Tag Archives: peaches

Tomato Peach Balsamic Jam

Tomato Peach Balsamic Jam

The upside of seasonal eating has gotten enough play.  Today we turn to its darker side.  To the part of eating seasonally where summer ends and I am supposed to set aside perfect peaches for pumpkin soup and root vegetables.  What kind of solace is that, I ask?

In the coming weeks I’ll settle in, I know, remembering the unexpected heights that Brussels sprouts can reach and that miso-roasted squash and kale salad.  I’ll even delight in planning our vegetarian Thanksgiving menu.  Eventually.

But for today, let’s talk about holding onto those peaches for as long as we can.

This recipe is the love child of this sweet tomato jam and this savory peach jam.  It was inspired by a tomato and peach salad we ate all summer and a tomato and peach gazpacho served in the cafe of my favorite bookstore.  And like all my good jam ideas, I later learned that Marisa had it first.

This jam is equal parts peaches and tomatoes by weight, but the result is more sweet than savory; the umami notes of tomato and balsamic add just a whisper of intrigue.  As you’d expect, it’s most at home alongside a soft cheese or spooned over a piece of salmon, but it’s no slouch in a sandwich or vinaigrette either.

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Saffron Peach Jam

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By this time of year, our shelves are well-stocked with jam.  We’ve been making it all summer: Strawberry, raspberry, blueberry.  Rhubarb, cherry, three kinds of plum.  We eat plenty of jam–on yogurt and oatmeal, in sandwiches, with fancy cheese–and still, we will make it through the winter.  We have plenty of jam.

But it’s hard to stop.  And really, can there be too much jam?  Extra jars make welcome gifts, and I never seem to find myself with much left over when summer rolls around again.So I was happy to spend a day in the kitchen with a box of organic peaches last week.  They arrived on my doorstep courtesy of the Washington State Fruit Commission (full dislosure: the peaches were given to me at no charge, but the opinion that peaches are great is entirely my own).  We ate one after another after another.  And then it was time to make more jam.

I asked you for your peach preserving ideas.  I browsed the Sweet Preservation website.  I flipped through Mes Confitures.  I couldn’t decide.  So I made some of everything.  I made a sweet, chunky peach jam with a vanilla bean scraped in.  I made a tangy peach chutney with a lot of grated fresh ginger.  And, at Hannah’s suggestion, I made this Saffron Peach Jam.

It’s based on a recipe from The Preservation Kitchen, but it’s a good deal sweeter than the version in the book.  Some people say that saffron tastes spicy, or purfumey, or that it tastes like the sea.  Here it simply provides an earthy, savory counterpoint to the sweetness of the peaches, subtle enough that my six year old loved the jam but intriguing enough that I have gone about my days plotting uses for it.  I’m going to spoon it onto rice pudding and ricotta-topped toast.  I’m going to layer it into my next frittata sandwich in place of the tomato jam.  I’m going to serve it on a cheese plate.  But meanwhile, it’s just been going straight on toast.

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Peach and Ricotta Crostini with Basil

Have you entered the Food in Jars Cookbook giveaway yet?  Do it now.  It’s not just for canning enthusiasts, although it might turn you into one.

The entire point of today’s post is to entice you to run out to the farmers market and scoop up a final case of late-September peaches.  Are you convinced?  Because this weekend we are making jam, probably for the last time this summer.  Saffron Peach Jam.  Yes, it’s as intriguing as it sounds.  Yes, you will want to cook along.  And yes, a side benefit of having peaches in the house is that you can eat them on ricotta-slathered toast for breakfast. Continue reading

Grilled Peaches with Hazelnuts and Blue Cheese

Why does everyone have to keep talking about how summer’s almost over?

La la la la la!  This is me sticking my fingers in my ears and not listening.La la la la la!  These peaches are me sticking my fingers in my ears and not listening.  La la la–oh, mmmm. Continue reading

Peach and Blueberry Crisp

It’s the time of year when peaches are piled so high on the counter that we hardly make a dent in them as we eat one after another, on the back porch or leaning over the sink, juice running down our wrists.  The baby reaches for them: “apple! Apple!”  (All fruit is “apple” in her lexicon.)  We get peaches in our CSA box every week, and buy more, and then our neighbors came over with a heaping bowl, sharing the bounty of a box they brought home from some warmer, peach-growing place.

Time to make a crisp. Continue reading

Peach and Tayberry Upside-Down Pie

What?  It’s been four days since I posted the recipe for the Easiest Pie Crust Ever and you still haven’t made a pie?  What are you waiting for?

Ok, ok, here’s a recipe that’s even easier than pie.  I’m calling it an upside-down pie, because it’s a single-crust pie with the crust, get this, on top.  Isn’t that smart?  So you get a scoop of juicy fruit and a crisp, buttery top crust.  That’s it.  The Rustic Fruit Desserts people (I told you you’d be hearing hearing more about them) refer to this dessert by the funny name “pandowdy,” and indeed it was their Gingered Peach and Blackberry Pandowdy that inspired mine.

This dessert was especially sweet because I made it with the last of the peaches we brought home from California and tayberries from our Tonnemaker’s fruit CSA.   (You can substitute raspberries or blackberries or both; tayberries are a cross of the two.)  I personally wouldn’t usually put peaches into a pie–I know, other people do it successfully!–because I think they give up too much juice, resulting in a too-liquid filling and a soggy bottom pie crust.  Both problems are solved by this recipe: the bottom crust has vanished and the filling is thickened to a luscious consistency by macerating the peaches and then simmering the juice to thicken it.

Continue reading Peach and Tayberry Upside-Down Pie (click for recipe)