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We don't really need any excuses to eat peaches this time of year — the fruit is at its juiciest and sweetest in late summer — but on Aug. 22, National Eat a Peach Day promises to give lovers of the stone fruit a little added incentive to indulge.
To honor the sweet holiday, Food & Wine's Justin Chapple is sharing some tasty and clever peach hacks, including almost-instant peach ice cream, an easy cobbler recipe and a trick for peeling peaches in a snap.
1. Peel a peach the easy way
This simple trick means no more mushing your fruit or wasting half the flesh when you try to peel a peach. Simply score a whole peach lengthwise all the way around in two places. Dunk it in hot water for one to two minutes, then transfer it to an ice bath to cool. Using your fingers or a paper towel, wipe the skins off — they should slip off with no resistance.
2. Make microwave peach cobbler in a mug
No need to turn on the oven with this easy recipe for individual peach cobblers.
- 1 medium peach, peeled, pitted and diced
- 4 teaspoons light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- Kosher salt
- 1 ½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon quick cooking oats
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
- Vanilla ice cream and toasted sliced almonds, for serving
1. In a small bowl, using a fork, blend the flour with the oats, butter, cinnamon, baking powder, 2 teaspoons brown sugar and a pinch of salt.
2. In a large microwave-safe mug or individual gratin dish, mix the peach with the lemon juice, the remaining 2 teaspoons brown sugar and a pinch of salt. Sprinkle the crumb topping on the peach mixture.
3. Microwave on high for 1½ to 3 minutes, until the peaches are softened and the topping is cooked through. Let stand for a few minutes before serving with vanilla ice cream and toasted sliced almonds.
3. Whip up peaches on horseback
Make a fun riff on Devils on Horseback, swapping out dates for peaches.
- 2 ripe but firm peaches, pitted and each peach cut into 8 wedges
- 8 bacon slices, halved crosswise
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Season the peach wedges with salt and pepper, then wrap each wedge with a half slice of bacon.
2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the bacon-wrapped peaches and cook over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until the bacon is browned and crisp, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate and serve.
4. Ditch pesky pieces of broken pit
Sometimes the pit breaks in half when you slice a peach. Or, sometimes, unappealing skin or fragments are left behind. This is an easy fix! Use a melon baller to scoop out the rough part or the broken pit and enjoy.
5. Cool off with almost-instant peach ice cream
In just minutes, and with fewer than five ingredients, you can throw together this sweet and creamy peach ice cream.
Total time: 15 minutes prep plus freezing time
Makes: 3 ½ cups
- 1 ½ pounds frozen peeled peaches
- 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Kosher salt
In a food processor, pulse the fruit with the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and a generous pinch of salt until the fruit is finely chopped. Puree until smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the side of the bowl as needed. Serve soft or transfer to a metal baking pan, cover and freeze until just firm.