The peach season is here! My husband jokes I need a bumper sticker warning that I brake quickly for fresh peaches!
Right behind apples and oranges, peaches are the third most popular fruit in America. Here in Maine, we are fortunate that to have some excellent tree fruit farmers. I first met our local peach cultivators, Tim Seabrook and Leslie Cummins from Five Star Nursery in Brooklin, ten summers ago.
The fall that year turned unusually hot, and they had an abundant crop. Peaches were ripening almost hourly by the bushels; beautiful, fragrant, orange-yellow globes of sunshine. And their cooler was still under construction.
I purchased over 400 pounds, parceled them out to friends here on the island, and spent an entire weekend canning peaches, making salsa, chutney and jam.
I just saw Leslie at the Stonington farmer’s market, and she confirmed that this is another banner year for the addictive fruit. We chuckled over the memories of our “introduction into peach processing 101”. For those of us that enjoy eating perfectly ripe fruit with juices running down our chin, Five Star peaches should be available throughout September at farmer’s markets, Sandy’s Provisions, and the Blue Hill Coop.
- 3 ripe peaches
- Sugar for sprinkling
- 1½ pints vanilla ice cream (premium is betterhomemade the best!)
- 1 cup fresh raspberries
- ½ cup sugar
- Fill a large bowl with ice water. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Place each peach in the boiling water and simmer for 15 – 20 seconds. With a slotted spoon, remove to the ice water and allow to cool. Remove from ice water to a plate. Repeat the process with each peach. Peel the peaches. The skins should slip off quite easily. Cut in half and remove the pits. If desired, place the peach halves briefly in a bowl of cold water mixed with 1 teaspoon lemon juice. (This prevents them from oxidizing and turning brown.)
- Sprinkle the peach halves with sugar and store in the refrigerator. To make the raspberry sauce, puree the fresh raspberries, and pass them through a strainer to remove the seeds. In a small saucepan, heat the juice and add the sugar. Cook until the sugar is dissolved and allow the sauce to cool.
- To assemble, place 1 peach half in a bowl, scoop ½ cup of vanilla ice cream on top, and drizzle with raspberry sauce.
- Makes six servings.