe peach, pitted and chopped

1 tablespoon chopped shallot

¼ cup olive oil

Salt and pepper

2-3 tomatoes, cut into wedges

2 peaches, pitted, cut into wedges

8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese

¼ cup fresh basil leaves

1. To make the vinaigrette: In a blender or food processor, combine vinegar, honey, chopped peach, and shallot. Blend until smooth. With motor running, slowly add olive oil. Stir in salt and pepper to taste.

2. Arrange tomatoes, peaches, and cheese on a serving platter or individual salad plates. Scatter with basil leaves and drizzle with peach vinaigrette.

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