4 Ways With Ripe and Ready Peaches. Believed to have mythical qualities that see the devourer blessed with a long life full of pleasure, peaches have been celebrated for thousands of years. Full of dietary fibre and vitamin A, eat them now at their ripe best or preserve for your winter stores when you’ll be reminiscing about the glut of luscious fruit.
Summer Peach Sangria
Divide 1 sliced yellow peach between 2 glasses. Add a few ice-cubes. In a jug combine 60ml vodka, 1 cup chilled rosé and ½ cup chilled soda water. Pour into glasses. To serve, garnish with mint sprigs. Serves 2.
Peach Brown Sugar Shortcake
Preheat oven to 160°C fan-forced. Grease a 23cm square cake tin and line with baking paper. Slice 6 peeled and stoned ripe peaches. (Alternately, drain the juice from canned or bottled peaches – you need 500g drained peaches in total.) In the bowl of an electric mixer beat 250g butter and 200g brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add 2 room temperature eggs, beating well after each addition. Sift together 500g plain flour, 1 tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp baking soda and 2 tsp cream of tartar, then add to butter mixture. Combine until a soft dough forms. Spoon ½ of the dough into prepared baking tin. Press down to evenly spread out dough. Pour over ½cup pre-made custard, then top with a layer of peach slices. Spoon over remaining dough and press lightly using the back of a floured fork or spoon to spread evenly. Brush top of dough with a beaten egg and sprinkle with raw brown sugar. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown on top. Serve warm with extra custard or cream. Serves 8-10.
Individual Peach Upside-Down Puds
Preheat oven to 180°C fan-forced. Peel and slice 4 large ripe peaches into 4 thick rounds, then discard stones. Drizzle with juice of a lemon and set aside. Finely dice any remaining peach flesh. Put 1 cup sugar and cup water in a small saucepan over a medium-high heat and cook for 10 minutes or until sugar has dissolved and syrup has turned a light caramel colour. Grease 4 holes in a 6-hole Texas muffin tin, then pour a little caramel into the base of each greased hole. Reserve remaining caramel. Place peach rounds on top. Melt 100g butter and set aside to cool. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat 2 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla extract and cup brown sugar. Add melted butter. Sift in 1 cup self-raising flour and stir well to combine. Fold in diced peach. Divide mixture between muffin holes. Bake for 25 minutes or until set. Remove from oven and turn puddings out onto a large platter. Serve warm with remaining caramel and cream or ice-cream. Serves 4.
Roasted Peach Chutney
Preheat oven to 180°C fan-forced. Chop 1kg peeled and stoned ripe peaches into chunks, then spread over a baking tray with 4 garlic cloves. Sprinkle with . cup brown sugar. Roast for 15 minutes or until starting to caramelise and soften. Remove from oven and transfer to a large saucepan with 3ó cups malt vinegar, 500g chopped medjool dates, 500g raisins, 250g dried cranberries, 950g brown sugar, 2tsp each ground ginger and cayenne pepper, and 2tbsp salt. Bring to the boil over a medium-low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes oruntil dried fruit is soft. Spoon into hot, clean and sterilised jars, then seal. Makes 3 litres.