Just as soon as the weather turned warm, I became fixated on the idea of grilled peaches. I could picture them in all the glory of their sunset hue; ripe, juicy flesh tattooed with smoky grill marks…a dreamy side to a charred and crispy-skinned chicken leg…
That idyllic snapshot quickly faded when I discovered that the BBQs on our apartment complex’s rooftop are equipped with nothing but a puny electric rod, more similar to an archaic space heater than a grill. I may as well plop my food on top of my toaster oven.
Since grilling was clearly an impossibility, I would poach the peaches. Granted, they would not be branded and flame-licked, but they could still be remarkable, especially as a side to salty, broiled pork loin. Make these peaches for dinner and be sure to throw in a few more for Peachy Keen Shortcakes.
Roasted pork loin with cherry poached peaches and sautéed broccoli rabe.
CHERRY POACHED PEACHES
6 ripe but still firm peaches
3 C. tart cherry juice
2 C. granulated sugar
-In a saucepan, combine cherry juice and sugar and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Reduce to a low simmer.
-In a pot large enough to accommodate the peaches, bring four quarts of water to boil. In the meantime, set up an ice bath.
-With a paring knife, gently draw a small “X” on the bottom end of the peaches.
-Gently slide peaches into the boiling water. Allow about 20 seconds and quickly scoop out into the ice bath with a slotted spoon to stop the cooking.
-This blanch-&-shock process will have loosened the skins. With a delicate hand, pull the skin away from the flesh, starting at the “X” you previously carved.
-With a small knife, cut the peach in half, tugging at each to reveal the pit: remove and discard. Cut each half in half, lengthwise and slip into the simmering cherry syrup. Poach peaches 15 – 20 minutes and allow to come to room temperature.
NOTE: Peaches are either clingstone, freestone, or semi-freestone. As the name implies, “clingstone” peaches will have flesh that tightly clings to the pit. Removing the fruit from the stone is thus a bit more difficult, so if given the choice, go for the freestone or at least the semi-freestone.
PEACHY KEEN SHORTCAKES
For 2 servings
This recipe is a play on more traditional fruit shortcakes and make a gorgeous brunch item.
4 Best Ever Biscuits (Sweet Variation)
3 cherry poached peaches, at room temperature
1 container Greek yogurt (between 5 – 6 oz), stirred to smooth
-As soon as the biscuits come out of the oven, pull apart into two halves.
-Top bottom half with three peach wedges and drizzle with poaching syrup. Dollop generously with yogurt and cover with the (sugar sprinkled) half.