I’m thinking of picking up a bushel of peaches at a local farm on Monday. I think I’m ready.
I did it two years ago, but I was wholly unprepared for just how many peaches are in a bushel (hint: it is a LOT more than you’d think). I had no plans going in when I drove out to pick up two gigantic buckets of peaches, thinking I’d eat some fresh and preserve the rest in some way. In the end, I panicked and just canned pint after pint after pint of peach slices.
To be honest, it was a bit of a scarring experience, as far as canning experiments go. It took us for-ev-er to eat those peach slices. In fact, there are still a few jars lurking around on our preserving shelves in the basement, waiting to be eaten until peach season is over.
But I’m ready to try again. This time, though, I’m going in with a plan. Here are some ways I’m planning on enjoying my peach bounty, both fresh and preserved:
- Peach custard bars. We’re bound to have a potluck coming up to which I can contribute dessert!
- Peach maple bundt cake. I want to host a brunch just so I have an excuse to make this cake.
- Grilled peach and walnut crumble. We’re loving the grilled fruit lately.
- Shrimp burgers with chipotle cream and coconut peach salsa. Because we should enjoy seasonal fruit in savory preparations, too.
- Grilled peach salad with jalapeno vinaigrette. See above.
- And of course, eating them fresh and out of hand.
- Honeyed peaches and peaches in spiced syrup. Yep, I’m still planning on canning lots of peach slices. Just not an entire bushel’s worth– I know we won’t eat them all in one year. We tend to eat more canned fruit in the winter, after apple and pear season, and then stop entirely once strawberry season starts rolling in. I’m aiming to keep this to 15-25 pints (rather than the previous total of 53 pint jars…what was I thinking?).
- Pirate peaches. Which is basically a super-boozy rum peach sauce. It is apparently delicious with dessert, yogurt, oatmeal, pancakes and even chicken or pork. A batch of this is definitely happening.
- Frozen slices and whole peaches. I had no idea that whole peaches would hold up so well to freezing, so I of course need to try it! I’m thinking the frozen peaches will be great for smoothies and oatmeal.
- Peach salsa. I’m working on a recipe for this one, but I think it would be great with chicken, pork or even fish!
- Peach vodka. I’ll probably only make 1 quart, since I will also be making…
- Peach pit liqueur. I think I’ll make multiple batches of this, and experiment with different alcohol bases (I feel like white rum would be great!). It is an easy way to use up the many peach pits I’m bound to have. And wouldn’t a little bottle of liqueur make a nice holiday gift?
- Peach pit jelly or juice. I still need to research whether or not it is safe to can straight-up peach juice. If not, peach pit jelly it is! I want to get the most I can out of my peaches, even the pits!
Bonus: Wine-spiked peach jam. We still have some of this (again, what was I thinking when I made 30 half-pints of peach jam?), so I’m not making it this year, but I absolutely recommend it.