July 15, 2014

Plenty of peaches: A guide to peach-based desserts

Make the most of summer fruits by whipping up peach-based desserts.Peaches are perhaps one of the most revered fruits of summer. They hit their peak perfection between May and August, depending on the region in which they are grown. When summer comes around, fruit fans flock to grocery stands to pick up this sweet, tangy and delicious food. Make the most of this year’s produce options by whipping up confections filled with peaches. It’s the perfect way to practice for your pastry courses.

Peach cobbler
This classic dessert combines the fruitiness of peaches with the rich flavors of a bread crumble. Start by reducing four sliced peaches on the stove with 1 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of water. Boil them for about 10 minutes, then turn off the heat. Meanwhile, place butter in a 3-quart dish and pop it in the oven. Combine 1 cup of sugar, 1 1/2 cups of flour and 1 1/2 cups of milk in a mixing bowl. Whisk the ingredients until there are no clumps left. Finally, pour the batter into the dish (that was in the oven) and place the peaches on top. Bake the entire thing for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. This dish is served best warm with a side of ice cream.

Blueberry peach coffeecake
Blueberries and peaches are a great combination – both are tangy, but blueberries have a deeper and richer sweetness while peaches are brighter. Bring the two together in a coffeecake perfect for a summer night on the front porch. Use a classic coffeecake recipe, but add the two fruits (fresh, if you can get them). The streusel topping will add texture and sweetness to this classic dessert. Combine 3/4 cups of flour, 3/4 cups of sugar, 1 tablespoon of water, 1/4 cups of butter and a dash of cinnamon. Then heat the mixture in a saute pan to cook the flour. When it’s golden brown, the streusel topping is ready to go on your cake. Slice peaches and place them on the cake with blueberries for some added fruit flavor.

Peach and berry parfait
Gather angel food cake (which you can bake yourself), peaches, blackberries, blueberries, custard and honey. Layer the ingredients to look like a typical parfait, and drizzle the honey on top. You can serve the dish in mason jars or place it in a torte dish. Consider embellishing your dessert with mint leaves for additional flavor and fragrance.