Saturday, September 27, 2014

Pots of Gold ~ Peaches in Sweet Cooked Cream

With the peach season just about over, I'm wrapping up my many peach dishes with this little favorite. Always easy and delicious when peaches are fresh and ripe, you can make this ahead and serve it direct from the refrigerator.

Julian's Pots of Gold
As I've written many times before, the real key here is getting fresh, tree ripe peaches. Even those at our local grocer are not usually all that good. I prefer Michigan or Indiana tree ripe peaches (as in picked freshly once they are ripe and ready to eat). To get these you need a road-side stand, farmers market or grove where you can pick your own. Don't be fooled by imported peaches from California, Georgia or elsewhere. Peaches do not hold well in shipping so anything far away, unless you pick them up and bring them home yourself, is likely picked when it is too green. When this happens, the peach skins do not slide off easily and must be removed (heaven forbid) with a potato peeler. Yikes! If this is all you can get, better to make something else. As I always say, no matter how good a cook you are you can't do much with poor ingredients.

Good Peaches ~ the skin just slips off
If you did get nice, fresh, juicy peaches like these that were provided by my friend Ralph during his recent visit to Michigan, than do indeed consider this dish. It's really quite simple. Peel and slice the peaches, make the cream mixture, and pour it over the peaches. Bake, cool and refrigerate. They will be delicious. Good peaches need very little help to shine.

Ingredients (makes 6-8 medium ramekins

8-10 medium peaches
1/2 lemon -- juiced
1 teaspoon corn starch
dash of salt
sugar, as needed

3/4 cup  sugar
1/4 cup  flour
1 tablespoon  cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon  salt
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Whipped cream (for serving)

Preheat oven to 325F degrees.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Immerse peaches for 30 seconds to 2 minutes depending on ripeness of the peaches (the more ripe, the shorter the time); remove with a slotted spoon.  Let cool briefly in an ice-water bath, then slip off the peach skins with your hands. If they will not come off use a potato peeler or knife to remove them.  Pit and slice the peaches into a large mixing bowl.

Sprinkle peaches with a dash of salt and a juice from one-half  lemon. Stir in the cornstarch.  If the peaches are not sweet, add some sugar.

Mix together sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt.  When well mixed, stir in the heavy cream.  Place the peaches in the the ramekins and pour the cream mixture over peaches.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg.

Place a cookie sheet to catch any overflow and bake at 325F for 45 minutes or until filling begins to bubble. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready for serving.

Add some sweetened whipped cream at serving time and sprinkle with a little more cinnamon.

Creamy and Rich!

Just as delicious raw!

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